Home News French Court Decides No ‘Extended Stays’ For British Second Homeowners

French Court Decides No ‘Extended Stays’ For British Second Homeowners

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The amendment permitting British individuals with second homes in France to exceed the 90-day stay limit has been rejected by France’s Constitutional Court on grounds of unconstitutionality. The decision, considered final with no right of appeal, solidifies the existing 90-day restriction for Britons in Schengen countries, despite the previous amendment passed in November.

This legislative change, proposed by French Senator Martine Berth in response to concerns from British second homeowners in her region, aimed to address economic impacts on local communities and an increasing number of vacant properties in tourist areas. However, the court’s ruling maintains the status quo, requiring Brits to adhere to the 90-day limit unless they apply for a long-stay visa.

Following the passage of the amendment in December, interest from British citizens in purchasing property in France surged, with a 582% increase in searches for French properties on the international property website Kyero. The Alpes-Maritimes region saw the highest number of inquiries, followed by Charente and Haute-Vienne.

The broader immigration bill, which includes the contentious amendment allowing extended stays for Brits, has sparked debates and criticisms in France. The UN’s special rapporteur for racism, Ashwini KP, has criticized the bill for defying fundamental principles of equality, while protesters have previously marched in French cities against the proposed changes.

The forthcoming legislation is anticipated to be one of the strictest immigration laws in France, imposing limitations on access to state healthcare and deportation for individuals with a criminal record, among other provisions.

Our view:

The rejection of the amendment by France’s Constitutional Court adds another layer to the ongoing debate surrounding immigration and residency regulations. The court’s decision reinforces the existing 90-day limit for Britons in Schengen countries, signaling the importance of upholding constitutional principles.

The proposed amendment, initiated in response to the concerns of British second homeowners, aimed to address economic impacts on local communities and property vacancies in tourist areas. However, the court’s ruling emphasizes the need for adherence to established legal frameworks, maintaining the balance between individual interests and broader legal principles.

The surge in interest from British citizens in purchasing property in France following the amendment’s passage underscores the significance of such legal changes on real estate markets. The preferences for specific regions, as highlighted by increased inquiries in the Alpes-Maritimes area, offer insights into evolving patterns in international property investments.

The criticism from the UN’s special rapporteur for racism, Ashwini KP, highlights the broader societal implications of the immigration bill. The emphasis on equality and concerns about potential injustices suggest that the bill is prompting discussions not only on legal aspects but also on societal values and inclusivity.

The protests against the immigration bill prior to its enactment underscore the contentious nature of the legislation. As the law is expected to be among the strictest in terms of immigration, with implications for access to healthcare and deportation, it remains a focal point of public discourse and dissent.

In summary, the court’s decision, the surge in property interest, and the criticisms from various quarters reflect the multifaceted nature of immigration policy debates and their broader societal implications.

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