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I have a friend who is looking to go in-and-out of France for a 5 year period. France requires an insurance for the whole duration of the stay.

We are looking for long-term travel insurance and only see 12 months [0] or 18 months[search]. No 5 years.

Is a yearly travel insurance considered like a "membership"? Could my friend present the yearly insurance to the France consulate?

[0] https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/compare-plans

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    What kind of visa are they applying for? Unless they are applying for a long-term work visa (D) which has different rules, the duration of stay is not 5 years, but the duration of each individual stay. If they even ask for it, insurance covering the first stay should be enough. But your friend is unlikely to get a 5 year visa on their first application.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 0:00
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    In agreement with @jcaron here - typically you need a suitable plan for the start of the visa, and you need to maintain suitable insurance for the entire duration (with penalties like cancellation of visa, no healthcare provided etc if you let it lapse).
    – user29788
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 2:12

2 Answers 2

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Just like car insurance or most other types of insurance policies, a travel insurance policy lasts for the duration of its term. This is usually a few days/weeks if you buy a policy for a particular trip, or a year if you buy an annual policy. Once the policy term expires, if you still want/need the coverage, you'd need to renew it, under whatever terms the insurer offers at the time, or buy a new policy.

For a short-term visa application, you'll need to supply proof of insurance that meets the requirements and is valid at least for the duration of your first trip. So this could be a one year policy or one valid just for a shorter period of time. For subsequent trips, if you are granted a multiple entry with a sufficient validity period, you will need suitable insurance for each of your trips (you may not be asked for proof of it, but it is still required).

Nobody is expecting your friend to show an insurance policy valid for 5 years; they expect to see one that is valid for your planned first trip. Your friend can comparison shop to decide whether per-trip insurance policies or an annual policy makes more sense for their needs. Either is acceptable as long as the terms satisfy at least France's minimum coverage requirements.

As jcaron notes, your friend may well not receive a 5 year visa. In that case, a new visa application, including proof of insurance, would be required for further trips.

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I can't speak for France, but I had to present travel insurance in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, and Jordan. I had 12 months worth of insurance. I got the type that would air lift me in the case of a catastrophe. Car, earthquake, renters, home, and my experience w/ travel ins. all have gone for 6 - 12 months max.

Check France's travel insurance requirements, match or exceed them.

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