Brexit and your French home

Gary Connell

As we all now know, the United Kingdom finally left the European Union officially on the last day of 2020, the 31st December. For those of you that live in the United Kingdom, this separation will indeed have a direct impact on how you continue to enjoy your holiday home here in France.

ICE Finance has put together below some important points that you should ideally be aware of.

In the meantime, COVID-19 unfortunately means that certain travel restrictions are in place between the UK and France. As these travel restrictions can change frequently we invite you to check the UK Government website for the latest updates (relevant as at the date of this article)

Visa obligations

United Kingdom passport holders who will be spending less than 90 days out of every 180 days here in France do not need a visa. If you wanted to, you can spend 180 days a year in your holiday home, but you would have to split this into 2 separate blocks of 90 days.

Important to know: this limit covers the whole of the European Union (EU) so you cannot spend additional time in say Spain, Portugal, Italy or other EU countries.

If you seek to spend longer than 90 days then you will be required to obtain a ‘ Long Stay ‘ visa. Many different types exist currently but as a holiday home owner you will probably apply for a ‘ Visa de Long Sejour Temporaire Visiteur ‘. Details in English are available directly from the French Government website 

Be warned, if you spend longer than six months a year in France then you will be considered as a French Tax Resident.

Buying another property in France

Great news – the buying process has not changed at all. ICE Finance can take through the steps to get the finance to buy a new piece of your own France !

Visit our dedicated website in English at

Healthcare / Medical Expenses

As with all overseas travel, it is extremely important that you have suitable health insurance in place, or you may end up with a large medical bill to pay.

The UK Government has indicated that UK citizens can use their current EHIC card until it expires. If you do not hold an EHIC card you can apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) – issued free of charge. This card will allow you access to the French state provided healthcare system.


UK passport holders will no longer be able to use the EU passport queue at customs control – this applies at Airports, Ferry Ports, Train Stations and the Eurotunnel crossing.

Be warned : UK passports which have less than 6 months until their expiry date are no longer valid for travel to France.

You can continue to use your UK issued Driving licence, but you will ned to apply for a Green Card form your car insurance company.


The latest UK Government advice is available online. You can still bring pets to France but you will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) which confirms that your pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. You can get the AHC certificate form your local vet.
Please note that you will need a new certificate for each time you travel to France