I'm planning a 10 month long trip around Western Europe and wanted to know if I will need a visa to stay in the UK. I am planning on doing a lot of HelpX/WWOOF jobs and will be jumping from England, Northen Ireland,Wales and visiting other countries in between. Because I won't be spending six consecutive months in the UK do I not need a visa? I read somewhere that you can stay up to six months without a visa. For example, If I do a work exchange placement for six months in Wales and then go to Ireland for a month and then return to Wales will I be fine?Also because I won't be getting paid for the type of work I'm doing I don't think need a different kind of visa?? I'm a Canadian with a Canadian passport.
How long you stay will depend on the Immigration Officer when you arrive at a UK airport. Tell him you will be travelling to other European countries too over ten months. He may ask if you have enough income to support yourself over that time. A number of credit cards and slight exaggerations of their funds might help.
If you do not get paid, is that classified as work? More like helping with Voluntary Aid organisations. You might forget to mention this.
If you can get a letter from some organisation(s), that might help.
This seems to be a bit of a gray area. Some people say it's fine not to mention it and others say it's considered illegal and you can get deported for it :S I'm just worried that I will be refused entry to the UK when I go back after being in Ireland. If I don't get a visa it would save me $350 and a 8 hour trip to and from the nearest biometrics centre to get a visa.
I'm also thinking of doing a HelpX position in Switzerland for a month which I think is part of the Schengen area. What is their position on this type of work?
You will be asked for how long you intend to stay in Europe and should be able to provide information on funds available to support your sustenance. You should also carry proof of your health/accident insurance, covering the length of your stay outside of Canada.
As far as "work" is concerned, a visitor is not normally authorized to exercise a paying activity. Volunteering, for recognized institutions, is allowed in most European countries, including Switzerland.