The Brexit deal was finalised in the midst of the global pandemic, when travel was all but impossible.
Now that there are encouraging signs that travel to and from Europe may be on the horizon, we thought it be worth summarising the impact that Brexit will have for UK citizens who are looking to spend time in France.
How long can I spend in France after Brexit?
From 1st January 2021 British citizens are able to visit France for up to three months in any 180-day period, without the need for a visa.
Under the Schengen rules 'third-country' nationals (including UK nationals) have to leave at 90 days and not return for 90 days. It is a rolling 180-day period, so you can visit as many times as you wish, except that at each visit it is necessary to calculate whether by the end of your most recent visit you will have exceeded 90 days in the previous 180 days. The entry date is the first day on which you spend any time in Europe, the exit day is the last day you are in Europe.
If you want to exceed this 90 day period then it would be necessary to apply for a visa. At the moment there are two visa options. A 6 month visa (VLS-T) and a 12 month visa (VLS-TS). Both should be fairly simple to obtain, with the main requirement being able to evidence a level of financial security and private health insurance. Visa application centres are situated in London, Manchester and Edinburgh and find out more about private health insurance requirements here:
How will Brexit affect me spending time at my second home?
If you plan to spend 3 months out of 6 at your property in France, you will not even need a visa to enjoy time at your second home. If you’d like to spend longer than that, perhaps escape the winter months in the UK, or enjoy the long balmy summer months from Spring to Autumn, would will need to obtain either of the short term visas mentioned above. If you have a second home in France, you are very likely to meet the modest financial criteria required to obtain a visa and we understand that once the formalities are completed once, it’s a straight forward process to renew.
Can I still move to France after Brexit?
There's no doubt that Brexit has taken away any the spontaneity any British citizens making the move to France might have had pre-Brexit, but it is still perfectly do-able and the extra steps now required come predominantly in the form of the additional admin required.
Getting permanent residency is a two-step process, first you get the visa to enable you to stay in the country for more than 90 days then, before that expires, you apply for a residency card known as a Carte de Séjour.
When applying for your Carte de Séjour you will need to provide proof of your residency in France, personal documents such as a passport and proof of financial stability, similar to those required for visa applications.
First you will get a five-year Carte de Séjour, which you then upgrade to a permanent residents permit.
Here are some useful links that provide more detail:
This article is a guide and maybe subject to change so please seek professional guidance before making any serious financial commitments.