British people staying in France in second homes – and other visitors – should calculate their 90-day right to remain starting from January 1, 2021, French officials have stated.
Some Britons have been wondering if time may be running out, or in some cases have already run out, for those who have been staying in France since last year. That is not the case.
This includes a Connexion reader to whom we responded earlier this week in our Second Homes Q&A article. He said he has been in France since the end of October 2020.
The French Interior Ministry has confirmed the advice we gave in that article.
To clarify: Last year Britons were still treated the same as EU citizens, due to the Brexit transition period. EU citizens who are residents in other EU countries may spend up to three months in France with no conditions, but may then stay on after this, as long as they wish, if they are self-sufficient or working (in practice, there are no specific checks and formalities).
Third country (non-EU) visitors, on the other hand, are subject to a rule of staying no more than 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. Some nationalities are also subject to a requirement to apply for a short-term visitor visa, however that does not apply to Britons.
After we asked for clarification, the Interior Ministry stated that Britons staying in France should calculate this 90/180-day entitlement from January 1, 2021.
In other words our reader, who has been staying at their second home since the end of October 2020, should leave France before the end of March, if they continue to remain here continuously as they will have totalled 90 days in the rolling 180-day period that started from January 1, 2021.
Staying for longer now involves applying for a visa from the French consular service in the UK, but this should be arranged before travelling to France.