I am a US citizen visiting my spouse who teaches in the UK on a Tier 2 visa and have been offered a consulting contract (and temporary visa sponsorship) with a college in the UK for the next 2 months. I have been told by immigration professionals that I must return to the US to apply for a visa which would further delay and possibly negate my contract work opportunity. What are my options since my spouse is only tier 2? Is there any way for me, as a US citizen visiting the UK on my passport only, to get a temporary work or other visa while I am in the UK or do I have to return to the US to apply? Thank you very much for your help!!!

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    Have you looked at gov.uk/check-uk-visa? US citizens do not require a visa if their professional activities are allowed under a "standard visitor visa." Certain activities, however, are allowed only if your stay does not exceed one month. It therefore looks likely that you do in fact need to apply for a visa, for which you need to leave the UK. In any event, it seems likely that the "immigration professionals" you've spoken with are going to be more reliable than internet advice, from people whose qualifications or lack thereof you know nothing about.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


You would have to apply for a visa which does mean that you would need leave the UK. On the plus side, the kind of visa I suspect the college is going to sponsor normally has a very quick turn-around on decisions (under 3 weeks). But there is simply no guarantee of that time frame at all.

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