Clément Beaune said it was possible for France to take national action to extend the visa-free deadline to allow UK visitors, including owners of second homes, to extend stays beyond 90 days in any period 180 days, in accordance with the rules of the Schengen area.
Some Britons are unhappy that EU citizens visiting the UK can stay for up to six months.
The difference is in the standard rules on either side for visitors exempt from short-stay visas: the Schengen Borders Code on the one hand and UK Immigration Law on the other.
The connection asked Olivier Cadic, Senator for French Abroad, who lives in the UK, if flexibility could be granted for Brits coming to France, given the six-month rule in the UK.
Read more: The EU 90/180 day rule – how does it work?
He put the question to Mr. Beaune, who said: “Could we go beyond the 90/180 rule?” There are cases, in the southwest in particular, where there are many [British] second homes and where people can stay [at present] last more than 90 days.
“This is a time when it might be possible to find an opt-out or more flexibility in the current negotiation, but our British friends have rather little appetite to negotiate on this point.
“It may be possible for us to go further in the agreement, but it is a point which is still under discussion and which is moving in an unsatisfactory direction. We could see later, based on our relationship with the UK, what happens in the future. We may be able to take national action, but there are 90 visa-free days guaranteed.
“While waiting for another solution, it is possible to apply for a temporary long-stay visa for stays of more than three months, even if it is heavier. We aim to make things as easy as possible. ”
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The connection asked Downing Street to explain why the UK had not insisted on more flexibility on this point, but received no response.
Visitors from the UK to France must adhere to the so-called 90/180 day rule. As with other third-country (non-EU) citizens, Britons’ passports will be stamped with the date of entry and exit, so border officials can verify that people do not exceed the length of their stay.
It is best understood not by looking forward from the entry point, but by looking back. It should be thought of as a 180-day ‘moving’ period, as opposed to a fixed period starting on the first day you enter the zone. The first day is the day you enter the zone, the last day the day you leave.
A calculator can be used to help you.
Learn more about Brexit and the 90/180 day rule for visiting France
Brexit and France: how visas and residence cards work in 2021
Brexit updates for Brits in France in January 2021