The High Court rejects amendment to allow Brits more than 90 days in France
France's Constitutional Court has rejected an amendment that would have allowed British property owners in France to stay in the country for more than 90 days, deeming it unconstitutional. The decision is considered final as there is no right of appeal against the Constitutional Council.
The amendment, passed in November, aimed to permit British homeowners in France to spend unlimited time in the Schengen country. However, after Brexit, non-Schengen countries, including Brits with a visa facilitation agreement, are only allowed a maximum stay of 90 days within a 180-day period. For longer stays, people still need to apply for a long-stay visa, typically valid for up to six months.
French Senator Martine Berth from the Savoi area initiated the proposal after receiving complaints from British second homeowners. She argued that restricting Brits could negatively impact local economies, exacerbating the already rising number of vacant properties in tourist areas.
In December, a month after the amendment's passage, interest from Brits in purchasing property in France surged. Kyero, an international property website, reported a 582% increase in Britons searching for properties in France.
The immigration bill, which includes the controversial amendment for extended stays, has faced criticism in France, seen by some as unjust. UN Special Rapporteur for Racism, Ashwini KP, expressed concerns, stating that the bill defies fundamental principles.
Previous protests against the bill drew tens of thousands of participants in various French cities, urging President Macron not to sign the changes.
The new legislation is anticipated to be one of the most stringent immigration laws, limiting access to state healthcare and facilitating deportation for individuals with criminal records, among other provisions.
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