Brexit and your French holiday home
As you know, the UK left the European Union on 31/12/2020 and this has a direct impact on the enjoyment of your holiday home in France. We have put together some of the important points you need to consider. Meanwhile COVID-19 means that travel restrictions are in place, and changing frequently, so please do check the UK Government site to get the latest news.
Tourists who will be spending less than 90 days out of every 180 days do not need a visa. If required, you can spend 180 days a year at your holiday home but these would have to be split into two blocks of 90 days. This limit covers the whole of the EU so you can’t spend additional time in Spain, Italy, Portugal or other EU countries.
If you intend to spend longer than 90 days then you will now need a Long Stay visa. There are many different types but as a holiday home owner you will probably apply for a Visa de Long Sejour Temporaire Visiteur. Details are available from the French Government (in English) here. You can use this “Visa Wizard” on the French Government site to confirm which kind of visa you will need and the costs. You need to set up an account on the site and then complete the online application. Print out the form and the receipt then take this (and all supporting documentation) to your nearest French Embassy in the UK.
Be warned, if you spend longer than six months a year in France then you will be considered as a French resident.
It is important to have health insurance or face hefty bills if you fall ill.
The UK Government has said that you can use your current EHIC card until it expires. If you don’t hold an EHIC card you can apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) here. This card will allow you to access state provided healthcare in France whilst visiting. The EHIC and its replacement GHIC remain free of charge.
You will no longer be able to use the EU passport queue at customs control. Be warned, British passports which have less than 6 months until their expiry date are no longer valid for travel to France. If you want to spend longer than 90 days here out of every 180 days then you will need to apply for a visa (see above).
You can continue to use your British driving licence but will need to apply for a Green Card from your insurance company.
The latest Government advice is published here. You can still bring your pets to France but will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) which confirms that your pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. You get the AHC from your local vet. You will need a new certificate each time you travel to France and will need to get it within 10 days of travelling. On arrival in France you must use the designated point of entry.