A win for second home-owners in France as Britons granted six month stay

In a significant development for expatriates and second-home owners, the French Parliament has granted Britons the freedom to stay in France for up to six months without the need for a visa. This decision comes as a welcome change to the existing rules, implemented in early 2021, which restricted British citizens to a 90-day stay in the country within every 180-day period.

The initial regulations, established following Britain’s departure from the EU, stirred controversy among homeowners who deemed the system unfair and inequitable. A primary point of contention was the contrast between the restrictions faced by Britons in France and the leniency granted to French citizens in the UK, allowing them to stay for up to six months without a visa, irrespective of property ownership.

Second-home owners, in particular, found the existing solution impractical. The only way to extend their stay beyond 90 days was through the complex and costly process of applying for a long-stay visa which needed to be undertaken annually.

The recent decision by the French Parliament has led to a wave of optimism in the French expat community. Homeowners who had campaigned for a change in the restrictive rules now have cause for celebration. However, uncertainties linger as no specific date for the implementation of the new rules has been set, and concerns about potential challenges in the Constitutional Council loom large.

Looking for private medical insurance in France? Our Health Protect and Integra Global policies offer cover in the region.

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Thinking of moving to Thailand?

Thailand is a popular choice for many expatriates seeking a better way of life. This guide is for anyone considering a move to The Land of the Smiles.

Understand Thai Culture and Lifestyle
There are certain customs and traditions in Thailand and understanding these aspects will help you integrate smoothly into the society. Instead of shaking hands, it is customary in Thailand to greet someone respectfully with a ‘Wai’.

Find out how to Wai properly in Thailand.

Visa Options for Expats and Retirees

1. Tourist Visa
For short-term stays, you can enter Thailand on a tourist visa, typically valid for 30-60 days. Extensions are possible, but long-term stays will require another visa type.

2. Retirement Visa (Non-Immigrant O-A Visa)
If you’re 50 years old or above, you can apply for a retirement visa. This visa is valid for one year and allows multiple entries into Thailand. You’ll need to meet financial requirements, including proof of funds and a criminal background check from your home country.

3. Investment Visa
Investors and business people may apply for a Thai Investment Visa. The minimum investment amount and requirements vary, so consult with a Thai embassy or consulate for the latest details.

4. Work Visa (Non-Immigrant B Visa)
If you plan to work or start a business in Thailand, you’ll need a Non-Immigrant B Visa. This involves securing a job offer or setting up a business and fulfilling the visa requirements associated with employment.

Financial Considerations

1. Bank Account
Open a bank account in Thailand, as it is a requirement for long-term stay visas. Ensure you understand the banking regulations and options available.

2. Health Insurance
Having health insurance is highly advisable. HCI Group’s Protector Plans offer various health insurance options suitable for expatriates in Thailand, providing cover for medical emergencies and routine healthcare.

Housing and Accommodation
1. Renting
Decide whether you want to rent or buy property. Renting is a common choice for expats, especially initially. Research neighborhoods and properties to find the one that suits your needs and budget.

2. Buying Property
If you decide to purchase property, work with a reputable real estate agent and ensure you understand the legal and financial aspects of property ownership in Thailand. as it is not straightforward. Find out more about buying property in Thailand.

Healthcare and Medical Facilities

1. Healthcare Facilities
Research and locate reputable hospitals and clinics in your area. Thailand offers high-quality healthcare services, and major cities have modern medical facilities. If you opt for a HCI Group healthcare plan there are no restrictions on the private hospital network and you can opt to have treatment in the setting of your choice.

2. Health Check-ups and Insurance
Regular health check-ups are a priority for many expats. Consider getting health insurance to cover any medical emergencies or treatments. All of our Protector Plans cover emergencies and unexpected illness such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. Our Plus, Premium and Executive Plans include cover for outpatient care and many other benefits too.

Learning the Language and Cultural Integration

1. Learning Thai Language
Learning basic Thai phrases will enhance your daily life and interactions. Consider enrolling in a language course to improve your proficiency.

2. Cultural Integration
Engage with the local community, participate in cultural events, and be open to learning and adopting the Thai way of life.

Networking and Socializing

1. Expat Communities
Connect with expat communities and social groups. They can provide valuable insights, support, and help you adapt to your new surroundings. Many have thriving social media groups if you prefer to connect online.

If you are a member of the following expat clubs in Thailand we can offer you 10% off your HCI Group health insurance policy!

Chiang Mai Expats Club

Pattaya Expats Club

Hua Hin Expats Club

Get in touch

Moving to Thailand and becoming an expat or retiree is a popular choice for many HCI Group customers. With the beautiful beaches and welcoming culture, it is no wonder Thailand is known as ‘The Land of the Smiles’.

If you have any questions about obtaining HCI Group medical insurance in Thailand please meesage us on WhatsApp. +44 7457 405263 and we will happy to talk through our policies.