These days, it’s difficult to see an end to closed borders and endless lockdowns, but they are sure to disappear sooner or later. And when they do, you need to be ready to journey out to Europe and see its beauties finally. But as an American, you may need to have a visa to visit or work in European countries. Whether you’re looking for mid-term rentals in the United Kingdom or the Czech Republic, you need to make sure your visa is in order.
Visas and the Schengen Agreement in Europe
Most European countries are part of a Schengen Agreement, meaning that their borders are pretty much fully open to the movement of people from other European countries, often without even having had one’s passport handy. As an American, however, this does not apply to you.
Luckily, Schengen countries allow Americans to visit for up to 90 days, either for tourist or business, without a need for a visa. There are a few catches, though. Your passport needs to be valid six months beyond your arrival in the Schengen Area, you have to present proof of sufficient funds and sometimes even a return flight ticket home, and some countries need you to show proof of medical insurance.
Suppose you’re an American looking for a rental for a more extended period in individual countries such as the Czech Republic, Portugal, Hungary, or others. In that case, you will need a work or a longer-stay visa. These differ from country to country and are often under various restrictions. For example, the Czech Republic’s borders are currently closed as the COVID-19 cases have increased, but this may change in a month or two.
Visas to the UK
If you have your eyes set on the United Kingdom as the next destination for your travels, you might think that the above rules of the Schengen Agreement apply as well. However, the UK is not part of Schengen and hence has its own visa rules. Similarly to Schengen, American passport holders do not require a visa for a stay that does not exceed six months.
They do have to present a return or a transit ticket, and their passports must be valid beyond the intended stay. Currently, the UK government requires all US passport holders aged two years and older to present a negative COVID-19 test which must not be older than three days on the day of travelling.
If you plan to stay longer than six months, you need a visa. There are many different sorts of Visas for Americans in the United Kingdom. There is the Business Visitor visa, the visa for marriage, employment, or study. There are even unique options for US passport holders, such as a work permit or an intra-company transfer. Overall, it will be best to contact the US embassy in the UK and ask which visa is the best for the kind of stay you have in mind.
If you are travelling to Europe or the UK for a few months and would like to find fully furnished and equipped accommodation with a good Wifi connection for stays from 14 days to 6+ months, check Flatio. All rentals already include all bills, and you don't have to pay a deposit.