More flexible visa rules for foreign second-home owners may be approved, as the support for such a proposal is growing in the French parliament.
According to the Connexion, several senators and at least three MPs support the idea of a five-year visa for second-home owners, which enables them to visit France for up to six months for five years, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The measure isn’t related to the 90-day stay granted by Schengen visa rules. As of now, second-home owners have to submit documents each time they want to visit for stays longer than four to six months, and these applications have costs.
Previously, a proposal for an amendment that supports the five-year visa was submitted, with the exception that already applies to Britons, to be expanded to other third countries.
However, it is argued that the case with British homeowners is different, as many of those who bought the real estate as EU citizens are now subject to non-EU citizen rules. The Brexit deals include residents but not second-home owners.
It is estimated that 86,000 Britons own second homes in France, meaning that these people have to visit the country throughout the year and be subject to visa formalities as well as experience delays in their plans to visit the EU.
“We find the process extremely onerous and with little or no flexibility from TLS [contractors for the French consulate in the UK], creating a huge amount of anxiety,” a 60-year-old Brit, who was planning to move to a French village after his retirement, said.
He also added that he always wanted to visit Verdin, the Somme and Ypres, and he has to use these 90 days to finish renovations at home instead of visiting these places that he has on his bucket list.
Data by Statista shows that the number of British nationals that think the decision to leave the EU was wrong has grown in the last years – from 47 per cent in 2020 to 54 per cent in April.
Additionally, the number of those thinking that leaving the EU was the right decision has decreased; out of a total of 2,005 respondents, 40 per cent of them thought it was right for the UK to leave the EU in January 2020. This rate has dropped to 31 per cent in May.
The decrease in support for the government’s decision to leave the EU reflects the government’s sinking approval ratings, including those of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which are related to the Brexit and the Leave vote.