My son, aged 26, hoped to travel to the UK in September 2008 to travel and work to support his travel for 6 months. It looks like he is not eligible to do so, based on the requirements set by the UK. Is there any way he can get a work visa? Replies appreciated as soon as possible. Thank you.
A British tourist wouldn't be allowed to "work" their way through a 6 month trip to the US either; so this shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Having said that, I know travelers on both sides of the pond, who have worked off the books anyways- mostly working as waiters and such. Where there is a will there's a way, but Immigration officers in the UK are just as by-the-book as their US counterparts.
To get a work visa he would need to be "sponsored" by a company that has offered him a job.
UK immigration is getting very tough. If there is even a hint he might overstay his visa or attempt to find work, he might find himself on the next plane back to the U.S.
Is he planning on spending all six months in the UK? Traveling all over Europe? Tourist visas are only good for 3 months.
Has he looked in to BUNAC? It might be an option if he is a student or recent graduate.
FYI Frank, the UK currently allows US citizens up to 6 months on a tourist visa; there are moves afoot to reduce this down to 3 months though.
Just to add re. the suggestion of working off the books (which I know wasn't from the OP.)
Even if you ignore the obvious illegality it really isn't that easy. The UK offers "working holiday" visas to young people from the more affluent bits of the Commonwealth that basically allow a two year stay with the ability to work for a year out of that time. These people have traditionally taken the sort of jobs that would be suitable for the type of work /holiday combo that the OP's son wants.
The expansion of the EU has also lead to a boom in cheap labour that is even squeezing out the WHMs. Five years ago it was next to impossible to buy a drink in London without dealing with an Aussie barman but knowadays you are much more likely to be served by an Eastern European.
Thanks, Peter, I keep forgetting it's six months. The rest of Europe is 3.
I just went to the BUNAC site, you are only eligible if you are currently a student :(
My daughter has been a grad student in the UK for the past 4 years, and during that time, the Brits have become very strict on Visas, work permits, etc. He would be better off working and saving money in the US for six months and then going over there with money in his account and traveling around.