American spending more then 6 months in the UK

Travel Forums Europe American spending more then 6 months in the UK

1. Posted by gstene (Budding Member 5 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Hello,

So my GF is from France but has lived in the UK for a while. We have been dating for a two years and not quite ready for marriage. We're currently in the US and I've spend just under 6 months in the UK from October of last year to earlier this year. Circumstances now are wanting to bring us back to the UK for a few months (my job is remote). Is this posable with out a visa? Is it posable with a visa? Americans can only stay in the UK with out a visa for 6 months. Does that include within a 12 month period or from the start of the year?
I entered and exited the country with out even seeing boarder control, so I feel like no one (in government) would know I'm even there. I feel like I'd just be able to go threw Heathrow, no big deal, but I would love some feedback from anyone with knowledge about the situation.

Thank you,
Gavin

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3356 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Why don't you call the British Embassy and ask them?

https://embassy-finder.com/united-kingdom_in_usa

(my job is remote)

Would this require some sort of work visa?

3. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3037 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

>Americans can only stay in the UK with out a visa for 6 months. Does that include within a 12 month period or from the start of the year?

US citizens can stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months during one visit. There are no set limits on how many visits you can make in one time period (e.g. a year) but if you stayed six months, left for a couple of days and then tried to return you'd obviously you'd be asked some serious questions by border control.

>I entered and exited the country with out even seeing border control,

I'm not sure what you mean but hope you are just confused about/didn't know about the CTA. The UK is part of a Common Travel Area which includes mainland UK, N Ireland, Rep Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Jersey & Guernsey). If you take a flight/ferry from those places to the UK you don't go through border control on arrival but when you first entered the CTA all your details were passed on to the other CTA countries. So, for example, if you enter Rep Ireland (e.g. fly from USA to Dublin) and then fly on to London Heathrow the Rep Irish authorities pass on your details to the UK authorities so you don't go through border control on arrival at Heathrow. It works exactly the same way in reverse.

But if you entered and left the UK by other means (i.e. private boat or plane) and didn't seek out the appropriate officials to notify them of your presence then you entered and remained in the UK illegally. That's really not a good idea and may come back to 'bite' you: it's not just a simple matter of you thinking 'the government' didn't know.

>Circumstances now are wanting to bring us back to the UK for a few months (my job is remote). Is this posable with out a visa?

You a work visa if you intend to work in the UK, whether or not the work is remote and whether or not the employer is UK-based.

This official site will help you determine what sort of visa you need:

https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

>So my GF is from France but has lived in the UK for a while.

Does your GF have UK permanent residency or official settled status? If not she can only stay in the UK for max 6 months (post-Brexit rule changes) and, if she is working or intends to work, she too must get a work visa (ditto)

[ Edit: Edited on 21 Jul 2021, 06:45 GMT by leics2 ]

4. Posted by gstene (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hello Leics2,

thank you for your reply, it is definitely helpful!

Point 1 - This is very interesting. Can you share a source on this? I couldn't find that much information on it.

Point 2 - I just entered the country by a major airline at Heathrow. I went to one of the self scanners (don't know the official name); the one that you scan your passport and it takes a picture of you.
The UK is the only country I've been to that I didn't have to have to talk/greet/see with boarder security when I got there.

Point 3 - Thank you for the source.

Point 4 - Yeah she does. She has studied and worked in London for 7 years.

Thanks,
Gavin

[ Edit: Edited on 21 Jul 2021, 13:00 GMT by gstene ]

5. Posted by gstene (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hey Karazyal,
I'll just call them and see what they say lol
Thanks

6. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3037 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Gavin:

1. >Can you share a source on this?

How long US citizens can stay without a visa is made very clear on the official 'Check UK visa' link I gave above:

>You can stay in the UK as a tourist for up to 6 months without a visa. (my underlines).

6 months is more than ample for a tourist visit so common sense should tell you (and anyone else) that staying for almost 6 months then just nipping out of the UK for a few days and trying to re-enter will definitely lead to questions about your purpose and intentions. You'd certainly need to convince border officers that you weren't trying to live and/or work in the UK without the appropriate visa (i.e. illegally).

2. >The UK is the only country I've been to that I didn't have to have to talk/greet/see with boarder security when I got there.

Ah...that explains everything! Not all countries require a chat with border officers for every citizenship which enters the country. If you were an EU citizen you'd be quite used to that idea. :-) You can be reassured that both your UK entry and your UK exit were recorded.

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3356 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

"Hey Karazyal,
I'll just call them and see what they say lol..."

-

Hey, every little bit helps!

8. Posted by gstene (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Leics2,

1. Yeah, I guess. It would just be more thorough to mention if there are limits on frequent visitors. I get my case is a bit unique, but surely I'm not the only one confused on this rule.
2. Thanks. Duly noted
3. haha yeah for sure
Thanks for the help mate :)

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3037 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

>It would just be more thorough to mention if there are limits on frequent visitors.

If something isn't mentioned it's because there are no fixed rules about the number of times one can visit (just as there aren't any fixed rules about the number of visits for UK citizens entering the US on an ESTA!).

BUT any border officer will obviously want to double-check someone visiting the UK (or the US or any EU/Schengen country) for the maximum time allowed and trying to re-enter soon afterwards because the most common (only?) reason for doing so is to stay/work in the UK/relevant country without the appropriate visa.

You're more than welcome to the info...I've been answering UK/EU/USA entry questions for well over a decade! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 21 Jul 2021, 17:04 GMT by leics2 ]

10. Posted by gstene (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Yeah, that's true. Didn't think I would be learning about this, but here I am.

I should be fine, I have a fine job that's all remote and my GF has ties to London. I don't want to get to much into my personal life, but judging from the information you have given me, it should be fine.

That doesn't surprise me, sounds like you use to do the job haha