Post Brexit Queries - UK Passport Holders on French House Sits


Apologies if this has already been answered.

We have some queries about the situation post Brexit for EU residents looking to have a UK passport holder travelling from the UK to house sit in France.

  1. Will they need a work permit? Even though the sit is unpaid is it classed simply as a vacation and stay for legal purposes ?

  2. Will a ‘letter of welcome’ be needed for the sitters to show to the French Border Control Officers confirming the reason for their stay? If so, is there a generally accepted wording template to use?

  3. Will the hosts have to act as guarantors for the THS coming to stay? This would confirm health insurance etc?

  4. What other potential issues may arise as a result of Brexit?

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Ah yes, we have a sit booked in France in September and our pet owner has kept us very well informed. It changes from day to day. At the moment it looks like we need a letter of invitation from them to get into France. This is not simple, it has to be done through the Government site and costs, at the moment under €100. We are UK citizens with UK passports.
Nothing is clear and it is a very liquid situation. Our present sit has been cut short as the pet owners cannot get into France to go to their boat. The ferry crossing was cancelled. It may be something to do with the Indian variant of COVID. It may just be a political tit for tat situation. Who knows? That’s this week, next week will be different.
It’s a wait and see situation.

Sitting is not a “work” as it is not paid, you’re not an employée. The owner can’t insure you.

If you have a british passeport i guess you can travel as a tourist during 3 months , it gives you time to sit…

Would you need to go to another country (Belgium, germany, luxembourg, switzerland , italy, spain close by) to show you went out of France before coming back ? I don’t know how you can get a stamp on your passeport, as we have no more borders between the 27 countries of “Schengen space”

Angela will know

I just looked on the government web site, this may help you (in english)

I agree that non-Europeans can travel to France on holiday and housesit without a letter etc . We have done sits in France without anything special (from Canada).

But you should also be aware that at the moment, covid restrictions are what would be preventing you from travel/sits.

Hi Kitty… a big welcome to the community. Thanks for joining and asking a very relevant question about travel by UK passport holders into France.

Its doubly confusing at moment with both Brexit and Covid regs to follow. From today noone can enter from the UK without an essential reason. 2nd home visits/vacations are not essential travel. This may change at any time, so should be monitored regularly.

Secondly the removal of the UK from the EU means UK passport holders can only stay in Europe (anywhere) for 90 days out of 180. The Schengen rules basically, but without the need to obtain a Schengen visa - unique for the UK.

Here is the updated link on the UK gov site covering everything about entry into France from both Covid and post Brexit perspectives:

Some in France are saying the “attestation d’accueil” (hosting certificate) isn’t necessary, but I would advise your sitters follow UK Gov advice until changes made officially. Be warned… this one is a long read :slight_smile: Hope it helps.

For readers: This post is ONLY for UK Passport Holders and is correct as of 31 May 2021. Always check official sites before making travel arrangements.


I suddenly realised that if we wanted to do a sit in the EU - and then carry onto another - saving travel expenses/resources - we may not be able to… Now we can only travel for 90 days in any 180 days…
Is there any way round this? If you can show you are staying somewhere and have adequate personal funds… or do we just have to suck it up and not apply for those lovely long sits abroad…?!

Do you have a European parent or maybe grandparent? Otherwise, I’m afraid you’ll have to abide by Schengen rules. Sorry…

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Unfortunately, there is no way around it - My husband is an EU citizen and I still can not get around the rule! - It is 90 days in every 180 days I’m afraid

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As an American dealing with these rules for years, I can tell you that there is no easy way around this- you cannot hop into a non-Schengen area and then back in to restart. However, Croatia and a few Eastern European countries are not in Schengen. You can google stories about breaking the Schengen Visa- we have gone over a few days in Spain and no one said anything, and then there are stories of people barely going over and getting huge fines or even banned from EU.


Ah well - yet another downside to Brexit! I wonder if we’ll ever find any upsides…! :roll_eyes:

We did… we became French residents :joy: :rofl:

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We also have our TdS WARP card but that does not exempt us from the 90 day rule in every 180 days when visiting a Schengen country outside of France. Also if you wanted to work elsewhere eg Poland you’d need a Polish work visa, although days worked would not count towards the 90 days being there.

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I know… it was just a little Brexit joke :slight_smile: For us the benefit is not having to return to the UK, but to be able to stay in France and travel out and house sit from here, so essentially we can stay in Europe house sitting with 90 days in each of our chosen Euro countries and back to France between. As it happens now with Covid we are just staying in France for now.

I have been reading about EU travellers seeking admittance into the UK being detained, fingerprinted, photographed ‘like criminals’ and forced to spend the night at the airport before finally being expelled. Apparently border officials, backed by the Home Office, are very suspicious of EU citizens coming to settle and eventually live on public benefit, especially if they don’t have a return ticket or a job.
I wanted to know if any EU sitters have experienced such problems lately?

I might be over reacting, but should there not be more instructions about the changed rules? No more freedom of movement for Brits and 76 page instructions for EU members citizens crossing to go to the UK? Apparently a total of 3294 EU citizens were refused entry (Home Office figures). Could spoil a lot of housesit and holidays of the home owners.

Hmm, I wonder if this is why I’ve been offered a bunch of UK sits recently.
Of course, getting through the covid blocks may be challenging unless the US gets turned green instead of amber.

Why would EU people who are simple travelling on vacation have any more trouble entering the UK (and vice versa)? We (from Canada) travel to the UK and EU often and have never had trouble. I know Brexit has affected long term stays and working etc, but has it also changed vacations?

ETA: I read up on this. It seems the only people being detained are Europeans coming to the UK to look for work, attend job interviews etc so I’m assuming people coming to the UK for a regular holiday and/or house sitting, shouldn’t have any trouble. And I don’t think Brits would have any trouble travelling to Europe for holidays either?

Thank you @Kelownagurl many are confused with Brexit related travel, as you quite rightly point out from research this applies mainly to those entering for other than vacation purposes … The best source for accurate advice are Official Gov Websites.

Yes, it is différent, travel, work, brexit and covid
Example for covid : the conditions for moving from England to France and from France to England are not the same. There is no reciprocity. You have to consult the official diplomatic sites for information. In France: Conseils aux Voyageurs - Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères


Yes, I gather now that non-EU coming to France need to have an invitation from the person they are visiting (or hotel, B&B reservation etc) as well as health insurance (with repatriation) and proof of funds to be able to fund their visit.