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We own a second home in France. How can we become residents?

One reader's question, answered: how do second home owners become residents?

Owning a second home in France: how second home owners can become residents. Pictured: Arles, France.

Owning a second home in France: how second home owners can become residents. Pictured: Arles, France. Pic: Natalya Bozadzhy / Shutterstock


We have had a second home in France for 17 years. How can we make the move to being French resident so as to not be limited to 90 days in every 180 from 2021? Prefectures have been closed so it has not been possible to apply for residency.


There is no application to make at the prefecture to become a resident – it is more a question of fact. You need to make your second home your main home, with all that implies. Notably, you need to make it your full-time residence during 2020 to benefit from simplified residency requirements under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and the sooner the better, so you can start building up evidence to support this. You will need to give a “date of moving to France” when you apply for one of the new residency cards for Britons, which will be possible from October 1 and obligatory by June 30, 2021.

Brexit: new residency cards will be sent direct to your home 

The fact of owning a home is a good start. If you are living in the house full-time, you will be able, if asked, to show utility bills with regular usage. We suggest you speak to your insurer to clarify it is now your main, not holiday, home and to your local Cpam about joining the health system. If you do not have one yet, open a French bank account. 

Gather evidence of your regular incomes to support your card application. We do not yet know the list of documents needed, but those that were asked for last year on a website for cards that would have been required in a no-deal scenario are here:

Connexion publishes a Second Home in France helpguide. Click here to order.

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