UK expats in France hit with £25 registration fee for hosting friends or family

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It costs €30 (£25.70) and must be sent to the local town hall in advance of the visit. The news was met with dismay by many – saying it could end any hopes of a weekend jaunt to see expats in France.

Dr Sally Osborn tweeted: “No more spontaneous weekend visits.”

Since the Brexit transition period ended in January, UK expats living in France became subject to the rules – despite having no issue hosting friends and family for decades under existing EU rules.

This is because, under the Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals are now counted as estrangers (foreigners) in the eyes of French authorities.

This means that UK nationals can visit France without a visa for 90 days but must show proof of accommodation, insurance and that they have adequate funds to finance their trips.

The French civil service states: “A foreigner who wishes to come to France for a tourist stay of fewer than three months must present a proof of accommodation.

“This document is called an acceptance certificate and is established by the person who will welcome him at his home during the stay in France.

“The request is made in the town hall. The certificate is issued if the host meets certain conditions.”

The form must include the passport details of the visitor and proof that they are covered by a minimum of €30,000 (£26,000) of insurance – even though the UK Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) covers emergency medical treatment.

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Officials will provide a certificate that must be sent to the traveller so that they can show it on demand on arrival in France.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry told The Local: “British tourists, who are now third-country nationals, are subject to compliance with the conditions for entry into the Schengen area under Article 6 of the CFS.

“Since January 1st 2021, they must have proof of sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of their intended stay and for their return to the UK.

“To enter France, British tourists must therefore present

– an attestation d’acceuil issued by the town hall (if they are staying in private accommodation) or a hotel reservation (which can be replaced by a sum of €120 per person per day)

– proof of means of subsistence (65 euros per day in the case of hotel accommodation or 32.50 euros in the case of an accommodation certificate)

– a certificate of insurance for repatriation on medical grounds.”

The Foreign Office explains in its France travel advice that when arriving at French border control you should be prepared to “show proof of your accommodation, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property (e.g. second home), or an invitation from your host if staying with a third party, friends or family.

It adds: “As detailed by the French Ministry of Interior here, you may be requested to provide an “attestation d’accueil”.

French residents will need to acquire the “attestation d’accueil” and pass it on to you before you enter France.”

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