Attestation d’accueil: What to do if you cannot get the post-Brexit certificate for a visit to France

You may have read recently of the post-Brexit requirement to register with the mairie for a €30 certificate for British house guests - but there is another option for people for whom this is difficult to get.

Attestation d'accueil: What to do if you cannot get the post-Brexit certificate for a visit to France
Brexit has made travel into France more complicated, with extra paperwork that may be required. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP

As Brits adapt to life post-Brexit there are all sorts of extra restrictions and requirements for those who want to visit France. These are not new, they have always applied to non-EU citizens like Americans and Australians, but they are now applying to British visitors as well since the UK left the EU.

We have outlined HERE the main changes for travellers, but one that has been getting a lot of attention is the attestation d’accueil – which is the certificate that visitors may need if they are staying in private accommodation (ie with family or friends rather than in a hotel, gîte, Airbnb or B&B or at a second home).

We outline exactly what this is and how to get one HERE, but the basic principle is that if you are staying in a private home then your host needs to visit their local mairie in advance and pay €30 for the certificate, known as an attestation d’accueil.

However, there are plenty of people for whom this is not possible – for example second-home owners who are bringing guests with them or people lucky enough to have a friend who has lent them their second home for a short break. The certificate can only be obtained in person from the mairie, so if your host is not in France before your trip, the certificate is not possible to obtain.

If you are a second home owner and travelling to stay in your own property, you can show proof of property ownership such as property deeds or utility bills.

We posed these questions on behalf of readers of The Local to the French Interior Ministry.

Firstly the ministry confirmed that the attestation requirement definitely now applies to Brits as well as other third country nationals like Americans, Canadians and Australians, saying: “British tourists, who are now third-country nationals, are subject to compliance with the conditions for entry into the Schengen area under Article 6 of the CFS [Code des Frontières Schengen or the rules that concern entry into the Schengen space from outside the EU/Schengen zone].

“Since January 1st 2021, they must have proof of sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of their intended stay and for their return to the UK.”

They went on to clarify the things that Brits may be asked to provide at the border.

“To enter France, British tourists must therefore present
– an attestation d’accueil issued by the town hall (if they are staying in private accommodation) or a hotel reservation (which can be replaced by a sum of €120 per person per day)
– proof of means of subsistence (€65 per day in the case of hotel accommodation or €32.50 in the case of an attestation d’accueil)
– a certificate of insurance for repatriation on medical grounds.”

You can find full details here.

The proof of means is a standard demand for all non-EU nationals entering France – basically you need to prove that you can support yourself while you are staying here and will not become a burden on the French state.

The standard rates are based on the French SMIC (minimum wage) and are presently €65 for every day of your stay if you are staying in a hotel or €32.50 if you are staying with friends or family.

However, if you cannot provide either an attestation d’accueil or proof of a booking at a hotel or similar (gîte, Airbnb, B&B) you have the option to provide proof of means at above the standard rate – namely €120 for every day of your stay in France.

The higher rate of financial proof will also be accepted for people who do not have accommodation booked for the duration of their stay – for example if you’re coming in a camper van or you’re just planning to see where you end up before booking accommodation.

If you have hotels or similar booked for part of your stay you will need to show proof of €65 a day for every day that you have a hotel booking and €120 a day for every day without a booking.

The EU states that proof of means that will be accepted are; cash, travellers cheques, bank statements for the last three months showing the balance of your account at the required level or credit cards (debit cards are not accepted).

The other uncertainty about this is exactly how strict border checks will be. As mentioned, this has always been the policy for other non-EU nationals like Americans and Canadians, yet few of them report having to show proof of accommodation or means at the border.

However, just because it is rare doesn’t mean that it will never happen and if you cannot provide the correct paperwork, border guards are within their rights to refuse you entry. 

Member comments

  1. There won’t be many Australians and Americans who would want to routinely fly over to France on a couple of days notice to visit mum and dad for the weekend. And how many of them have second homes here compared with the Brits. A few things are going to have to change if France wants to keep these markets. It’s certainly not the same in all other EU countries.

    1. Most other EU countries with significant tourist sectors have the same rules – there’s nothing special about this requirement.

  2. Pettifogging measures that will do very significant harm to the French tourism and hospitality sector if enacted. The UK has always been one of France’s key and most lucrative source markets. Hard to believe that they won’t be relaxed or conveniently ignored once the effects begin to become apparent.

    1. These are measure that France applied to all non-EU (and non-EEA) countries for decades. Some countries negotiated different rules and hopefully British government will wake up and do the same.

      1. OK thanks. I’ll keep my eye on it. One can’t help feeling that when the Border “Force” calms down a bit, the French will too.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What to expect from the February 7th strike in France

February 7th marks the third day of mass strike action in the ongoing battle between the French government and unions over pension reform. From planes and trains to school, ski lifts and power cuts - here's what to expect on Tuesday.

What to expect from the February 7th strike in France

The next ‘mass mobilisation’ in the ongoing battle against pension reform is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7th, and will be followed by another one on Saturday, February 11th.

5 minutes to understand French pension reform

Tuesday’s mobilisation is supported by all eight French trades union federations, which means that support is likely to be high and disruption severe on certain services.

It will come as French lawmakers debate the bill in the Assemblé Nationale.

Workers in essential services such as transport must declare their intention to strike 48 hours in advance, allowing transport operators to produce strike timetables, which are usually released 24 hours in advance.

We will update this story as new information is released.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Who is winning the battle over French pension reform?


The four main unions (CGT Cheminots, Sud Rail, CFDT Cheminots, and UNSA Ferroviaire) representing workers with France’s national rail service, SNCF, have all called for strike action on Tuesday, February 7th.

During the day of action on January 31st, 36.5 percent of railway workers went on strike, compared to 46 percent on January 19th.

In addition to Tuesday’s strike action, two of the above unions, CGT and Sud Rail, have also called on workers to strike on February 8th. However, as of February 2nd, the other two primary unions had not made any calls to take part in Wednesday’s action.

Intercity and TER trains operated by the SNCF will likely see services disrupted on Tuesday with many cancellations. International trains including the Eurostar could also be affected.

City public transport

In the Paris region, the main unions representing RATP (Paris region public transport services) issued a joint statement on February 1st saying they would join calls for mobilisation on February 7th.

Traffic was severely disrupted on the most recent day of strike action, January 31st, on certain RER lines, with some lines like the RER C running an average of 1 train out of 10. As for the Paris Metro system, several lines only ran during peak hours and many stations across the city were closed. Many buses continued running, though with delays to usual operating times.

Other cities including Marseille and Lyon will likely see a repeat of severely disrupted bus, tram and Metro services.

In Lyon, on January 31st, public transport services were strongly impacted by strike action, and one metro line did not run at all throughout the day. 

Air travel

While it is not yet clear what level of disruption to expect in air travel, the leading civil aviation union, USACcgt, has called on “all DGAC (French civil aviation authority) and ENAC (National school of civil aviation) staff to go on strike en masse and take part in demonstrations” on February 7th, according to reporting by Le Parisien.

During the two previous mobilisations, approximately 20 percent of flights operating out of Paris-Orly airport were cancelled, but other airports were not affected. 


Port and dock workers walked on January 31st. It is not yet clear if they will join actions on February 7th, but typically strikes in this sector impact commercial ports rather than ferry ports. 


Tuesday’s strike will take place during the first round of winter holidays – so students in the Zone A (Besançon, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Limoges, Lyon, Poitiers) will already be off school.

You can find out more information about France’s school zones here.

Nevertheless – one of the major unions representing teachers, Snuipp-FSU said in a statement that they hope to see an “amplification” of previous walkouts, as they called on teachers to walk out on February 7th.

Primary school teachers (maternelle and elementary schools) are required to inform students and families at least 48 hours in advance of their intent to strike.

On January 31st, the Ministry of Education reported that about 25.9 percent of teachers walked out, in comparison to the 38.5 percent who walked out on the 19th. Numbers offered by the Snuipp-FSU union were higher – they said that about 50 percent of elementary school teachers walked out, and that 55 percent of secondary school teachers did so as well.

In addition to industrial action by teachers, several student unions, like the “National Student Movement” (MNL), representing high school students have made an effort to mobilise French youth across the nation, with some blocking the entrance to their high schools on strike days. According to the Journal des Femmes, the MNL has called on high schoolers across the country to walk out again on the 7th.

Ski lifts

BFMTV reported on January 31st that a walkout was scheduled for seasonal workers for approximately one hour and thirty minutes on Tuesday, February 7th. This means that in some resorts, ski lifts and stores could be closed. 

READ MORE: What to expect from strike action in France during the February school holidays

The two unions that represent more than 90 percent of workers in ski resorts have also called an ‘unlimited’ strike which began on January 31st. This means further actions could come later in the month as well.

Petrol stations

French refinery workers have threatened to strike for a 72-hour period beginning on February 6th. Union representative, Eric Sellini, told AFP that these actions could result in a “lower throughput” for petrol and a “stoppage of shipments.”

This could mean that there may be shortages of petrol and diesel at some filling stations if the blockades are successful in stopping supplies leaving the refineries.

The mobilisation on January 31st saw a significant number of refinery workers walk out – between 75 to 100 percent at some refinery and oil depots, according to the union CGT.

Power cuts 

Workers in the energy sector (electricity and gas), primarily represented by the union FNME-CGT, have announced plans to strike from February 6th through 8th. 

The day of action on January 31st had 40.3 percent of employees at EDF (France’s national energy provider) walk out, in comparison to 44.5 percent on January 19th.

Some workers in this sector have taken what they call “Robin Hood” actions to “distribute free electricity” to hospitals, schools and low-income housing areas.

On January 31st, striking workers brought about significant load reductions in some power plants across the country – approximately 3,000 MW according to La Depeche. However, these reductions in power reportedly did not lead to any power cuts on the 31st.


Demonstrations are expected in cities and towns across the country.

January 31st, the most recent day of large scale mobilisation, saw over 1.27 million people take to the streets according to the interior ministry. In Paris, the number of protesters was estimated at 87,000, higher than the 80,000 clocked last time, the ministry told AFP.

In Lyon, the route for the demonstration has already been decided, according to Lyon Capitale. It will begin at 12pm in front of the Manufacture des Tabacs. The procession will move toward the Place Bellecour.

Unions are hoping for a similar turnout on February 7th.

Other strike dates

The above information relates to February 7th only. Unions have also called for more walkouts on February 11th. 

Additionally, the strike by oil refinery workers is expected to run for 72 hours, meaning it will continue into Wednesday, February 8th. There could be more action in later days by oil refinery workers, as they have called for an ‘unlimited strike’.

Other unions have also declared ‘unlimited’ strikes, so there could be disruptions on these services on other days – these include ski lift operators and truck drivers.

It is highly likely that further one-day or multi-day strikes will be announced for February and March, as the pension reform bill comes before parliament, you can keep up to date with out strike calendar HERE.

We will update this article as more information becomes available, and you can also keep up with the latest in our strike section HERE.