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Foreign employees working in France are, in principle, registered with the French social security system regardless of their nationality or the location of their employer.
As such, the salary and benefits (benefits in kind, expatriation bonuses, etc.) paid to foreign employees are subject to all social security contributions at current rates, payable to the mandatory and supplementary schemes.
In return, employees and their families are covered by the French social security system, about which a further description can be found online.
Foreign employees may contribute to optional social security schemes in their home countries.
You may though opt for continued coverage by the health and social security system in your country of origin if a reciprocal social security agreement exists between your home country and France.
Exemption from the French social security system
- Citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland may also be posted to other Member States for two-year periods.
An exemption may be requested in order to extend the term of the posting if the assignment is expected to exceed two years or run over the full two-year term. Each Member State determines the maximum posting term it agrees to grant.
- Employees from countries that have signed bilateral agreements with France may remain registered with the social security system of their country of origin during all or part of the duration of their posting in France.
The length of time for which coverage can be maintained from the social security system in the country of origin is specified in the bilateral agreement (from a number of months to five years), as is the length of the first posting, which may be renewable .
Steps to be taken
In practice, the employee must supply proof of their registration in their country of origin to be able to benefit from the application of bilateral social security agreements.
Employers should contact the liaison body in their employee’s country of origin to obtain a posting certificate.
At the end of their posting, employees must register with the French social security system. They can however continue to contribute to the social security system in their country of origin; this is called making dual contributions.
At the end of this initial or extended period, posted employees must register with the French social security system.
Find out if your country has signed a bilateral agreement with France.
Who should I contact to obtain a posting certificate?
For further information, please visit: www.cleiss.fr/employeurs/index.php
You are registered with the French social security system
Companies with employees in France must complete a pre-hiring declaration form and send it to the local social security contribution collection office (Union de recouvrement des cotisations de sécurité sociale et d’allocations familiales – URSSAF).
This declaration also registers the employee with the French social security system if they do not already have a social security number.
If your employer does not have a permanent establishment in France
Companies headquartered abroad, without a permanent establishment in France, and which hire an employee in France to work in the country must complete all mandatory declarations and pay social security contributions in France to the National Center for Foreign Firms at the following address:
Centre national des firmes étrangères - CNFE
67945 Strasbourg cedex 9
Tél. : + 33 810 09 26 33 (France and abroad)
Fax : + 33 3 69 32 30 08 (France and abroad)
courriel : email@example.com
For further information, please visit:
If your employer has a permanent establishment in France
Employers are responsible for registering their employees with the French social security system if this is not already the case.
|Helpful tip: Employees and accompanying family holding a ‘Talent Passport’ residence permit should contact the local health insurance fund (Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie – CPAM) in Paris, which centralizes registration requests and handles various formalities (to reimburse healthcare fees, cover costs following an accident at work, etc.). For further information, please visit the ameli.fr website.|
Employees are covered by the general scheme of the French social security system.
The company director scheme of the French social security system varies depending on the company’s legal structure and the director’s exact role within it. Company directors may be covered by the general scheme if they fall under one of the following categories:
- Company directors with minority or joint interests in a limited liability company (société à responsabilité limitée – SARL).
- CEOs or Managing Directors of a public limited company (société anonyme – SA).
- Chairmen of a simplified limited company (société par actions simplifiée – SAS).
- Company directors of a cooperative company (société coopérative et participative – SCOP).
Other directors covered by the French social security scheme for self-employed workers (RSI) include, among others:
- Individual entrepreneurs (including micro-entrepreneurs).
- Company directors with majority interests in a limited liability company (société à responsabilité limitée – SARL).
- Sole partners in a single-shareholder limited liability company (entreprise unipersonnelle à responsabilité limitée – EURL).
Once they have been enrolled with the French Social Security system, each insured party is given a social security number and a ‘Carte vitale’.
Each social security number has 13 figures, and is recorded in a nationwide register of individuals.
A Carte Vitale is a smart card holding all information about the insured patient so that the French social security system can make healthcare reimbursements, and the holder can get their healthcare costs paid up front in this way (the so-called tiers payant system, where holders no longer need to advance fees for certain medical procedures, as the healthcare professional is paid directly by the social security system).