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Old 09-19-2005, 07:18 PM   #1
 
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Hello! First, I have to say that I'm new to TPUNK, and, so far, I'm impressed. There is alot of info here. Hopping you guys can awnser a few questions. I have done alot of traveling in the US, but am planning my first trip to europe. I find myself in the position to be able to spend a good deal of time overseas, but lack the cash to do it. The way I see it, I need to have a job, while in england to finance the trip. (plan to use england as a "home base", and do several side trips around europe). Can somebody tell me what kind of VISA I need to get, and how to get it? I am 30 years old, American, not a student, and single. I can not get a "highly skilled worker visa", as i don't have a collage degree. From my understanding, I can not get a "working holidaymaker" visa, because the USA is not a "commonwealth country". I want to spend 1 to 2 years in europe, and don't think I can do it with just a pasport. I have been told a pasport alone will only alow me to be in england for 6 months. Can anyone tell me if the info I have is correct? My family ancestry is english, but several generations back. I am told an "ancestry visa" can only go as far back as my grandfather, which won't work either. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-19-2005, 08:43 PM   #2
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Hi there, welcome! Basically, all the information you have is correct. It is extremely difficult-- nay, pretty much impossible-- to get a working visa for anywhere in Europe unless you are a student or if a company recruits and sponsors you for one. So, as sad as it is, you're stuck with the 6-month max. But when the 6 months are up you can go spend 3 months in an EU/Schengen country; the problem with that is when those 3 months are up you need to be OUT of the Schengen area for 3 months. It's lame-- you can't just leave for a day and come back. You can go and hang out illegally but if you cross a border that has a passport check, be prepared for an impromptu flight home. At your expense. And a possible revocation of your passport. It's not that you can't spend the next year or two outside of the US, you're just going to need to be prepared to move around a lot. And work illegally.
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Old 09-20-2005, 05:39 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by space virgin@Sep 19 2005, 11:43 PM
Hi there, welcome!* * Basically, all the information you have is correct.* It is extremely difficult-- nay, pretty much impossible-- to get a working visa for anywhere in Europe unless you are a student or if a company recruits and sponsors you for one.* So, as sad as it is, you're stuck with the 6-month max.* But when the 6 months are up you can go spend 3 months in an EU/Schengen country;* the problem with that is when those 3 months are up you need to be OUT of the Schengen area for 3 months.* It's lame-- you can't just leave for a day and come back.* You can go and hang out illegally but if you cross a border that has a passport check, be prepared for an impromptu flight home.* At your expense.* And a possible revocation of your passport.* * It's not that you can't spend the next year or two outside of the US, you're just going to need to be prepared to move around a lot.* * And work illegally.
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That's about what I was afraid of . Any ideas on a volenteer program? Maby something part time that will pay me in room and board? Something about 3 or 4 hours a day, that can alow me enoughh time to get a paying job to cover other expenses? I know that travelers can work in hostels, but I figure there would be alot of competition for thoses jobs, and not reliable enough to count on. Also, do I need a work visa to work in a hostel?
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Old 09-20-2005, 06:32 AM   #4
 
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I'm determaned to find a way to make this happen. I would like to find a way to leagaly work in europe, to avoid any problems that may come up from working illeagaly. The last thing I want is to get kicked out of a country right in the middle of my trip, or evan worse, just as it is getting started. If I need a company to sponser me to get a work visa, how about a musium? Does anyone think I can get a job as an english speaking tour guide? Has anyone ever heard of a musium sponsering someone for a work visa? If so, which musium? I would prefer to be in England, but it is pointless to try and get a job with my english skills in England. How about Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, or Greece? Any other ideas on a way to get a job in europe with my english skills? I'm not a teacher, and would be "lost" trying to teach someone how to speak english, especially when I am not fluant in any other languages. I speak a little spanish, but not enough to communicate in spanish. Any help on this???
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:59 AM   #5
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First off, welcome aboard.

Secondly, I understand your frustration completely, as I am in the exact same boat.

Although you've discounted the English teacher gigs, it's one of the few ways you can legitimately get work in Europe. You'd have to go get certified as a teacher via a TEFL or similar course, and they'd teach you how to teach. That's one route I've been considering. The French consulate also has a program with the US to have people teach English there (no teaching or French experience necessary) but the pay is dismally low and can basically afford you a brief life in rural areas, providing you find a family to stay with on the cheap.

Another option - though it's the most difficult and requires having money in the bank - is freelancing. If you do something for a living that you can do from afar - and can amass some sort of client list before you go - you can freelance from within the EU and live there legally. You have to show that you have a few months' worth of rent/bills in the bank and that you have a client list in the US, but other than that, you're all set and legal to work there - including getting EU clients.

I'd wish you good luck, but you're competing with me for a work permit, so, umm,

Only kidding - best of luck to ya, and if you do manage a way in, be sure to share with us!
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Old 10-08-2005, 01:49 AM   #6
 
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Looking into doing this myself, so here's my suggestion:

(if you really want it bad enough)

One semester at any accredited university, taking at least eight credit hours, qualifies you as a student, which opens up the door for you to work in the UK for six months. So if you think it's worth it, you know what do...
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Old 10-08-2005, 07:36 AM   #7
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Another option to go legally is to be an au pair. There's plenty of sites online where you can find boards. I had a friend do this in Germany and everything was legal. I recommend you call the embassy in whichever country you'd like to start with and ask them what they can do for you.
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:09 PM   #8
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Hey guys, can I chime in here? I have a similar question, but it's for Ireland.

Is it 3 or 6 months max you can stay for on just your passport? And when you leave, does it have to be for 3 months like it is for England? For some reason I thought you could just go to England for a weekend or something and then go back to Ireland.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:28 PM   #9
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I was wondering if it would work to register for a full semester at a junior college get your letter to prove you're a student...then drop the classes and hop on a plane to the UK, visa in hand. What do you think?
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:53 PM   #10
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It might work but if you go through a program like BUNAC it's more likely they'll do some checking up and you'll be busted... You could give it a shot though.
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Old 11-24-2005, 12:01 AM   #11
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what sort of checking up do you think they'd do? do you mean after they've already issued the blue card?
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:08 AM   #12
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Honestly I really don't know. I've never gone through the program. But I'd think that there would be some type of anti-fraud measures in place to prevent that very scenario from happening... Maybe there aren't and they would never know. It's a crapshoot.
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:30 PM   #13
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Well...I tried it with BUNAC. And it didn't work because your semester of eligibility is based on a completed semester. Maybe I should actually quit my job and be a full time student for a semester. I'm thinking I'm just going to say screw that and go anyway.
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by kameleen@Dec 29 2005, 08:30 PM
Well...I tried it with BUNAC.* And it didn't work because your semester of eligibility is based on a completed semester.* Maybe I should actually quit my job and be a full time student for a semester.* I'm thinking I'm just going to say screw that and go anyway.
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umm...but would I actually be able to find a job with no visa (in Scotland)?
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:09 PM   #15
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Maybe. Probably. Who knows? It's never a guaranteed thing. But restaurants almost always need dishwashers or maybe even servers. Assuming you find one that will hire people under the table, that is. If you have *real* bartending experience you might get a job with that, but believe me when I say that usually restaurants/pubs/clubs/bars have a line out the door of people wanting to be a bartender...
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Old 12-30-2005, 06:49 AM   #16
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Hi there! I was in your shoes a few years ago when I decided suddenly not to get on my return flight home and had to find a way to make cash to live on. Considering I did NO research at all, and I had no visa, I didn't have any problems finding jobs. It depends on how much money you need to make, but the jobs I found made me just enough to live on and to get me to the next place after a month or two.

Yeah, working illegally isn't the best situation, but hostels always need backpackers for cheap labor. They also know who else will hire backpackers in the area. Depending on the country, fruit picking jobs can be good money, a great experience and won' t check visas.

It's not easy...I spend 3 days wondering around a vinyard region knocking on random farmhouses looking for work but it was worth it.

I also worked in England in a pub and lived in the apartment above it for a while. crap hours and LOW pay but i made a bit of money there and the guy never asked me for a visa. again, you might have to ask 100 pubs but you'll find one eventually.

Good luck, if you have a sense of humor, it'll be great and 1-2 years is a perfect amount of time.

Oh last thing... depending on the country, you may not have any problems with borders and your passport. I'm not sure about the current situation, but 5 years ago most of Europe had open borders which means no one stamps your passport when you go from France to Spain for example. That means that when you go to a county that DOES check, they only know when you entered the EU, not how long you spend in each country. BIG PLUS.

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Old 12-30-2005, 09:26 AM   #17
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^ Thanks! That's great info.

Quote:
Oh last thing... depending on the country, you may not have any problems with borders and your passport. I'm not sure about the current situation, but 5 years ago most of Europe had open borders which means no one stamps your passport when you go from France to Spain for example. That means that when you go to a county that DOES check, they only know when you entered the EU, not how long you spend in each country. BIG PLUS.
Well, that's true to an extent-- but if your passport was stamped more than 3 months prior and you're still in the EU / a Schengen country, that's a problem.
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Old 01-02-2006, 05:59 AM   #18
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You sound like nice people who deserve it.. but the damn US has to make it so hard for others to work in their country that it could be a reaction from the EU....

I don't really know what I'm taling about though
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:27 AM   #19
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I am trying to go to Edinburgh and find a job there. I am leaving pretty soon (March 3) and am getting nervous. I don't have papers. I reaaaally don't want to get there just not be able to find ANYTHING to do. I'm arriving a few months before peak tourist season. Can anyone help give me a little peace of mind about this? Pleeeeaaase don't tell me it will be impossible to find someone who will hire me (tell me you know a visa-less American who found a job, pls). I'll do pretty much any type of work. Except the sex kind.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:23 AM   #20
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You should be ok. If you were going around January, you'd pretty much be screwed since there's an influx of american (and aussie, and kiwi, and etc) kids looking for work. Just look around, hostels, pubs, so on. I had proper papers and worked in a hostel but they never ever asked to see them and I was too lazy to get an NI number so I used a forged one and never had any trouble. Dont exactly tell them you do or dont have papers, unless they ask point blank and stick their hand out to scope out your visa. Edinburgh is a pretty chilled out place, I was thinking of moving there and working in a pub. Had dreams of running into JK Rowling and convincing her I would be the most perfect au pair/assistant ever. hehe. a girl can dream.... Good luck honey!
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