Visa joy for French property owning Brits….

Visa joy for French property owning Brits….

Brits who own French property are jubilant after the French parliament agreed to allow them to stay in the country without a visa, BUT, France’s highest court could still overrule parliament’s decision…

French property

The existing rules were implemented post-brexit in early 2021, and were approved by then UK prime minister, Boris Johnson.

At present, Brits are restricted to a maximum of 90 days in the country in every 180-day period. The only way second-home owners can visit France for more than 90 days is to apply for a long-stay visa, which can be a lengthy and complex process that would need to be undertaken each year.

Tim Swannie, director of Home Hunts said this was superb news for their UK based clients. “Ever since Brexit, our British clients have had to plan their trips very carefully to ensure they didn’t go over the 90 days. If this new law is voted through at the next level, it will be a huge relief for this brits interested in French property.”

Tourism in France

French Property owning Brits

There are nearly 90,000 British households who currently own second homes in France. Steven Jolly, the founder of the Facebook group ‘France Visa Free’ which has been assisting many of these second-home owners to write to the French authorities to ask for changes to the law, said he was overjoyed that the rules seemed to be finally changing.

“After two years of campaigning it’s a great achievement,” he said. “This is a recognition that those with French property should be allowed to continue living in their homes in just the same way that they did before Brexit without having to make France their primary residence.” adding “It shows that the French are willing to address the adverse effects of Brexit.” 

Despite the excited mood and positivity, reservations remain about how these new rules will work and exactly when they will come into force because no date has yet been set. There are also concerns that the change could be struck out at the next vote with the Constitutional Council, France’s equivalent of the Supreme Court. 

French property

Steven Jolly said: “At the moment, all we know is that a law has been passed. The details on how this will work will come from a Council of State and could take some time. Our next phase should be to lobby ideas on how these changes could work. There is a process that needs to be established. In addition, a note of caution needs to be exercised, the law could be deemed unconstitutional as it favours one group of foreigners over another.”

One option which is likely to be considered by the French government would be for British second-home owners to show French border police their property deeds when they enter the country.

Tim Swannie added “We will be following this very closely over the coming weeks so that we can keep our UK based clients informed of all the latest news”


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