French court blocks plan to allow British expats to stay in France for longer than 90 days without visa

25 January 2024, 22:02

The Constitutional Court's decision is final
The Constitutional Court's decision is final. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A French court has blocked a law which would have allowed British expats to stay in France for longer than 90 days without a visa.

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An amendment to France's immigration bill would have bypassed a post-Brexit rule that stops British nationals from staying in the country for longer than 90 days - even if they own a second home.

British homeowners would have been exempt from the rule under the amendment, which was blocked by France's Constitutional Council on Thursday.

British nationals are only allowed to stay in EU countries, including France, Spain, and Italy, for 90 days out of every 180 without a visa.

A temporary, long-stay visa of up to six months can be applied for.

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There is no way to appeal the Constitutional Council's decision, which will therefore remain final.

Similar plans had been mooted in Spain, where Brits continue to flock to in their millions every year.

The amendment in France was proposed by Martine Berthet, a French senator who represents the Savoie area in the Alps.

There are an increased number of British homeowners in the region, who she says are a significant part of the local economy.

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