Residency rights for people who are ill

A residence permit or “titre de séjour” can be issued to people who are ill and need to receive medical care in France.

Verified by FNCIDFF on 06/10/2023


You must meet these three conditions:

  • Your usual place of residence has to be in France, and for more than one year in principle.
  • The consequences of your illness must be of exceptional severity if left untreated.
  • You must be receiving medical treatment in France, and be unable to receive appropriate medical treatment in your home country.

Applicable law: Articles L.425–9 and R.425–14 of the “CESEDA”.

The procedure

Applying for a “titre de séjour” on this basis has a specific procedure.

  • Prepare a file with all the medical documents that will enable you to prove your illness and its seriousness.

    You can include certificates from competent individuals, such as a doctor from your home country, confirming that you cannot receive treatment there.

  • You will need to make an appointment with the local French administrative authority responsible for examining applications for residence permits or “titre de séjour”, known as the “préfecture”, stating that you want to apply for a “titre de séjour” due to your state of health. You can find their contact details by visiting this directory and selecting the one for your department.

    If you have difficulty getting an appointment with the “préfecture” or to learn more about scheduling an appointment, you will find further information on this page.

    At the appointment, the agent at the “préfecture” will give you:

    • a form to give to your doctor to fill out
    • the address of the doctor from the organisation responsible for immigration and integration known as the French Office for Immigration and Integration or “Office français pour l’immigration et l’intégration (OFII)”.
  • Once the form has been filled in by your doctor, this document must be sent by post to the “OFII” doctor, along with any useful medical documents.

    The doctor usually sends the letter and the form, but sometimes they will ask you to send it.

    • If you send the letter yourself, make sure you send it by registered post with recorded delivery or “lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception”: the only way to prove your letter has been received. Keep the receipt as proof of postage.

    The “OFII” doctor will then issue a medical report.

    • If necessary, they will ask to meet you by sending you a document known as a summons or “convocation”, specifying the place, day and time of the appointment.
    • They might also contact you to obtain additional documents.
    • It is essential that you send them your first response within 15 days, even if you have not yet gathered all the requested documents together.

    Finally, the medical report of the “OFII” doctor will be sent to the “OFII” medical service, which will issue an opinion and send it to the “préfecture” within three months.

    The “préfecture” will then be able to respond to your application. It is not obliged to follow the advice of “OFII”.

Type of “titre de séjour” or residence permit issued

  • You will receive a temporary residence card or “carte de séjour temporaire”, stating “vie privée et familiale” or private and family life, valid for one year. It allows you to work.

    However, if you have lived in France for less than a year, the “préfecture” might decide to only grant you a provisional residence permit or “autorisation provisoire de séjour”, valid for a maximum of six months.

  • Your residence card or “carte de séjour” can be renewed if you still meet the conditions.

    You will then be able to receive a multi-year residence card or “carte de séjour pluriannuelle”, if you request one. It will be valid for the same period as the medical care planned and for a maximum of four years.

  • If you have lived in France for at least five years, or three years in certain cases, you can request a “carte de résident” if you meet certain conditions. Learn more

Algerian citizens

The option to obtain a “titre de séjour” on this basis is applicable to Algerian nationals.

Applicable law: Article 6.7 of the Franco-Algerian Agreement of 27 December 1968 as amended.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • La Cimade” is an organisation that specialises in supporting all immigrant and migrant people, and refugees in France, particularly people facing violence.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • They will be able to inform you and support you in your administrative procedures related to the right of residence in France, and direct you to other services depending on your personal situation.
    • Languages available: French, English and Spanish.
    • Contact :
      • without an appointment at a centre near you
      • by telephone on 01 40 08 05 34 or 06 77 82 79 09 on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Gisti” is an organisation specialising in legal advice to immigrants and refugees in France.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • They will be able to inform you about your rights relating to your residency rights and explain how to obtain them.
    • Language available: mainly French.
    • Contact:
      • By phone on +331 84 60 90 26 from Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and also from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. The line is sometimes saturated, do not be discouraged. It is sometimes easier to reach them towards the end of the day.
      • By post to “Gisti, 3 villa Marcès 75011 Paris, France”. Print and complete this form and include in your letter with a photocopy of any administrative documents that could be relevant. Be sure to specify your question as clearly as possible, including all elements that could help the “Gisti” advisor to understand your situation.
  • Associations” are organisations that offer various services. Some are specialised in immigration.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They can inform you about your rights in France, and sometimes support you with immigration procedures.
    • Language available: mainly French.
    • Contact: you can search by region and department in this directory.
  • Authorised associations or “associations habilitées” can offer highly specialised services to asylum seekers.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They can inform you about your rights, advise you, support you in your administrative procedures and come with you to your meeting with the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons or “Office français de la protection des réfugiés et des apatrides (OFPRA)”.
    • Language available: mainly French, interpretation possible.
    • Contact: you can find a “associations habilitées” near you in this directory.

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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