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Reader question: Do I really have to register British visitors with the town hall because of Brexit?

Since Brexit, British travellers have found themselves in the often confusing and complicated world of non-EU travel, which in certain circumstances could involve telling your local town hall in France whenever you have guests visiting from the UK.

Reader question: Do I really have to register British visitors with the town hall because of Brexit?
Does having Brits to stay really now involve a form? Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiasek/AFP

Question: I read that if I want to have visitors from the UK staying at my home in France I will need a permission certificate from the Mairie – surely this can’t be right? I need permission even if my own family members are coming to stay with me?

So we already know that Brexit has made life more complicated for Brits living in France – such as having to apply for the compulsory residency permit – but it has also had an impact on those just visiting.

Visitors need to abide by the 90-day rule and, if wanting to stay longer they will also need a visa. People wanting to work may also need a work permit.

But there is also something called an attestation d’accueil which is required for people hosting non-EU visitors in their homes for private or family visits.

The attestation costs €30 and must be obtained in advance of the trip by the host.

But do people hosting British visitors need this?

In some circumstances, yes.

If you are staying in tourist accommodation such as a hotel, Airbnb, gîte or B&B then it is not necessary, but if you are staying in the home of friends or family then you may be asked for this certificate at the border.

We have published a complete guide to who needs the form and how to get it HERE.

Member comments

  1. attestation d’accueil – wow this will be a drag
    It could almost stop folk coming or staying in France if family coming to stay for a few days have to be logged into this system. Also how many visitors will have 30,000€ of travel insurance just for hopping across the channe plus how will a family ‘have to have show that for each memver they have 30€ a day available for living expenses?
    Comments please, or am I misinterpreting the situation?

    1. I think the attestation d’aceuil doesn’t apply if you are a permanent resident in France.🤔

  2. What will happen at passport control when they get here without the form? Hold people at the airport until they can get on a plane back? All you need to show is a confirmation of booking accommodation, then no form needed

    1. Rog, the point of the article & the declaration is that it is about private visits to private homes, if the host is not an EU cit (+ couple of other included countries). The host has to do the form & once approved send it to the visitor before travel. Not about hotels or other accommodation professionals.

      1. I understand no form needed if you have booked accommodation, but you do need all the paperwork if staying with your family. My question is what will happen to people at the airport that haven’t seen this and got the paperwork. Americans, I have read only need to provide an address. Also what happens if you just want to explore in a camper van, can they no longer just tour?

  3. Welcome to life outside the EU. This is what visitors from much of the rest of the world already have to do. The funny thing is, they just get on with it. British exceptionalism again means rather than just accept it, people will rather whine and moan about it until the French give in and exempt them from it. No doubt the old arguments of “the British contribute so much to France” and ” the French need us more than we need them” will be trotted out in conversations around this topic again and again and again and again…ad infinitum.

    This is life outside of the EU. This is what travellers from most third countries have to do already. It is not onerous nor difficult, just another form that needs filling in and a bit of money to pay. If you can afford the holiday chances are you can afford to pay for this.

    1. Your assumption that everyone can afford holidays is wrong, having family living here offers an opportunity otherwise not available.

    2. Paperwork is extremely onerous and the right to family life supposedly a human right.

  4. On the RIFT website this morning (14th May), they say they have contacted the British Embassy, who have confirmed that this is now law, it applies to UK passport holders not resident in France and should be followed. Just how much it will be enforced is, of course, another matter.

  5. Yet another increase in the cost of a trip to France. We usually collect random grandchildren and bring them over for parents to follow on. I assume under 18s will need to be included which will double the cost to a family. I checked Eurotunnel costs last week, Frequent Traveller single tickets now £54.00 but currently suspended from sale. As if we haven’t had enough to test our resolve!

  6. Assuming all foreign resident in France (myself) paperwork and all foreign visitor from England (my family) paperwork has been confirmed by the local mairie as sufficient and correct and Attestation d’Acceuil issued for the family visit to my home, does UK Home Office advice not to travel to France (Covid precautionary) invalidate necessary health + repatriation insurance (30,000 Euros)and consequently invalidate the Attestation d’Acceuil? Will be very helpful if someone knows the answer to this.

  7. I’ve now just completed my first Attestation d’Accueil – it’s new for your local Mairie too.
    BEFORE you go, ensure you’ve got ALL the paperwork required and purchase your timbre fiscale online here – it’s 30€ per visitor: https://timbres.impots.gouv.fr/pages/achat/choixSeries.jsp
    You’ll need to print off the confirmation email you receive once purchased and take this with you along with:
    Latest utility bill
    Latest Avis d’Impôt
    Passport, flight/travel confirmation with dates, Travel/Medical insurance doc that must include full repatriation costs for your guest/s
    Currently there is no electronic system for the Attestion d’Acceuil which means the stamped/signed Attestation along with copies of all the paperwork have got to be posted to your visitor and arrive with them BEFORE they travel as only the original document is acceptable.
    This is going to cause problems for anyone wanting to make a quick, last-minute trip as the way the system currently works does not allow enough time for this.
    Anyway, hope the above helps and if any of you have got any tips/tricks to get round any of this – please do let me know.

  8. I am confused, having spoken to my Mairie today they told me that it is not necessary to have an Attestation D’Accueil!

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid rules: Travelling abroad from France this summer

There's been plenty written on travel rules for people coming to France - but what if you live in France and have plans for international travel over the coming months? We've got you covered.

Covid rules: Travelling abroad from France this summer

France isn’t currently on the Covid red list for any country, so there is nowhere that is barred to you as a French resident, but different countries still have different entry requirements.

EU/Schengen zone

If you’re travelling to a country that is within the EU or Schengen zone then it’s pretty straightforward.

If you’re fully vaccinated then all you need is proof of vaccination at the border – no need for Covid tests or extra paperwork. Bear in mind, however, that if your second dose was more than nine months ago you will need a booster shot in order to still be considered ‘fully vaccinated’. 

READ ALSO Everything you need to know about travel to France from within the EU

If you were vaccinated in France then you will have a QR code compatible with all EU/Schengen border systems. If you were vaccinated elsewhere, however, your home country’s vaccination certificate will still be accepted.

If you’re not fully vaccinated you will need to show a negative Covid test at the border, check the individual country for requirements on how recent the test needs to be.

Bear in mind also that several EU countries still have mask/health pass rules in place and some countries specify the type of mask required, for example an FFP2 mask rather than the surgical mask more common in France. Check the rules of the country that you are travelling to in advance.

If you’re travelling to a country covered by The Local, you can find all the latest Covid rules in English on the homepages for Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland.

UK

The UK has no Covid-related travel rules, so there is no requirement for tests even if you are not vaccinated. The passenger locator form has also been scrapped – full details HERE.

Once there, there are no Covid-related health rules in place. 

If you’re travelling between France and the UK, remember the extra restrictions in place since Brexit.

USA 

Unlike the EU, the USA still has a testing requirement in place, vaccinated or not. You would need to show this prior to departure.

It has, however, lifted the restrictions on non citizens entering, so travel to the USA for tourism and visiting friends/family is once again possible.

For full details on the rules, click HERE.

Once there, most places have lifted Covid-related rules such as mask requirements, but health rules are decided by each State, rather than on a national level, so check in advance with the area you are visiting.

Other non-EU countries

Most non-EU countries have also lifted the majority of their Covid related rules, but in certain countries restrictions remain, such as in New Zealand which is reopening its border in stages and at present only accepts certain groups.

Other countries also have domestic Covid restrictions in place, particularly in China which has recently imposed a strict local lockdown after a spike in cases.

Returning to France

Once your trip is completed you will need to re-enter France and the border rules are the same whether you live here or not.

If you’re fully vaccinated you simply need to show your vaccination certificate (plus obviously passport and residency card/visa if applicable) at the border.

If you’re not vaccinated you will need to get a Covid test before you return and present the negative result at the border – the test must be either a PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours or an antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours. Home-test kits are not accepted.

If you’re returning from an ‘orange list’ country and you’re not vaccinated you will need to provide proof of your ‘essential reasons’ to travel – simply being a resident is classed as an essential reason, so you can show your carte de séjour residency card, visa or EU passport at the border.

Even if the country that you are in is reclassified as red or orange while you are away, you will still be allowed back if you are a French resident. If you’re not a French passport-holder, it’s a good idea to take with you proof of your residency in France, just in case.

Fully vaccinated

France counts as ‘fully vaccinated’ those who:

  • Are vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson)
  • Are 7 days after their final dose, or 28 days in the case of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines
  • Have had a booster shot if more than 9 months has passed since the final dose of your vaccine. If you have had a booster shot there is no need for a second one, even if more than 9 months has passed since your booster
  • Mixed dose vaccines (eg one Pfizer and one Moderna) are accepted 
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