Visas are something that many people struggle with, especially if you’re living abroad for the first time. A visa is like your passport for other countries – it allows you to enter their country. In this case, though, you’ll need to be granted permission to stay in theirs!
Most Western nations have a system where anyone who lives there for at least six months can apply for citizenship, so they give most people resident status (also called ‘permanent residency’). This means they grant you full access to health care, education, and employment opportunities. It also gives you more rights than non-citizens.
But before you start celebrating too loudly, there’s one little thing…
Visiting Britain as an American may not work unless you have a British residence or working permit. What? Why wouldn’t I just live here already then?
Well, applying for UK citizenship takes quite a bit of paperwork and resources, and even once you do it you will probably still be considered non-resident. So whether you plan to remain in London long term or not, you should make sure you have appropriate documentation ahead of time.
If you are already living in the UK, or have lived there for at least six months, then it is possible to apply for residency here if your visa has expired. All you need to do is prove that you will be leaving the country soon, and come with a confirmed return flight.
In most cases, you will have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself while living in Britain, as well as show proof of adequate income during your stay. You can bring along copies of documents such as pay stubs, receipts, or proofs of earnings.
If your employer is willing to vouch for you, they can send a letter stating that they know you are capable of supporting yourself and that they expect you to do so when you arrive in the country. All employers must be notified at least two weeks before you enter the UK!
Another way to prove income is by showing evidence of savings (such as from bank accounts, house purchases, etc.). Many countries recognize self-employment as valid income, so if you work for yourself then this could help bolster your application.
If you are applying for a work visa in England as an American, then your next step is to pay the visa application fee. This can be done at any VFS Global location or through their website.
Visa application fees range from £50 – £150 depending on if you are applying online or face-to-face. It’s important to remember that even though these applications are done remotely, there will still be several documents and receipts sent via mail so it is best to buy enough time after the deadline to process them.
We recommend buying yourself some extra days by one week before the due date to ensure your paperwork gets mailed out and processed correctly.
If you are already living together, then there is no need to visit another level of complexity by applying for work visas. All you have to do is present proof that you live under the same roof and share bills.
It’s good to verify this with each other but if one person is not sure what the other looks like, it can be tricky.
The best way to deal with this would be to make arrangements to meet at a neutral location where both people can come to without arousing suspicion. Then take some photos of each other so you know who you are looking at later!
Once you have gathered enough pictures, send these through VISAVIP, which will save you time having them scanned and verified manually. After that, you will get confirmation within 24 hours and a visa should arrive within 7 days.
If you are applying for work visa in Britain as an American, then proof of employment is very important! You will need to show that you have a position with wages under British standards before you can be granted entry into the UK.
Usually, employers ask for two working documents per applicant. One must be a letter confirming your position and the other needs to be a document showing how much money you make. This could either be via salary or gross monthly income.
Your employer’s letter should state clearly what positions you hold and what pay you receive. Make sure to include any benefits like health insurance or paid vacations. All this information helps prove that you are indeed earning enough money!
While it may sound tedious having to gather all this information, it is not. There are many sources online and through friends who have done this before so there are clear steps to follow.
The second step is providing proof that you have a stable residence in a country outside of Britain and Europe. This can be done through proof of residency or ownership of a house, apartment, or other property in the country.
Owning a car in the country also helps prove steady employment, as does having bank accounts there. It’s important to remember that not every country requires visas for short visits, so don’t overdo it!
Getting this information doesn’t happen immediately after applying for the visa, but rather at a later date when you visit again. In fact, some countries even require you to confirm your stay each time you enter their borders.
If you are visiting for more than six months, it is important to register your trip with the local police. This will help ensure that your stay here is legal and that everything goes well for you when you head home.
It is usually easy to do this, but make sure you know what visa type you need and how to go about registering before you do so. Most countries require you to be registered within two days, though some may ask for seven days or even longer. Some may not want you to work while on a tourist visa either, so check into those requirements as well!
Making these calls ahead of time can save you lots of hassle later on. Make sure to find out which documents you’ll need to show the authorities at each stage of your visit, too.
When you’re looking for work abroad, one of the most difficult things is getting a visa. You have to prove that there are no jobs at home for you, so most employers require you to tell everyone you know that you are leaving to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
This isn’t always easy, but it can help you get a visa. If someone knows you’ve made this decision and they ask why, you can say because you want a better opportunity.
Some countries don’t like people who are only looking for a good life, which makes it harder to come back and live here. So, telling people about your plans helps mitigate some hostility towards you.