Time in France. What exactly does 90 days in 180 mean?

Travel between Britain and France is not permitted for pleasure, we know that at the moment. But even without COVID, owners of French holiday homes would still do well to understand the detail of how long they can spend there visa-free.

The basic rule is that as the UK is a non-EU country, British visitors can spend no more than 90 days in any 180 day period inside any Schengen member country, which includes France, visa free.

No 180-day period, no matter when the start date and how many trips you make, can include more than 90 days in this Schengen area without a visa. There are short-stay online calculators that can help.

An example of an online of a short-stay calculator.

The allowance is equivalent to six months a year visa-free. This is the same for EU citizens visiting the UK. However, the latter are permitted to spend their 180 days however they choose, including all in one go. Brits can spend no more than three months at a time in France. This restriction applies even if you have an EU spouse.

Outstaying your welcome incurs penalties ranging from a fine to possible deportation. Any penalty may impact any future visa applications.

These are the rules as they stand today. The rules are also somewhat irrelevant at the present time in any event as previously stated! Once the pandemic is over and European Governments and the EU are able to consider other matters, it’s not inconceivable that the 90 day at-a-time limit could be reviewed or that France may consider its own bilateral agreements with Britain.

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