Visas, security, driving fines: 5 French practical updates

We look at some practical articles you may have missed in the last week

Stories include a change to France’s security levels, a round-up of visa and travel news, and changes to speeding offence laws
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Visa overview for second-home owners and under 18s

We recap the rules for people coming to a second home, including the visa they require and the process they must follow to get one. We also look at how travelling between the period of one visa ending and another one starting works, with the EUs 90/180 day travel rule.

Our second article here looks at the difficulties facing under 18s in gaining visas to come to France. We cover what visas under 18’s should apply for, and how the process works.

Read more: Visa for British second-home owners in France: How often can we apply?

Read more: Residency and travel: Confusion over French rules for non-EU under-18s

Updated timeline for EES and Etias border systems

An update to the rollout of the EU’s two new border changes – the EES digital border system and Etias visa-waiver programme – has been given.

The much-delayed schemes have been given a new expected rollout date after updates from the eu-LISA IT agency tasked with finalising the infrastructure for the digital border.

An EU official told The Connexion the EES (Entry/Exit System) would come into force in the second half of 2024 – likely after the 2024 Olympics set to be held in Paris.

The Etias visa-waiver programme, which will affect Britons, Americans, Canadians, and all other citizens who currently have visa-free access to the Schengen bloc, will follow around six months later, in the first half of 2025.

Read more: New expected timeline for EU’s EES and Etias border systems

France on highest security alert

France has temporarily been placed on the highest security alert level after the murder of a teacher in Arras last Friday.

The increased security measure means that up to 7,000 armed soldiers will be made available to patrol busy areas, and information on how to spot any potential threat from terrorist activity will be disseminated to managers of busy public spaces.

We also have an article explaining in more detail the difference in levels of the Vigipirate system, including a graphic.

Read more: France placed on highest security alert - what changes for the public?

Read more: What is France’s Vigipirate alert system?

Changing rules for speeding

The rules on penalties for speeding infractions are set to change from January 1, 2024, it has been confirmed.

No longer will drivers face both a fine and points loss for going speeding by less than 5 km/h above the limit.

From next January, only the fine will be levied.

It means drivers with foreign licences who commit an infraction of this kind will no longer need to change their licence because of the points loss.

Read more: Lower penalties for minor speeding offences confirmed in France

Increase in interest-free property loans

The number of people eligible for an interest-free property loan is set to be expanded in a bid to help the slowing property market.

From January 1, 2024 the loan will offer more money (up to €100,000 in some areas) for more people, as well as have the potential to cover a higher percentage of the overall cost of a property purchase.

Our article also contains a graphic showing the new maximum amount of the loan, depending on the area of France you are looking to buy a property in.

Read more: Interest-free property loans to be available to more buyers in France