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UK: buying a car, leaving and returning with pets

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Aug 21st, 2006, 03:37 AM
  #1
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UK: buying a car, leaving and returning with pets

Im considering moving to the UK in about a year or so and im wondering if I should buy a left hand drive car(like the US)in France,OR a right hand drive car.The reason is I may have to do a signifigant amount of driving in other countries evry 6 months for three months at a time because I will attempt to do all of this on tourist visas. And, I want to bring my Red Doberman Ziggy.Am I crazy or can this be done? If I take my dog out of the UK to France and Germany and then back into the UK,what kind of problems will I have? And what will I do for a license and insurance? Can anyone help me?
kurtzline is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2006, 03:56 AM
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There's a strong element of putting carts before horses here.

You can't legally live in Britain on a tourist visa: you undertake, on getting your six months' leave to remain, to do no more than be a tourist or attend business meetings. So when you return to Britain with a British-registered car, you're very likely to be refused re-admission since you're clearly not coming here for a holiday or on business.

You might be able to pull this trick off by repeatedly flying into the country. But a car - or any other evidence of permanent residence, like a dog - would be a complete giveaway.

And to be honest, arriving here in the first instance, even at an airport, with all the documentation needed to import your dog without putting it into quarantine will set all the bells ringing.
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Aug 21st, 2006, 04:33 AM
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Firstly, are you moving ie immigrating to the UK or visiting on a tourist visa?

As for the car, sorry but I don't really see a sense in your idea. You can get a long-term rental if you're doing most of your driving in France/Germany. If you're moving to the UK long-term and planning to do much driving in UK (but outside of London, pleeeease!) you can consider buying a second-hand one.

You can drive up to 1yr with international license, but are supposed to get the UK license longer than that.
As for your dog, there is a pet travel scheme (pet passport) among EU countries. Though I think this does not apply to US-EU and I recall it only allows train or air travel, not private vehicles.
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Aug 21st, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Well, technically I will be visiting.I sold my house here (US) last year and I work online so I dont need to work there but I would really like to stay longer than 6 months to really see everything.But I dont see how I can get a visa to stay longer, I dont really qualify. I dont want to give my dog away and I dont think he would like that either.Its notworth flying him and going through all the red tape if its only for 6 months.Not sure if I can do it. Thanks for responding.
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Aug 21st, 2006, 10:53 AM
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I suspect that your dog will be spending 6 months in quarantine coming from the US.

But once here you can get a pet passport from a vet which subject to the animal's health would allow you to travel between EU countries.

I think.


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Aug 21st, 2006, 10:55 AM
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http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm gives info on quarintine
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Aug 21st, 2006, 10:55 AM
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I think the UK has dropped the 6 month quarantine.
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Aug 21st, 2006, 11:33 AM
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In a way they retain the 6 month quarantine - it is just at the front end, not after entry to the UK. After being microchipped, vaccinated and having post-vaccination blood tests, you have to wait 6 months before the vet can complete the necessary paperwork.
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Aug 21st, 2006, 11:44 AM
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10 years ago my family lived in England for a little over a year. My parents took a trip (just the two of them) first to set things up. They scoped out towns and found a small cottage to rent, schools to enroll us in, etc.
The way we achieved this - visa wise...
At the time you could only stay in the UK for 6 consecutive months on a travel visa. My sister and I were ok, because we were students. My father is a sailor, and therefore, goes to work for 2 months at a time. So he would come over to "visit" us and then go to work for his work period, and then come back to "visit" on a travel visa. My mother was the only tricky one. She ended up enrolling in school - to obtain a student visa, which would allow her to stay the year. She enrolled at the english gardening school and there was no problem.
Then, when we arrived, my parents bought a English car with the steering wheel on the right side. We travelled frequently to Europe on road trips and only given a hard-time once trying to get back into the country. That was on the ferry from Callais, to Dover, coming back from a trip to France. But we got in!
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Aug 21st, 2006, 11:44 AM
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oh yeah, we left our dog at my aunts, because of the 6 months quarantine. We bought another dog while over there though!
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Aug 21st, 2006, 11:09 PM
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The 6 months quarintine is only relaxed for named EU and some non EU countries. There's a list at the Defra website. The US mainland is included. So I guess Manhattan Island is still a rabies area? I saw lots of taxi drivers foaming at the mouth last time I was there. ;-)

Hope you can travel with Ziggy!
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 12:01 AM
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Well Im from San Diego California so Im not sure about the NY cabbies but thanks for the info.Wow what a great website! Everyone is so helpful. I was just wondering If anyone knows what the longest time period for a student visa is or if they are renewable.And how would I get an international license? Anything else you can think of would be great to hear,thanks everyone
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Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:37 AM
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To get a student visa you must first get on a course, and your permit won't be longer than for the period of the course (or, I think, a year at a time if the course is longer than a year). If you come as a tourist and then ask to stay as a student, expect to be thoroughly grilled. When people try to change status, it makes the authorities suspicious about whether this is a disguised way to try stay and work here, and they will be looking for any information that suggests you're just using student visa status to justify a longer stay.

And institutions are expected to charge the full economic cost of the course to overseas students, i.e., it will be very expensive.
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Sep 8th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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I work at an international college in the uk

visa regulations are changing all the time. To have a student visa you must be on a full time course and you must attend 80% of the course.

The police and immigration have the right to detain you if they think there is a problem, and they can do that as you leae the country.

Yes I know people on here will say they know people who enrolled for courses and didn't attend - but this is new legislation.

And it's getting tougher.


As you work online why don't you investigate whether you can come here and live legally? The immigration rules are, as in most countries, aimed at making sure you don't take a job from a local and don't live on UK gov't money.

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