No ‘Extended Stays’ in France for British Second Homeowners, High Court Decides


France’s Constitutional Court has rejected the amendment that would allow Britons with second homes in France to stay in the country for more than 90 days, deeming it unconstitutional.

According to the Telegraph, there is no right of appeal against the Constitutional Council, which indicates that the amendment passed in November is final, reports.

The legislation would have allowed British homeowners in France to spend as much time as they want in the Schengen country, despite that after Brexit, Brits, like other non-Schengen countries with a visa facilitation agreement, are allowed to stay in the country for 90 days every 180 days period. For longer stays, Brits still have to apply for a long-stay visa, which often has a validity of up to six months.

Martine Berth, a French senator from the Savoi area, initiated this proposal after receiving complaints from British second homeowners in her region. She also pointed out that by keeping Brits away, the French local economies would be feeling the impact. Allowing Brits to stay more in France promotes an already-rising number of vacant properties in tourist areas.

In December, which is one month after the amendment was passed, the interest of British citizens in purchasing property in France soaredas Kyero, an international property website, revealed.

Significant pent-up demand has developed in the international market amongst British buyers whilst people have been awaiting news of potential changes to residency rules, and it seems that the floodgates are now opening.

Louise Dell, Co-Founder of Kyero

An increase of 582 per cent was noticed in Britons searching for French properties on the site, while the company says it received the highest number of inquiries for the Alpes-Maritimes area in southeastern France, followed by Charente and Haute-Vienne.

The immigration bill, a part of which is also the amendment for Brits to be allowed to stay longer in the country, has sparked debate and criticism in France, as it is being perceived as unjust.

Ashwini KP, the UN’s special rapporteur for racism, has criticised France’s contested immigration billsaying it defies one of the most fundamental principles of this country.

When we look at the French constitution or the way in which the head of state or many in positions of power speak, it’s equality.

Ashwini KP, the UN’s Special Rapporteur

Previously, tens of thousands of protesters marched the streets of French citiesurging President Macron not to sign the changes.

The new legislation is expected to be one of the most stringent laws for immigrants as it limits their access to state healthcare and deports those with a criminal record, among others.


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