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The UK Has Opened Its Doors For American Digital Nomads And You Don’t Need A Visa

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Thinking of making your next stop the UK as a remote worker or digital nomad?

Then there’s good news!

The UK has opened its doors for American digital nomads and you don’t need a visa according to Native Planet.  

A woman looking at her phone next to a red London bus

One of the most frustrating parts of being a digital nomad is figuring out where to travel next and how long you can stay without breaking immigration laws. 

Now you can add the UK to your must-visit list.  

Here’s what you need to know:  

Relaxed Immigration Rules  

Remote working as a digital nomad in the UK has always been tough, thanks to their strict immigration rules.

But things have just become much easier due to a brand-new update to the country’s immigration policies.  

Woman at the table with computer and coffee, working from remote during a break in London UK

This update has significantly relaxed the UK’s attitude towards remote working. 

Digital nomads can now enter the UK and work remotely, provided their primary reason for visiting the country remains non-work-related.

These reasons could be a vacation, to meet family, or to attend a work conference.  

Sounds confusing?

In simple terms, provided you enter the UK on a tourist visa and do a little sightseeing when you’re in the country, you can now also work remotely at the same time!  

Woman stands opposite Houses of Parliament London

You can’t hunt for work in the UK or work for a UK-based organization without applying for a separate work visa.

But you can undertake any work that can be completed via telecommunication.

This includes checking and sending emails, taking phone calls, attending virtual meetings, and any other work that can be conducted remotely and online.  

No UK Digital Nomad Visa  

It’s important to note that this doesn't mean the UK is introducing a digital nomad visa.  

Unlike many other European countries, the UK still does not offer a dedicated digital nomad visa to eager remote workers.

And the latest updates from the UK Government suggest they have no intention of doing so in the near future.  

Canal buildings in Manchester, UK

BUT this is an important step in the right direction.  

Although many people worked remotely from the UK with little consequence before this change was introduced, remote work on a tourist visa would have been considered a breach of the visa terms.

If caught, this could have affected your ability to be permitted entry into the country again.  

Digital Nomad At Cafe

Now you can join that conference call, check those emails, and ahem, write that article, knowing you’re on the right side of the law.  

So this might seem like a small change for digital nomads, but it is important.  

Visa-Free Entry For U.S. Citizens  

What’s more because U.S. citizens don’t need to apply for a visa to enter the UK, you can visit the country and work remotely for up to 6 months without any pre-arranged visa requirements at all.  

People walking down Carnaby Street in London

The USA is considered one of the UK’s ‘designated countries, ’ which means that technically, U.S. citizens apply for a visa upon arrival in the UK.

But this isn’t as formal or as complicated as it sounds: in reality, the visa is just another stamp in your passport.  There is currently no charge for this.

UK passport control may ask you for proof that you’re going to leave the country (an onwards airline ticket for example) and you may also need to show you have enough money to support yourself during your visit. 

If you meet these requirements, then the UK will offer an impressive six-month tourist visa.

This is one of the most generous in Europe. By comparison, U.S. citizens can only enter the EU for up to 90 days in any given 180-day period using their tourist visa.  

passport control and immigration lanes at London Heathrow International Airport

So all you need to do is enter the UK as a tourist (no pre-arranged visa required as a U.S. citizen), and you can explore the country, do a little sightseeing, and now work remotely without any restrictions at all.

It really is that simple.