How does a Canadian get to Wales?
November 26, 2008 10:58 PM   Subscribe

What do I need to do to be able to live in Wales for 8 months? I'm a Canadian citizen.

I will admit that this is short notice, but I'm not really finding the information that I want online, or perhaps what I'm looking for just doesn't exist.

Basically, my girlfriend is going to be doing a graduate degree in Wales, and the plan is, come January, for me to follow her for 8 months. I'm Canadian. I'm studying at a Canadian university for a PhD. I have funding for that period of time, so the intent is for me to live off of that funding in Wales instead. This is perfectly acceptable from the perspective of my institution. I just don't know how to arrange it in Wales.

The visitor's visa seems to be for 6 months (which can be extended, I guess), but I would be there slightly longer. I'd like to have the option to work while there, part-time, but that isn't strictly necessary.

I was under the impression that there was some way for commonwealth citizens to be able to zip over to the UK to live and work, relatively easily. Is that still the case?

I suppose when it comes down to it, I'm not exactly certain what I'm looking for. There have been a few previous questions, but none from Canadians that I could see. Any information would be appreciated.
posted by vernondalhart to Travel & Transportation around Wales (4 answers total)
If you are under 30, you qualify for a working holidaymaker visa (INF 15), which allows you to reside and work in the UK longer than eight months. (Basically, you may stay up to two years, but you may only work for one.)
posted by limon at 11:23 PM on November 26, 2008

You might also wish to ask around your department if anyone has professional contacts in Wales. It is often not at all difficult to be invited to an institution as a visiting researcher. Is there anyone at Cardiff, for example, whose interests are relevant to yours? You could contact them, explain your situation, and ask for a formal invitation. You'd then qualify for a student visa (INF 5). In my experience it gives your stay abroad a sense of structure and community.
posted by limon at 11:34 PM on November 26, 2008

Try contacting the Foreign Office in Canana - this might be useful too
posted by laukf at 7:21 AM on November 27, 2008

Best answer: nope. there have been MAJOR changes to UK immigration in the last few months, some going into effect as recently as today.

if you don't qualify for a working holidaymaker visa (now known as tier 5 visa as of today), or a student visa (now known as tier 4 visa), then your alterantives are visitor's visa (only 6 months in a 12 month period - you cannot work on a visitor's visa, are not guaranteed a full 6 months entry, and must satisfy the immigration officer that you intend to head back and can support yourself without working) or a tier 1 (highly skilled migrant visa evaluated by points) or tier 2 visa (work permit sponsored by employer).
posted by wayward vagabond at 10:41 AM on November 27, 2008

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