A Brexit deal was finalised on Christmas Eve, meaning that the UK no longer abides by EU trade laws. This raises lots of questions for British people hoping to buy a ski home abroad – how long can I stay for? Will I need a visa? Will I have healthcare cover?
We endeavour to cover the main topics in this article and point you towards other resources which can help with the finer details.
How long can I stay without a visa?
Britons now need to follow the 90-day rule if they wish to avoid applying for a visa. British people are now permitted to spend up to 90 days in every 180 in the EU. When the 180 days finishes, you can once again start another 90 days. This applies to spending time anywhere in the EU, so your 90 days won’t refresh if you move from France to Italy, for example.
Despite this restriction, it still satisfies many who have the dream of owning a ski home abroad. You can purchase a ski holiday home and still spend up to 90 days there at a time.
Visas – will you need one?
Visa requirements vary slightly from country to country; however, you will need one if you wish to spend more than 90 days in your ski property.
In France, for example, you can apply for your visa online. You will need to gather your supporting documents and make an appointment to acquire the visa. There is a range of visas available and the one you apply for will depend on your personal and financial situation.
You may have heard recently that the EHIC card is being scrapped for the GHIC, the Global Health Insurance Card. If you have an EHIC, however, it will remain valid until its expiry date.
The GHIC works similarly to the EHIC and covers you for basic state healthcare. Emergency treatment and A&E trips, treatment for chronic or pre-existing medical conditions, routine medical or maternity care, and oxygen and kidney dialysis will all be covered by your GHIC.
However, basic state healthcare in some EU countries doesn’t include everything that the NHS covers, so there may still be costs for things such as prescriptions. The UK government also advises that you still take out travel insurance on top of your GHIC to cover private medical care, repatriation and mountain rescue – which could be important on a ski holiday.
Buying a holiday home
Thankfully, not much has changed when it comes to the process of buying a property abroad. More buyers than ever are engaging in virtual viewings and buying a home before visiting in person. There are hopes that with the vaccine rollouts accelerating across Europe, ski seasons can resume this year.
If you’re planning to buy a ski home this year, there’s plenty you can do now from the comfort of your own home, including sorting out your currency, contacting estate agents and getting some virtual viewings in the diary.
*This article originally appeared on SnowOnly's website
*Mark Lightfoot is the founder of SnowOnly, a property portal dedicated to aiding buyers and sellers of ski properties