Non-EU members, including Brits(!) need a visa to stay more than 90 days in the EU.
Up to 90 Days?
Most members are allowed to visit the EU easily with a 'Schengen Visa' . This allows you to stay 90 days in any (rolling) 180 days in most EU countries. there is an calculator to help you with multiple visits
More than 90 days?
Quite independently to the EU, individual countries can issue visas , just for the one country. Fortunately France is very good at this , being the most popular destination for DBA members.
Spouses and children of citizens of the EU
France offers to Americans and perhaps other countries the option to stay beyond 90 days with very little formalities. Contact a French consulate in your country to confirm. Here is what you need to make this work.
- You must be able to show proof with a copy of a marriage certificate plus ID of EU spouse/parent; (a birth certificate for children may be needed)
- People need not travel together;
- No need for travel insurance.
British and already living in the EU?
Under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (WA), any Brits provably resident in an EU country before 2021 can apply for residence in that country. That does not gain them EU citizenship, just permission to reside in the country. Anyone with legal right of residence, e.g. a Residence card in Belgium or a Carte de Sejour (CdJ) in France will have to renew it, reflecting their status as a resident but not from the EU. Those affected, if already registered or holding a CdJ should be informed, by a letter to ttheir registered address.
A good explanation for those in France was published in The Local, last October,
There are several types of French Visa giving different lengths of stay. The options and procedures are well described by member Judy Evans' 2021 (post-brexit) report, FRANCE – Notes on Visa Process And Requirements.
There is sometimes confusion between a Visa and the Carte de Sejour. A visa is a permit to enter the country and remain for a limited time. The Carte de Sejour is a residence permit, allowing someone legally in France to reside there, usually to work or study, but also as a long-term visitor. The CdS has been a one year permission, renewable yearly from within France, which after 5 years can have another 5 year extension, and after that can, it is believed, be made essentially permanent.
Some members have documented their experiences (pre-brexit) :
There is ongoing conversation about this in the Brexit and Bargees section of the Forum.
Belgium has no long-term tourist visa like France's. The current Visas provide legal residence, mainly for work or education and the procedure are the same as someone re-settling permanently in Belgium. Details are HERE.
There are rumours of Long-term visas being considered by Netherlands and Belgium, but no certain information (Mar 2021). This will be updated as information becomes available.
Apart from getting into the EU and staying there, a big issue is insurance for healthcare. Brits will still be able to use their EHIC (being replaced by a similar GHIC). All EU visitors will need to have private health insurance to cover their stay, at least for repatriation in extremis. This is not covered by the EHIC/GHIC. UK members have suggested AXA and Saga as offering good prices. Some members' countries do have arrangements with individual EU countries for healthcare, which may avoid expensive insurance. An Australian member has documented their experience