The country where social contributions are paid

Cultural organisations inviting or posting artists and/or culture professionals in France are subject to social legislation whose principles vary according to the type of contract (direct hiring or contracting with a foreign partner), artists and/or culture professionals affiliation country, and whether or not bilateral agreements on social security have been concluded between France and the residence country...

We invite you to check the rules that apply to your situation on the Centre of European and International Liaisons for Social Security (CLEISS) website.

Some general principles:

  • Artists and culture professionals hired by a French organisation
    Contributions are due in France.
  • Artists and culture professionals hired by a foreign organisation posting them to France
    -> If a bilateral agreement on social security has been signed between France and the country of residence, contributions may be made in the country where they currently pay their social contributions. The appropriate posting form will have to be requested from the social security authorities in the country of affiliation.
    -> If there is no bilateral agreement on social security between France and the country of residence, contributions will be payable in France. The foreign employer must pay them to the Urssaf "centre national des firmes étrangères" (CNFE) (national center for foreign entreprises).
  • Artists and culture professionals affiliated in Europe
    European regulations provide many possibilities to ensure the continued payment of social security contributions in the country of affiliation (and residence) of the individual, insofar as is possible. We advise you to check what rule applies to your situation on the CLEISS site.
  • Independent artists working in France
    Depending on their activity, these professionals will be required to contribute to the "Maison des artistes" (authors of graphic and plastic works artists) or "Agessa" (authors, composers, directors, photographers ... (full list here).

Social security cover

The payment of social security contributions in France does not automatically automatically ensure coverage, which in practice depends on residency (residency permit).

Foreign artists and culture professionals and the organisations inviting or sending them must ensure before their arrival that they are covered by valid health insurance during their stay. The steps to take are different depending on your profile and the type of activity conducted in France.

You have one or more employment contracts in France
If you move to France, you will be covered by the general social security scheme and affiliated to the "Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie" (CPAM) (Primary Health Insurance Fund) of your place of residence.

You are living in Europe
If you are affiliated in a European Union member state, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card before arriving in France. This card will mean you won’t have to advance the money for any health expenses.

Your country has signed a social security agreement with France
Depending on your situation, the cost of any care received in France may be covered by the bilateral agreement on social security signed between your home country and France.
For more information, visit the Centre of European and International Liaisons for Social Security (CLEISS) website.

You are an author artist
Your activity is covered by the "Maison des artistes" or the "Agessa". However, your entitlement to social security benefits in France is subject to the level of income earned the previous year (at least €8,649 for 2015).

Other cases
If you are neither employed in France nor a holder of a European Health Insurance Card nor benefiting from a reciprocal agreement, you will have to take out private health insurance.

For stays exceeding three months, you may be able to apply for "Couverture Maladie Universelle" (CMU) (Universal Health Coverage) from your residence "Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie" (CPAM) once in possession of your residency permit.