Huge win for British homeowners in France as ‘automatic visa’ right passes in parliament – but will Spain follow suit?

A NEW immigration law which includes giving UK non-residents who own a second home in France the right to an ‘automatic’ visa to come to the country for stays of more than 90 days has been approved by the French parliament.

Spanish politicians have been advocating a change in the EU’s Schengen area laws to allow Brits to stay in the country above the current limit of 90 days within 180 days tariff.

Last month the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Hector Gomez said that he had an ‘important’ meeting at the Foreign Office with the Director of Consular Affairs and Crisis, Jennifer Anderson.

He revealed they discussed issues of interest regarding the stays of British tourists in Spain and discussed collaboration projects for future seasons which is believed to have been the 90 day limit.

Though Spain has asked the EU to alter their rules, no domestic legislation- like in France- has so far been proposed.

The new French law states: “The long-stay visa will be issued automatically to British citizens owning a second home in France and they are therefore exempt from having to make an application for a long-stay visa.

Thousands of UK second-home owners have faced restrictions in Spain and France as well as the rest of the EU since Brexit.

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement included measures helping Britons who were living full-time in the EU, but not those who regularly spend part of their lives within the zone as they have a home here.

Andrew Hesselden, Campaign Director and founder of the ‘180 Days in Spain’ campaign which seeks to help British people in Spain in a similar position to those in France, said that he was ‘delighted to see French senators recognise the injustice of the situation that British part-year residents have found themselves in since Brexit’.

He added that his own campaign’s members ‘remain hopeful of similar recognition in Spain for everyone affected’.

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