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Who is aiming to stay longer than 90 days in France this season and what are your plans to do it?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
OK we're not fortunate in that we've been unable to find any Irish descendants in order to get an EU passport to circumnavigate Brexit issues.

We're also in the position where we're not applying for full-time French residency.

COVID lock- down is not an issue, unless we are again banned from ski-touring but don't think that will happen.

I together with a friend have been looking at Visa options and there is a Long Stay Visa that will allow you to stay up to six months, it's a fair amount of hassle and involves a trip to London/Manchester/Edinburgh.

We have also explored Insurance options and MPI long stay seems to be the best of a bunch for our circumstances, topped up with Austrian Club insurance.

My friend also emailed the French Embassy for further clarification.

I am going to wait until the French Residency Website goes "Live" 15th February as I'm sure on the last one I saw a Retiree option, before going down the Visa route.

Our plan is currently to go out start of December so we will be in situ Dec 31st and that has some advantages (EHIC cover) and depending on what happens, worst-case scenario, if we don't want to get a Visa is do six weeks, come back to UK High Season then back out mid-March for another Six weeks.

And lets face it 90 days skiing is pa mal.

I also read that you can have up to July to apply for residency so we might play that card if that is an option to spend all the coming season out there.

I have been looking at other French Ex-Pat forums as there are many Brits who are in a similar position with second properties and for whatever reason do not want residency etc


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 2-10-20 9:07; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Same boat! Ignoring covid for a minute my plan is to do 90 days, as any trip to Manchester and associated palava and cost not worth it this year. Date of return dependant on whether I have a mid season break in Feb.

Leaving insurance foe a bit, there are rumours of policies that do include covid treatment appearing later this month, if peanutski is to be believed.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I guess the main reason Brits don't want residency is that they don't want to pay tax and social charges in France?
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chocksaway wrote:


Leaving insurance foe a bit, there are rumours of policies that do include covid treatment appearing later this month, if peanutski is to be believed.


Would these include covid treatment if travelling against FCO advice?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@davidof, just a huge hassle sorting tax out (assets etc), that's why retiree option is so much better for us, plus we still plan to live in the UK etc and travel elsewhere, though Madagascar is sort of off the radar at the moment, though not too sure that they'll be an Air Madagascar after all this Laughing
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I'm going down the residency route. Painful though. Filed my first french tax return for 2019 and received a sizeable bill (social charges) on top of the UK tax I'd already paid. Applied for a carte vitale about 7 months ago, need to go to CPAM soon to find out what is going on. System for CdS applications is due to open in a couple of weeks. Fair bit of time though.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If we fly in/out of Geneva, how does anyone know how long we have been in France?
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Geneva, like the rest of Switzerland is in the Schengen area. Entry to Schengen will be logged at the airport, as will exit at Geneva or any other Schengen area airport.
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I doubt the French have the will, the resources or the systems to track every British tourist arriving by different means and different routes to check if they have stayed more than 90 days in any 6 months period. I know that is not a guarantee you will not be caught but seems very low risk. Why would the French want second home owners to spend less money in their country. I think they are keener on looking for people who are avoiding the tax system and staying and working in France.

I have heard about the UK authorities investigating high earners who are only meant to be in the UK for a max number of days to avoid tax / residency. They then do use many databases and ask the individual for proof of days spent. But this is a specific investigation rather than the systems monitoring every individual.

Like many others, I own a chalet in France and spend most of the season out there. I do not wish to become a resident as i prefer to stay in the UK tax system as I have more chance of understanding it. I spend more than half my time in the UK and happy to remain resident. Normally 90 days would be OK for ski season ( especially starting 1 jan ) as we come home for two weeks at half term to avoid the crowds. This year more difficult if uk quarantine stays the same.
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@Android2000, not convinced there’s any logging being done at Geneva so as to pro-actively catch you out, but they might ask at departure for proof of entry ...
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just leave via Spain or Greece, they can’t be bothered with such restrictions that will hit their economy Wink
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@under a new name, my other half is Russian and she is always logged at GVA and everywhere else that she enters Schengen. UK passport holders are about to discover all this.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Android2000 wrote:
@under a new name, my other half is Russian and she is always logged at GVA and everywhere else that she enters Schengen. UK passport holders are about to discover all this.


they are, but that won't prevent some snowheads looking for some complex route to evade any checks (see also: running a business in Europe, paying speeding fines, employing people legally). It is a recurring theme like some kind of fagin's den of reprobates.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Weathercam wrote:
@davidof, just a huge hassle sorting tax out (assets etc), that's why retiree option is so much better for us,


it is a huge hassle and I would advise anyone with UK rental property to avoid it or at least take serious financial advice before making the move. Even pensions are complex as only the basic UK state pension is treated as free of (most) taxes in France, as opposed to French pensions.

The long stay visa will be interesting for you, otherwise two lots of 90 days isn't bad and covers pretty much everything for you unless you really do want to make France your home.

But yes, basically, it is a big change for a lot of people.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
There has been a 180 visa free campaign. Up until recently, it has been lobbying UK MPs for reciprocal 180 day visa free travel within Schengen, which is what the UK provides to visitors.

However, it has now changed direction and is now focusing on the support from French deputes with an idea to streamline the visa application process for second home owners.

https://sites.google.com/view/180daysvisafree/home
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Claude B wrote:
I'm going down the residency route. Painful though. Filed my first french tax return for 2019 and received a sizeable bill (social charges) on top of the UK tax I'd already paid. Applied for a carte vitale about 7 months ago, need to go to CPAM soon to find out what is going on. System for CdS applications is due to open in a couple of weeks. Fair bit of time though.


If your income was taxable in UK then, under the double tax treaty, you dont pay social charges either as this is considered a tax. Challenge with your local tax office, we did and got our bill reduced considerably!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@homphomp, thanks, I will. I'll check with the guy who did the returns for me too.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
davidof wrote:
I guess the main reason Brits don't want residency is that they don't want to pay tax and social charges in France?

Like most people from any country, I don't want to pay tax anywhere. The exception to prove the rule is a senior citizen in the USA, currently self-isolating, by the name of Real (King?) Donald Trump, happy to fork out up to $750 per annum!
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The border guards at GVA scan your biometric passport every time, in and out. Zero resources required to calculate 90 days in 180. Don't delude yourselves - welcome to being a third country Skullie
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@doddsie, Unfortunately it doesn't matter how much of your Schengen stay is in France, Switzerland or wherever. It's Schengen time that counts Sad
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davidof wrote:
Android2000 wrote:
@under a new name, my other half is Russian and she is always logged at GVA and everywhere else that she enters Schengen. UK passport holders are about to discover all this.


they are, but that won't prevent some snowheads looking for some complex route to evade any checks (see also: running a business in Europe, paying speeding fines, employing people legally). It is a recurring theme like some kind of fagin's den of reprobates.


If only there was a way to avoid all of this, have streamlined systems that synchronise with our nearest neighbours and take the stress out of trading and working with the EU.
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@Gilberts Fridge, Puzzled Very Happy Confused . Cue deafening silence from the Christmas voting turkeys...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Gilberts Fridge wrote:
davidof wrote:
Android2000 wrote:
@under a new name, my other half is Russian and she is always logged at GVA and everywhere else that she enters Schengen. UK passport holders are about to discover all this.


they are, but that won't prevent some snowheads looking for some complex route to evade any checks (see also: running a business in Europe, paying speeding fines, employing people legally). It is a recurring theme like some kind of fagin's den of reprobates.


If only there was a way to avoid all of this, have streamlined systems that synchronise with our nearest neighbours and take the stress out of trading and working with the EU.


It was always the case that if you spent more than 6 months of the year in France you became a tax resident and liable to pay taxes on your worldwide earnings. Only before Brexit this was harder to control. Now Brits will be checked in and out. So if you are saying the EU was a license for some Brits to cheat the system, then yes, it was.

See also Brit businesses not paying the local minimum wage, registering in the UK etc to evade taxes.

As for speeding snowheads, it is arguable that it will be easier to get away with it after Brexit as there will be less cross border cooperation.
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Thank you Davidof for a few truths. There are a lot of Brits quietly playing the system around Europe - residence is a bit flexible but the health systems are a bit poor in eg Spain so they come back here for their treatments even if they are "resident" in Spain.

And at the end of the day, if the Europeans make it harder for us to spend our dosh in their countries then, unless you want a whole ski season, so be it - it is their businesses and their natives who are the losers. I go to Spain a lot in the winter, not at the moment because of Covid and their ridiculous enforcement of face masks in the middle of nowhere, but if I am restricted to 90 days then the local businesses lose money when i am not there. If the people and businesses do not like it they are democracies and they need to find new governments who want to encourage people to spend money in their countries.
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If you are not working do you really need more than 90 days? December is usually a bit iffy for snow. Then Christmas/ny is too busy. So second week January to second week april uses 90 days. By mid April things are getting slushy anyway. If you really want spring touring push it back a little. You get the optimum months for conditions, save on an extra months accomodation rental, and 90 days should be more than enough skiing time for most people.

I suspect 90 day limit will push more people towards Canada (which really doesn't have to cost more than Europe for a long stay), where Brits get 6 month stay
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@boarder2020, this thread is really about those that are fortunate to have second homes and have in the past spent a good chunk of the year out there.

Whilst 90 days is good and I did say in the OP, December can and has proved to be a great month if you ski-tour. Heavy precipitation often as rain in the valley means you can drive up to the snow-line and tour from there, when there's snow all the way down then you can ski tour up the pistes that are being prepared and ski lines off the side, last two December's have been superb, and then they open the resorts at the weekends so take the lifts and then do slack country from the lifts etc

I also XC so in High season I tend to do that more and tour to get away from the hordes, and April can be the best of everything in the mountains, La Grave powder at altitude through to spring ski touring to being out on the bike in the afternoon in temps at +20
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Interestingly Bulgaria has just extended (as in time) its travel restrictions and lists countries that do not have to quarantine on arrival
- Bulgarians
- UK
- EU
- Schengen
- Andorra, Monaco, Vatican, San Marino
- other countries as listed

Seems that they are making a distinction that the micro states are separate entities with respect to borders.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@countryman, I can envisage a few countries extending 90 days to 180 days for UK tourists, in the near future. It’s their borders and immigration rules.
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You know it makes sense.
This topic is of interest to me. I usually arrive in Chamonix around the 5th January and stay for 4 months. I don't own a property, and don't work out there. I am not seeking to avoid paying anything to the French state or the good folk of the Haut Savoy. I was fortunate and retired early. I just ski, climb, and live the mountain life before I get too old or die.

The ability to stay for four months (and even longer if the high mountain climbing and touring conditions develop) would be very helpful.

So, if there is some formal mechanism where I can obtain permission from the French state to lawfully extend my time there i would be most interested and happy to apply and if required pay. If this is not possible, I would must admit to being curious about the monitoring of uk residents who spend more than 3 months at a time there. I always drive out, and make a couple of return flights for birthdays and whatnot. Would Le/La Big Brother be interested in this?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
At the moment there's no central system for recording entry & exit from the Schengen area. There is a system in development however, it was due to go live this year but clearly it has been delayed.

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/entry-exit-system-ees/
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
rayscoops wrote:
@countryman, I can envisage a few countries extending 90 days to 180 days for UK tourists, in the near future. It’s their borders and immigration rules.


Would be good, but my understanding is that the 90 days rule for tourists is a Schengen/EU rule, not a country rule.
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HammondR wrote:
This topic is of interest to me. I usually arrive in Chamonix around the 5th January and stay for 4 months. I don't own a property, and don't work out there. I am not seeking to avoid paying anything to the French state or the good folk of the Haut Savoy. I was fortunate and retired early. I just ski, climb, and live the mountain life before I get too old or die.

The ability to stay for four months (and even longer if the high mountain climbing and touring conditions develop) would be very helpful.

So, if there is some formal mechanism where I can obtain permission from the French state to lawfully extend my time there i would be most interested and happy to apply and if required pay. If this is not possible, I would must admit to being curious about the monitoring of uk residents who spend more than 3 months at a time there. I always drive out, and make a couple of return flights for birthdays and whatnot. Would Le/La Big Brother be interested in this?


Looks like you can apply for a long-stay (visitor) visa.

Quote:

Stay exceeding 3 months

► Your situation

You want to visit France for private reasons, for a period exceeding 3 months without engaging in any professional activity during your stay.

► Your visa

You must apply for a long-stay “visiteur” (visitor) visa. The procedures will vary depending on the length of your proposed stay:

For stays of between 4 and 6 months, you will be issued a temporary long-stay visa that may not be extended;
For stays of between 4 and 12 months, you will be issued a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit. This visa is subject to a validation procedure following your arrival in France.
► Your supporting documentation

This will be indicated in the visa wizard and will differ depending on your country of residence or on your nationality. You must prove information about your socio-economic situation (leave, retirement, etc.), your resources, your accommodation and your medical cover in France. You must also formally agree not to engage in any professional activity during your stay in France.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@telford_mike, Good find Shocked
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@achilles, that's what I alluded to in my OP

I together with a friend have been looking at Visa options and there is a Long Stay Visa that will allow you to stay up to six months, it's a fair amount of hassle and involves a trip to London/Manchester/Edinburgh.
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Clicking-through from @achilles, link, some interesting info. This link https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/france-visa/uk/ shows the visa application process and documentation required to make a Schengen visa application to the French authorities (as the main country visited) in the UK, For UK residents who are not UK citizens. They don't give any info for UK citizens, since for the time being we're EC citizens too; but I imagine after 31/12, in the event of no deal/a deal which doesn't give more favourable conditions, it will look something like this. This is for the normal three month visa, I guess the 4-6 month long-stay visa application would be similar (probably even with a deal) and likely be more stringent (and more expensive)...

There's a requirement to prove medical insurance, and links to qualifying policies from Axa and Europ-Assistance. They offer annual policies for around 300 quid age <65, or 400 for <74. Presumably this plus e.g. Carre-Neige might provide the cover people are looking for over on the Annual Insurance thread?
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boarder2020 wrote:
If you are not working do you really need more than 90 days? December is usually a bit iffy for snow. Then Christmas/ny is too busy. So second week January to second week april uses 90 days. By mid April things are getting slushy anyway. If you really want spring touring push it back a little. You get the optimum months for conditions, save on an extra months accomodation rental, and 90 days should be more than enough skiing time for most people.

I suspect 90 day limit will push more people towards Canada (which really doesn't have to cost more than Europe for a long stay), where Brits get 6 month stay

In answer to your question - Yes! Through a season the great conditions can happen at any time. You have to be there to enjoy them - that is the reason for doing a season! wink
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@shep, From gov.uk travel advice page on France for UK citizens

Visas from 1 January 2021
The rules for travelling or working in Europe will change from 1 January 2021:

You will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.
Therefore, if you’re travelling to France, previous visits to the Schengen area within the 180 days before your date of travel would count against the 90-day limit.
If you are travelling visa-free to France and to other countries in the Schengen area, make sure your whole visit is within the limit.
To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by France. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You should check with the French Embassy what type of visa, if any, you will need.
Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit.
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Kenzie wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:
If you are not working do you really need more than 90 days? December is usually a bit iffy for snow. Then Christmas/ny is too busy. So second week January to second week april uses 90 days. By mid April things are getting slushy anyway. If you really want spring touring push it back a little. You get the optimum months for conditions, save on an extra months accomodation rental, and 90 days should be more than enough skiing time for most people.

I suspect 90 day limit will push more people towards Canada (which really doesn't have to cost more than Europe for a long stay), where Brits get 6 month stay

In answer to your question - Yes! Through a season the great conditions can happen at any time. You have to be there to enjoy them - that is the reason for doing a season! wink

Moreover, it's a lifestyle.

Having a second home and living there through the different part of the year is an entirely different thing than just skiing...

Cross border living had always has its challenges. Now there're new ones. But sooner or later, everyone will find some way.
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abc wrote:
......Moreover, it's a lifestyle.

Having a second home and living there through the different part of the year is an entirely different thing than just skiing....


@abc, @boarder2020, yes and I can't go skiing with my dogs in Canada Laughing
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@achilles, thanks for that. I shall look into it when I haven't been sipping Saltaire Blonde.
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