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Post-Brexit visits to France by UK residents ...

July 16, 2024

Unless you were resident in France before 1st January 2021(*), a British Citizen is considered to be a Third Country Visitor by the French authorities. The rules are different depending on whether you come to France for a short or a long stay:

-      A short stay is defined as spending no more than 90 days out of a rolling 180 period in France or any other EU Country.

-      The long stay rules apply as soon as you have spent more than 90 days out of a 180 day period in the European Union.

At the moment, if you come to France for a short stay there are no visa requirements, whether it be for work or for a holiday. Your passport will be stamped with the date of your entry into France and this, and any subsequent stamps if you return to the UK in the 180 day period, will be used to assess whether you are within the 90 day limit allowed. Although there are no visa requirement for short stay tourist visits, the UK is now subject to the requirements that apply to all non-EU citizens when they come to France. These requirements are aimed at proving that the visitor has the financial and other means to cover their costs while in France. A UK visitor to France may be required to provide:

  • a valid passport, with at least three months validity after the expected date of departure from France
  • proof of accommodation for the duration of the stay in France. This can be hotel reservations, an "attestation d'accueil" if staying with friends or family, proof of ownership of tenancy of a second home in France, or proof that the visitor has enough money to pay €120 per day in accommodation and subsistence costs for the duration of the stay.
  • proof of medical cover or insurance
  • a return ticket back to the UK

In practice, visitors to France from the UK are usually only asked for their passport, but please be aware of the above list as it may be applied by the French Passport Officer.

From 2024, it is planned that new systems will be implemented, including in particular the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Authorisation and Information System (ETIAS). The ETIAS will be a mandatory pre-condition for entry to the Schengen States (including the EU) for non-EU citizens who are visa-exempt - so for UK citizens. You will have to apply for this on the ETIAS website or app before travelling and pay a fee expected to be 7 euros. It will be checked together with the travel documents by the border guards when crossing the EU border. The latest information is that the ETIAS will be implemented from November 2023, although this represents the third delay so far as compared to the date first expected. Registration in the EES will be made on the first visit of the Third Country Citizen to the Schengen Area after implementation. More details on both systems are given in other articles on this website.

If you are coming to France to work, but for less than 90 days, you do not need a visa but you may require a temporary work permit. A work permit is not required for work related to a sporting, cultural or scientific event, a seminar or trade show, the production and broadcast of cinematographic and audiovisual works, modelling, IT/ asset management/ insurance/ finance/ design/ engineering audit or expertise engagements. The list of exemptions is quite long, but do check with the French Embassy in London if you have any doubt on whether or not you need a work permit.

If you think your stay will exceed 90 days, for example if you intend to acquire a second home in France at which you plan to stay for more than three months at a time, or if you a considering moving permanently to France, you will need to apply for a long stay visa.  This visa must be applied for before you leave the UK, from the French Embassy in London.The visa can take up to three months to be issued so you must prepare your application in good time. Full details are available on the French Embassy in London’s website.

Full details of the rules relating to the time you are entitled to spend in France are provided on the French government site that will find it you follow the link below: