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Visiting and living in Scotland temporarily

Travel Forums Europe Visiting and living in Scotland temporarily

1. Posted by Jaqwuan83 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

My girlfriend is going to University of Edinburgh on a student visa. She is a US citizen.

I am a US citizen and cannot get a student/work visa as I have little formal education and I am not what you would call a 'skilled worker'. From what I have read I will not get a work visa unless I am a graduate/educated.

From what I have read I can stay as a visitor in Scotland for 6 months. During this time I want to live in an apartment with my girlfriend. I would prefer living in Scotland for a year or more, but run into the problem that I cannot stay longer than 6 months.

Are there any ways around this, what can people do in my position? If I overstay the 6 months, and live paying by cash going from hostel to hostel, will there be significant penalty when I leave Scotland. What if I fly to a country like Russia and return to Scotland, will the 6 month visit be reissued?

2. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 8y

I'm pretty sure it's three months buddy . . .

3. Posted by Jaqwuan83 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Quoting mikeyBoab

I'm pretty sure it's three months. . .

Hey guy,
I thought it was six. I'll take your word that it is 3.

Can you offer any other suggestions other than correcting the time period I am allowed to stay as a visitor?

It is my understanding that the UK does 5 year bans for overstaying?

I want to work or go to school in Scotland, if you can offer any suggestions I would appreciate it. If not I have sufficient funds to live for years if need be. I see you are a member that offers advice to travelers, thanks for your help on this one.

British Embassy
"Visit for vacation/business
As a visitor to the UK, you must be able to show that:

you are genuinely seeking entry as a visitor for up to six months "

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 3, 2008, at 1:10 PM by Jaqwuan83 ]

4. Posted by Jaqwuan83 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Can anyone else comment here?

In Scotland as a visitor do I get 3 or 6 months?

Thanks I appreciate this

5. Posted by Buttfish (Respected Member 298 posts) 8y

i just checked at

(http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1018696642519#Q1)

and it says 6 months. they also say

(here --> http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/ukresidency/extendingyourstay/)

that you can't extend your visa after you've stayed for 6 months...but i think if you found the right one, you can.

but than they say

(here --> http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/visitingtheuk/visitors/extendingyourstay/)

that in some circumstances you may be able to swap to another visa after your 6 months is up.

i have a feeling the visa won't be reissued if you left after 6 months and came back. i think you'd need longer...i think it said somewhere, but i forgot where.

you also have a choice to apply for a "limited leave to remain", which is an amoutn allowed on your visa..to stay temorarily, and it seems like you can extend it. you can also extend it to stay permanently.

it says here, at the bottom (http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/ukresidency/eligibility/)

and when clicked on "extending" ...(http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/ukresidency/extendingyourstay/).

you may have to visit your local uk embassy or consulate and ask them a few questions, though.. there are a few details they don't seem to mention at all.

hope it helps.

6. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 8y

Sorry, it looks like it shoudl actually be six months, apologies, but of course, check with the consulate before you book your ticket. Bear in mind if your staying for that length of time on a visitor's visa, immigration will want to make sure you intend to leave and of course that you can support yourself while you are here.

7. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 8y

With respects to getting a student visa, the criteria is essentially just being accepted on a course and having the financial means to pay the fees and your living costs. If you have the money available then it isn't particularly difficult to get accepted at a university assuming you're flexible on the course you want to do - even if you don't have particularly impressive qualifications, there are always courses which don't get enough applicants and have spaces available (and international students are always popular with universities because they pay fees and Scottish students don't). Of course, it's not really a great idea to plunge into a degree course which you have very little interest in, but I wouldn't rule out getting a student visa if that's what you want to do. Also, in Scotland we have a system where international students are allowed to stay on in Scotland after graduating for two years to work, so after your course was finished you'd still have a while in the country.

8. Posted by Jaqwuan83 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Quoting BlankFrack

With respects to getting a student visa, the criteria is essentially just being accepted on a course and having the financial means to pay the fees and your living costs. If you have the money available then it isn't particularly difficult to get accepted at a university assuming you're flexible on the course you want to do - even if you don't have particularly impressive qualifications, there are always courses which don't get enough applicants and have spaces available (and international students are always popular with universities because they pay fees and Scottish students don't). Of course, it's not really a great idea to plunge into a degree course which you have very little interest in, but I wouldn't rule out getting a student visa if that's what you want to do. Also, in Scotland we have a system where international students are allowed to stay on in Scotland after graduating for two years to work, so after your course was finished you'd still have a while in the country.

This was very helpful, does anyone else have more specific information regarding college/unversities and where I should look. thank you.

9. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 8y

Applications for a university/college place are done through an organisation called UCAS. You have to fill in an application form with the details of the courses you wish to study and they apply to the universities on your behalf. There's a fee to pay, but it's fairly small (I think it's £15). You have to get the forms in before a deadline sometime around June and the universities then send out formal offers to applicants. In addition, at the start of August there's a process called "clearing" in which the universities will publish a list of all the courses which haven't yet been filled up and allow you to apply to them directly. There's usually a mad rush to get a place on the day the universities publish the lists so it's definitely preferable to try and get a place through the formal UCAS application process.

Before you fill in the form you'll have to find out about courses in the various institutions near where you'll be staying. There are four universities in and around Edinburgh: the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University and Queen Margaret University. They all have prospectuses which you can browse to find suitable courses you want to do. In addition there are numerous colleges, but I'm not from Edinburgh so I'm not sure which ones would be suitable.

Also, to get a student visa you'll have to make sure that the institution you're applying to is on the register of education and training providers as some places aren't valid for student visa purposes. You can check the list here. As a rule, the majority of universities and colleges are included on it, but it's obviously best to check before applying.

10. Posted by Jaqwuan83 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Quoting BlankFrack

Applications for a university/college place are done through an organisation called UCAS. You have to fill in an application form with the details of the courses you wish to study and they apply to the universities on your behalf. There's a fee to pay, but it's fairly small (I think it's £15). You have to get the forms in before a deadline sometime around June and the universities then send out formal offers to applicants. In addition, at the start of August there's a process called "clearing" in which the universities will publish a list of all the courses which haven't yet been filled up and allow you to apply to them directly. There's usually a mad rush to get a place on the day the universities publish the lists so it's definitely preferable to try and get a place through the formal UCAS application process.

Before you fill in the form you'll have to find out about courses in the various institutions near where you'll be staying. There are four universities in and around Edinburgh: the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University and Queen Margaret University. They all have prospectuses which you can browse to find suitable courses you want to do. In addition there are numerous colleges, but I'm not from Edinburgh so I'm not sure which ones would be suitable.

Also, to get a student visa you'll have to make sure that the institution you're applying to is on the register of education and training providers as some places aren't valid for student visa purposes. You can check the list here. As a rule, the majority of universities and colleges are included on it, but it's obviously best to check before applying.

This information has been extremely helpful, and has saved me countless hours of research. Thank you good afternoon