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Brit Second-Home Owners Of Houses In France.

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Atheist | 19:50 Sun 04th Feb 2024 | Society & Culture
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French govt has decided to let Brits with second homes in France have the right to visit France for 180 days (instead of the current 90 days). But it might be considered by the Conseil Constitutionel.

Anyone here know if the Conseil has become involved, or will the new law apply. And if so, when?



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Well if you're refused, Hymie, you're refused.  That's life.  We're out.  Get over it.

ATHEIST, the proposal was rejected on a technicality so all is not lost.


"There is no right of appeal with the Conseil, so the decision is final.

Having said that, while many parts of the new immigration law were rejected, this amendment was ruled unconstitutional on a technicality. The Conseil ruled that the idea’s inclusion was contrary to Article 45 of the Constitution. This article says that amendments to a bill must be linked to the ideas proposed in the original text presented to parliament.

However, speaking to Connexion, Berhet said that it was positive that the Conseil did not criticise the bill itself, just the technicality. So, she plans to present a new bill to tackle the issue at a later stage."

Question Author

Just to clarify -

I have a house in France (in a department called la Vienne), and since 2008 I have been able to spend up to 6 months a year over there without any need for a visa, because we were in the EU.

Since Brexit we are only allowed 90 days in any period of 180 days, which means that after a stay of 90 days we have to return to the UK for 90 days. This means that we can't enjoy the bulk of the summer there, and can't maintain our vegetable garden by preparing the soil, sowing seeds, hoeing and weeding and finally harvesting, nor can I manage my vine from early pruning until harvest and wine-making time. Unless...

We get visas for a 180 day stay, which involves applying (with a sheaf of documentation and a fee, plus two visits to Wandsworth (fortunately we live in London, but many don't). We get by, but it's all time-consuming and inconvenient.

It's not the end of the world, but...

Thank you Etch for answering my question, and thanks to the rest of you for taking time to post your interesting views on views on Europe, the French, Brexit, Spain, work permits etc.

Question Author

And thanks,Corby.

We live in hope for an easier time next year.

I confused La Vienne (Département) with Vienne, the town on the Rhone near Lyon.

Still, Dominion is a good book.

i don't wish to sound insensitive but having a holiday home at all is a massive luxury... do you not feel a bit silly complaining about it? 

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Untitled; I'm not complaining.

are you sure? 🙃

If you went to a neighbouring country, Spain or Germany say, and you had a phone which was registered and only used in France. 

Thanks to Schengen, there would be nothing to stop you going in and out from there and staying for as long as you wish.

Question Author

Untitled; I am disappointed that the French have not managed to change their requirements, but I am not complaining. If I wanted to complain I'd be in touch with France, not AB.

Khandro; I don't understand your post at all. Schengen and telephones seem to be irrelevant. Schengen doesn't let Brits visit for more than 90 days.

“No one  could forsee that France  would 'cut off its nose to spite its face' t.b.h..”

I could. France is enthralled to their EU masters and whilst the French government may have no objections to easing the restrictions, the EU most certainly would not countenance it. If France relaxed the restriction for UK citizens it would open the door to those citizens to almost all of Europe. Once in France they could travel across the Schengen area untroubled because entry to France provides entry to the rest of Schengen as there are no border checks within that area.

“We all had a vested interest in voting remain.”

There were advantages to EU membership. But an individual’s “vested interest” in it must be weighed up against its cost (and I’m not talking, as you seem to, solely in financial terms). I’ve explained how I made my decision 

“But all of these conditions now placed on UK citizens are applicable to all other third party country citizens (we are being treated no better or worse than other non-EU countries).”

No we’re not. But any normal (i.e. non-EU) country would make its own decisions on whether to allow special arrangements for its closest neighbours and that decision would be based on whether or not it was in their interests to do so. It is obviously in France’s interests to allow UK visitors to go there and spend their money. But EU ideology trumps that interest.

“The UK voluntarily chose not to be part of the Union and so they chose to be a non-EU country and so not to enjoy certain perks that they had. The smart ones might have known this, but felt it was on balance OK.”

Rather than the “smart ones” what you really mean is those whose decision which way to vote concurred with yours. By implication your statement means that those who voted to leave (having considered the “balance” you refer to) were not “smart” and, unless you have a particularly obtuse definition of smart, that is clearly not the case. 

“FWIW, I know friends who live in the Isle of Man who are not allowed into the UK for more than 90 days a year, and that has always been the case. So why would France allow Brits to visit for more than 90 days ...”

Really? The Isle of Man is a British Crown Dependency and is part of the “Common Travel Area” formed by the UK, Ireland, and those Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the IoM). There are no such restrictions on UK and Irish citizens moving between them. 

“It will come as a surprise to you that EU countries don’t just give out work permits to anyone who asks.”

And nor they should. But they might as well. Normal countries decide who can come to live and work there. Unfortunately for the 27 EU nations, they have to accept unconditionally anybody else from 26 other countries whether they want them or not. Still, that’s their problem.

Question Author

Oh dear. A simple question results in all this!

I think a simpler answer to your question might be that it doesn't matter what France might want to do. Admission to France means admission to the Schengen zone. France sacrificed its right operate its own border controls when it joined the Schengen scheme.

Really? The Isle of Man is a British Crown Dependency and is part of the “Common Travel Area” formed by the UK, Ireland, and those Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the IoM). There are no such restrictions on UK and Irish citizens moving between them. 

It was something to do with their tax residency being in the Isle of Man rather than the UK, where they were born ...

then they could probably come and go as they pleased, they just didnt want to because it would mean paying more tax!

Yes, well presumably that's the problem with spending too much time in France, but being "tax resident" in the UK.  If you're living half your time in France, you ought to be paying your taxes there ... says the French. 

only if you earn money there tho? I presume athiest is retired

Question Author

Yes I am. We've always understood that staying over there for more than 6 months might get the French tax authorities interested.

simples....make it reciprocal and make the French apply for UK visas for their second homes.

France has something in the order of 1 million undocumented migrants they can't get rid of, so why should they worry about one Brit. ?  

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