The UK government last night (May 28) updated its rules for British citizens who intend to stay with friends or family while holidaying in France, stating that attestations d’accueil are not necessary if the person can prove they have sufficient funds to cover their stay.
The Connexion reported earlier this month on the confusion over whether such a document would be required after finding that several official French sites state it as a requirement.
Lawyers Sarah Sahnoun from Cannes and Haywood Wise from Paris told The Connexion that this official €30 document is usually only required as part of the visa process for visitors of nationalities requiring short-term Schengen visas to visit France. This does not include UK nationals. However the Interior Ministry then told us that a host's invitation may replace it, depending on the amount of funds the visitor has.
An attestation d'accueil is a certificate that non-EU citizens visiting friends and family in France may need for short trips, to serve as proof of their accommodation.
The application for an attestation d’accueil must be made by the host to their local mairie and costs €30. A decision to grant one may be taken immediately, but can take up to a month.
The UK government website has now been updated to state that a UK citizen who intends to visit France and stay with friends or family can either get this certificate or, if asked by border agents, show proof of a specific level of financial means to cover their trip.
“[If] you do not have an ‘attestation d’accueil’ or any pre-booked accommodation, you may be asked to prove you have sufficient funds to pay for your accommodation - in this instance, you may be asked to prove you have sufficient means for your visit, of at least €120 per day for the duration of your stay," the advice states.
This is now stated on the UK government’s foreign travel advice page under the section “regular entry requirements” (see option 4).
The Connexion has contacted the British Embassy in Paris to ask which documents would serve as proof of sufficient funds.
Unofficial website Schengen Visa Info suggests showing proofs such as three months’ of bank statements, payslips, cash, credit cards or travellers’ cheques; French government site service-public.fr refers to 'cash, bank cards, etc', but without explanation as to how you show the amount on your credit card.
Under EU rules, any non-EU citizen entering the bloc must be able to, if asked, prove that they have financial means to cover their stay.
This is €120 per day if you have no pre-booked or pre-planned accommodation.
A minimum of €65 per each day of your trip is required if you have a hotel booked for every day.
If you have only booked a hotel to partially cover your trip, you will need to have a minimum of €65 for each day you have a hotel booked and €120 for each other day.
If staying at a friend or family member’s home and have an attestation d’accueil to prove it, you will need to have a minimum of €32.50 for each day of your trip.
The UK government website does not state whether a written invitation from a host should be brought as a replacement for an attestation d’accueil in the case of not having one, as a senior spokeswoman from the Interior Ministry told The Connexion previously.
If you are a UK citizen and planning to visit France to stay with a friend or family member, you could ask them to write you a letter of invitation (in French) with the dates you intend to stay, if you wish to be extra careful.