Written by Roseanne Bradley,
25th May 2023

More and more French MPs and senators have confirmed their support for a new visa dedicated to second-home owners.

The idea behind the proposal is to allow non-EU second-home owners to visit their properties in France more easily and be able to stay for longer than 90 days in every 180. Read more about the 90-day rule here.

MPs have proposed a new visa for second-home owners in France

The proposed second-home owner visa

In April 2023, Corinne Imbert, senator and departmental councillor for Charente-Maritime submitted an amendment for the upcoming Immigration Bill.

In her proposal, Imbert states the visa would allow all second-home owners living outside the EU to visit their properties in France for up to six months at a time in each year of its validity without extra paperwork. The proposed visa would last for five years.

Speaking to Connexion France, Ms Imbert said “Many of us have second-home owners in our departments. They’ve been here a long time and are really integrated into the life of our villages, including the local associations, so it’s important.”

Since April 2023, more and more senators and MPs have confirmed their support for the idea of a five-year second-home owner visa.

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The current process

Currently, non-EU nationals with second homes in France require a visa to stay in their properties for longer than 90 days in any 180-day period. The only option that suits second homeowners as late, is the ‘temporary long-stay visa’ (VLS-T) which is valid for up to one six-month period at a time.

The issue has been prevalent since Brexit, when owners of second homes in France came forward with concerns.

British passport and visa for France

British homeowners in France

According to Insée, British nationals own 86,000 second homes in France. This is double the number of any other foreign non-residents and most likely bought pre-Brexit, when the rules were more flexible.

The British have dominated the list of international owners of French property for some time now, dating back to 2008 when Brits owned 28% of all foreign owned second homes in France.

The best places to buy a second home in France

French newspaper, Le Figaro, compiles an annual list of the best places to buy a second home in France. The list was compiled by comparing over 150 French towns with more than 2,000 inhabitants and the highest number of second-home owners. Here, we share the top three areas for anyone interesting in buying a second home in France.

Landscape in Val-Cenis, France

1. Val-Cenis, Savoie

Val-Cenis is a major ski resort in the stunning French Alps. The scenery is second-to-none, with the alpine setting as your backdrop. It’s unsurprising that such a place tops this list as it attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to France to ski.

The area boasts over 125km of ski slopes and the area is on the doorstep of the Vanoise National Park. The French Alps here border Italy.

There are a range of properties available in Val-Cenis. Many of them are high value homes and luxury ski chalets, however, there is a market for houses and apartments in the area.

The beach in Tranche-sur-Mer

 

2. La Tranche-sur-Mer, Vendée

La Tranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Vendée department of western region, the Pays de la Loire.

The area features over 8km of sandy beaches that border the salt waters of the sea. The area is nicknamed “Little California” by local for its exceptional climate, family spirit and traditional French culture.

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Beachfront in Villers-sur-Mer

3. Villers-sur-Mer, Calvados

Further north than our number one and two spots, Villers-sur-Mer in Normandy comes in at the third best place to buy a second home in France.

Villers-sur-Mer is a popular seaside town on the north-west coast of France, near Trouville. The two-kilometre-long beach extends the length of the town and continues east to Bonville-sur-Mer.

Properties in lower Normandy are abundant in choice, further inland you can find barns to renovate and country homes, while houses, apartments and villas are more popular on the coast.

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Moving to France

Buying a House in France Guide.

Buying a property in France is extremely exciting, but it can be nerve-wracking: in what ways is the process different to the UK, how do you cope with the language difference, what fees should you expect and just who is the notaire? That’s why we’ve put together our France Buying Guide, to help you through the process, step by step.

Written by experts, it covers every stage of buying, from viewing to contracts and fees. Get your copy of the French Property Guide by simply filling in the form below.


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