Since the UK left the EU it has been difficult for Britons that own second homes in Europe to spend significant periods of time in their properties.
Since the implementation of post-Brexit rules that came into force on 31st December 2020 any British tourist can only spend a maximum of 90 days out of every 180-day period in the EU. This means that if you spend 30 days in France you can only spend 60 days in Spain: the clock does not reset when you move from one EU country to another.
These rules also apply to British second-home owners in the EU who need to abide by the same rules as regular tourists unless they have secured a visa that allows them to live in Spain on a long-term basis.
But there is encouraging news for British second-home owners with properties in either Spain or France. Here’s what you need to know:
What Is Happening In France Right Now?
Like Spain, France is a country with a large number of British second home owners contributing to their economy. As a result the French Senate have recently approved an amendment that will grant automatic long-stay visa rights to British second-home owners in the country. If this amendment is passed then this would be incredible news for Britons living in France but it would also have hugely positive knock on effects for Britons living in Spain because both countries are bound by EU policy.
British citizens have faced restrictions in both countries since the post-Brexit rules came into force on 31st December 2020. As stated above, this rules limit all Britons without a visa to spending a maximum of 90 days in every 180 in EU member states, including those who own properties in these countries.
If this amendment is passed in France then it would be a great boost for followers of the '180 Days in Spain' campaign, led by Andrew Hesselden. This campaign has been advocating for a similar amendment in Spain, and raising awareness and attention to the challenges faced by British part-year residents post-Brexit.
How Will The French Amendment Affect Britons In Spain?
British second homeowners who live part time in the EU have arguably suffered the most as a result of Brexit. They must either abide by the 90 in 180-day rule or apply for residence permits or visas in order to spend longer periods of time in their chosen country.
The approved French amendment which was proposed by French Senator Martine Berthet of Savoie recognises the unique challenges faced by British part-year residents and aims to ease entry conditions for those who own second homes in France. It acknowledges the active role many British nationals play in the local economy and their contribution through property taxes, and aims to give them greater rights and more security in return.
If this amendment comes into force in France then Britons with second homes in the country will have more flexibility to stay in the country on a schedule that better suits them. It would also benefit Britons who want to visit other EU countries for holidays as well as spending the maximum 90 days in their French home.
You may be wondering how what is happening in France will affect you and your property in Spain. But according to Andrew Hesselden, this increases the likelihood that a similar acknowledgment will occur in Spain, benefiting every second homeowner in the country.
When Will The Amendment Be Approved?
Although this amendment has been proposed in France it hasn’t been approved yet. It is a part of France's immigration bill, set to be debated in the Assemblée Nationale in December.
This amendment also won’t go as far as many campaigners want. In Spain, for example, the 180 days campaign is working for greater mobility rights for all British visitors to Spain, aligning with the privileges Spanish citizens enjoy in the UK. The campaign advocates for a fair and reciprocal approach, highlighting that the UK still welcomes French and Spanish citizens as visitors for up to six months per visit, without reduction based on days spent in other countries.
But even if this amendment doesn’t go as far as many second homeowners would like it is a positive change and one that will make life so much easier for those with properties in France and Spain if it is approved.
Have you always dreamt of retiring to Spain? Whether you’re looking for golden mile properties in Marbella or bargain property in Andalucia, our local property experts are perfectly placed to turn your dreams into a reality. Why not get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.