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American Presenting at Conference in UK: Visa Question

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Hi everyone!


I am an American travelling to the UK this summer to present a paper at a 3 day conference. I have been told both that I need a visa and that I do not need a visa by officials. I have an appointment to meet at the UK Embassy in my city with regards to my visa questions but it is not until next week. I was just wondering if anyone here had any insight to Visa requirements for American citizens presenting in the UK just so that I may have a better understanding what to expect prior to my appointment and can ask the right questions, etc. Thanks for your help!

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I am a Canadian at a US school and I will be travelling to the UK for a conference this summer. My American friends are going too and they have already looked into this and found that they do not need a visa to be in the UK for a short while. 


Generally, you would use this link for UK visas: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa


Many conferences will give you information on whether you need a visa. For example, here is one meeting from 2013:



They also link you to https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa and the specifically say that you should say you are a "business visitor" when you attend an academic conference. 


When I enter this information as someone holding a US Passport, visiting for business and for less than 6 months, I also get "no". This is a copy and paste of what appears:


(Of course, you should confirm this yourself with whatever sources you trust!)


----- copy and paste below -----


You may need a visa to work or do business in the UK.

Whether you need a visa depends on your circumstances.

Business visits

You don’t need a visa if you’re coming to the UK for activities allowed under the following visas:

However, you should bring supporting documents to show at the border.

You may want to apply for a visa if you have a criminal record or you’ve previously been refused entry into the UK.

Edited by TakeruK
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  • 2 months later...

Did you ever get a concrete answer to your question? I am also attending a conference in the UK this summer and am unsure of whether I need a visa. I am leaning towards "no".

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  • 2 weeks later...

100% sure americans do not need visa. i go to uk all the time.

you WILL be asked where you're going and for what reason by the immigration official.

their job tends to get boring and they may get chatty or just stamp and send you through

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