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Help! American Expat Hopeful!!

 
 
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2014 02:46 pm
So I'm a 19 year old American, I graduated highschool but haven't gone through any kind of more schooling. It's been my dream to to move to London, England since I was little but I don't know how to get a job (being American, and all) or where to even start. I know I need some type of visa to be able to work, but what kind of visa can I get? How do I get one? Do I need to have a job already lined up before I go over or can I apply for my visa while I'm there? So many questions and even though I've done tons of research I can't seem to understand anything.. Help!?
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 1,193 • Replies: 6
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 06:26 am
@severts18,
As I understand it you legally cannot work in the UK unless you have a workplace sponsor who makes a case for needing your specific skills. Obviously some tourists enter the UK on a tourist visa and illegally overstay its dates. Such a move can result in deportation and a heavy fine for anybody who illegally employs you. The same applies to foreign "students" who state they are engaged in fictitious courses in order to engage in casual employment.

The only exceptions to these rules appear to be in the case of legal marriage to a UK citizen.
Pearlylustre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 07:10 am
@severts18,
The UK immigration department may know more than us :
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 12:28 pm
@Pearlylustre,
Good link. That rules out marriage.
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contrex
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 02:01 pm
@severts18,
severts18 wrote:
I don't know how to get a job (being American, and all) or where to even start. I know I need some type of visa to be able to work, but what kind of visa can I get?


Unless you want to marry a UK citizen, the only kind of visa you can get is a tourist visa, which specifically forbids any type of work, paid or unpaid. If an immigration officer even thinks that you are travelling to the UK to look for work they will put you on the next plane back.

To employ a non-EU citizen a British company has to prove that they cannot find anyone in the whole European Union to fill that job, and furthermore the job has to be on a government list of occupations where there is a shortage. Given that the UK is a world class nation in many fields, even a top-level brain surgeon is going to have a hard time.

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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 02:03 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
Such a move can result in deportation and a heavy fine for anybody who illegally employs you.

And a ban from entering the country of up to 10 years, and a very slim chance of ever getting a visa again after that period is over. A prison sentence or fine for the overstayer is theoretically possible, although in practice deportation is the usual path. UK citizens found to have helped or harboured the overstayer also face fines or prison sentences.

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 04:52 pm
@contrex,
On investigation, the link actually refers to the possibility of temporary visas (6 months) for unskilled work, such as domestic service, with a British sponsor if you have worked for them already (elsewhere) for at least a year. So the picture may not be quite as as black as we are painting.
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