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Do non-EU six-month visitors have to undergo a medical in France?

And, if so, what happens if you fail?

Reader asks about medical requirements for visiting France long term Pic: Zamrznuti tonovi / Shutterstock

Reader question: We’ve heard that non-EU nationals wanting to visit France for six months or more must have a medical check-up. Is this true and what if we ‘fail’ it?

It is correct that all non-EU nationals who move to France are called in for a medical (this includes Britons from 2022). 

This does not, however, concern so-called temporary stays which are usually from three to six months and often used by second-home owners. 

The obligatory medical applies for stays of six months or more.

The medical is carried out at the offices of Ofii, a body concerned with the integration of newcomer non-EU nationals with branches throughout France. 

In the case of a retirees’ ‘visitor’ visa (this is often the first step to moving across before getting a carte de séjour), for example, you will be called in after applying to validate your visa online, which has to be done in the first three months of arrival. 

The medical, which typically includes a lung X-ray, is part of a meeting at which the rubber stamp will be given to the validation of the visa for residency purposes in the first year. 

People moving to work will need to be judged apte (capable) of doing the work they have been given a position with.

We asked the Ofii office of Limoges why non-workers have to take a medical and whether health problems can invalidate their right to stay. 

An official said it is simply a required check for the validation process. 

Any problems flagged up would not invalidate the right to stay but the person may be steered towards relevant support.

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