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French Constitutional Court Rejects Amendment Allowing Britons Extended Stay in the Country

In a significant development, France's Constitutional Court has struck down an amendment that sought to permit Britons with second homes in the country to stay for more than 90 days, deeming it unconstitutional. According to reports from the Telegraph, the decision by the Constitutional Council is final, with no avenue for appeal against their ruling.

French Constitutional Court Rejects Amendment Allowing Britons Extended Stay in the Country

The proposed legislation, passed in November, aimed to grant British homeowners in France the ability to spend unlimited time in the Schengen country. Post-Brexit, British citizens, like other non-Schengen countries with a visa facilitation agreement, are typically allowed a 90-day stay within a 180-day period. Longer stays would require Britons to apply for a long-stay visa, often valid for up to six months.

French Senator Martine Berth, representing the Savoie region, initiated the amendment after receiving complaints from British second homeowners in her area. Berth argued that excluding Britons could adversely impact local French economies, emphasizing that allowing extended stays could help address rising numbers of vacant properties in tourist areas.


Despite the rejected amendment, in December, interest among British citizens in purchasing property in France surged, as revealed by international property website Kyero. Co-Founder Louise Dell noted a 582% increase in Britons searching for French properties on the site, with the Alpes-Maritimes region receiving the highest number of inquiries, followed by Charente and Haute-Vienne.

The immigration bill, which encompasses the contentious amendment for Britons, has sparked debate and criticism in France. The bill, perceived as unjust by many, includes provisions such as limiting immigrants' access to state healthcare and deporting those with a criminal record. The UN's Special Rapporteur for racism, Ashwini KP, has criticized the bill, stating that it goes against one of the fundamental principles of equality in the French constitution.

Ashwini KP remarked, "When we look at the French constitution or the way in which the head of state or many in positions of power speak, it’s equality." The controversial legislation prompted tens of thousands of protesters to march in French cities, urging President Macron not to sign the changes. The bill is anticipated to become one of the most stringent immigration laws, impacting various aspects of immigrants' lives in France.


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