French Parliament Extends Stay for British Citizens with Second Homes

French Parliament Extends Stay for British Citizens with Second Homes

In a surprising turn amidst the tightening immigration policies in France, the French Parliament has voted to extend the stay duration for British citizens who own second homes in the country. 

This significant move comes in response to post-Brexit restrictions that previously limited stays to 90 days within every 180 days, compelling those wanting longer stays to undergo a costly and lengthy visa application process.

The recent amendment passed as part of the immigration bill, allows British second home-owners to remain in France for up to six months without the need for a visa. This decision addresses the concerns raised by the 86,000 British households who own holiday properties in France, alleviating the frustrations caused by the previous 90-day restriction.

Steven Jolly, the founder of the France Visa Free Facebook group, hailed this decision as a victory after a two-year-long campaign, emphasising that this change recognises the right for homeowners to enjoy their properties in France as they did before Brexit without the obligation to make France their primary residence.

This extension not only signifies a resolution to the 90-day limit issue but also reflects the willingness of the French government to mitigate the repercussions of Brexit. However, some voiced concerns about the potential disparity in treatment, arguing that this rule should be applied universally to all British visitors in France, not just property owners.

While the details of how this new regulation will be implemented remain unclear, there are suggestions that second homeowners might be required to show property deeds upon entry into France. Additionally, apprehensions persist regarding the possibility of the Constitutional Council striking down this law for favouring one group of foreigners over others.

What’s Next

As the fate of this amendment now awaits examination by France’s Constitutional Court, debates persist about the fairness of immigration policies and the government's stance toward specific expatriate communities. 

Assuming all is well, the law will then be published in the Journal Officiel, and will then be final.

This move stands out within a bill primarily focused on stricter immigration rules and heightened regulations.

The extension of stay for British citizens with second homes in France, amidst a broader context of stringent immigration laws, reflects an attempt to balance the concerns of expatriate communities while addressing the unintended consequences of Brexit.

Do you own a property in France? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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