Last update : August 2019

In France, asylum seekers in the normal procedure have full access to medical care. People without legal documents are entitled to free medical assistance in free medical centres, the Permanence d’Accès aux Soins de Santé (PASS) and in the hospital emergency department.

The ITWG’s Health Guide in several languages - French, English, Arabic, Urdu, Farsi :

Any person, French or foreign, without social protection, can apply to the PASS (Permanences d’Accès aux Soins de Santé) for medical care. In case of need, it is also possible to go to the hospital emergency department.

There are Health Care Access Centres in the main public hospitals. You can usually access them through the emergency department.

If you can prove that you have been in France for more than 3 months, even if you do not have a residence permit, you can apply for State Medical Aid, which will give you access to the health care system without going through the PASS. You will have to pay a tax of 30 € per year.

Asylum seekers and in general legal foreigners have full access to the health system, either through the CMU (Couverture Maladie Universelle), or because they work or because they benefit from their spouse’s social protection.

All asylum seekers are entitled to health coverage, even if you are in the accelerated or Dublin procedure without needing to prove that you have been residing in France for more than 3 months.


All asylum seekers are entitled to health insurance (even Dublin or accelerated procedure).
You are also entitled to a free complementary health insurance (complementary universal health insurance or CMU-C) if you do not have a lot of resources (less than about 725 euros per month).
The health insurance and the CMU-C allow you not to pay or advance the costs of your medical care and medication.
To obtain it, you have to go to the primary health insurance fund (CPAM) of your place of residence on the date written in the convocation that the SPADA or the Ofii will give you . If the SPADA does not offer you an appointment at the CPAM, ask for it!
Note: It is important to go to this appointment. If you don’t go, it will be difficult to get another appointment.
During your appointment, you must present :

  • the certificate of asylum application that the prefecture gave you when your application was registered ;
  • the certificate of domiciliation that your accommodation centre or the SPADA gave you.

Note: You will be asked for the resources of the last twelve months, including what you earned in your country of origin. Be careful with the conversion into euros.
Once you have obtained health insurance and CMU-C, you will be able to go to the doctor or hospital free of charge. All you have to do is present the CMU-C paper certificate. If you do not have a valid certificate, you can apply for the AME.

If you need help with the process, you can contact :

  • the social service of the hospital;
  • the association that helps you to make your asylum application;
  • to the structure that accommodates you.

While waiting to benefit from health insurance, you can go to the health care access centres (PASS) open in some hospitals. A social worker will assess your social situation and refer you to a doctor.

[Translated with (free version)]