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Changes for second home owners

Second home owners not included under the agreed ‘exit deal’

Brexit raises many questions for second-home owners, who are not included under the agreed ‘exit deal’ as this is restricted to people actually living abroad.

UK residents with second homes in France will face extra hurdles unless the UK agrees, for example, to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) which is not expected to happen.

Depending on the exact nature of the future agreement it could be necessary to apply for a short-term stay visa (a sticker in your passport) for any temporary visit to France. However, we believe this is unlikely considering the large France/UK tourist trade.

What is likely is that Britons visiting France after Brexit (and any transition period) will be subject to the EU’s new ETIAS ‘visa waiver’ scheme. This launches in 2021 and will require an online application for prior approval to visit the EU and will include a €7 fee. It may be checked at the border with a passport scan. Permission to visit will last three years and will allow up to three months at a time in the Schengen Zone in any 180-day period (the usual limit for non-EU visitors). The visits can be repeated within the three year timeframe without a second application and can be to a mixture of EU countries.

Under the present system for EU citizens it is possible to stay almost half the year in France as long as the EU visitor has health cover and sufficient funds to cover the trip. A European Commission source told Connexion there is no specific limit on the time during which an EU visitor may use an EHIC as long as their stay is ‘temporary’. However once Britons are non-EU citizens both the EHIC and formality-free visits are expected to end.

Our Brexit helpguide (see here) has more details on this.

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