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I am allowed in the UK under the 6-month visa waiver program. Last year, I was in the UK from May 28th to November 20th, so just a week short of the full 6 months. I re-entered at Dublin on May 6th, and was given a 6-month visa for my stay in Britain.

I would like to travel to the Schengen area and stay for 2-3 months. If I were to leave the UK before the 6 month time limit, would I be able to re-enter the UK and stay for the reminder of the 6 months I was given?

I'm 17 years old, from the USA, and I stay in Britain with my boyfriend and his family. Once I turn 18, we will be applying for a spouse visa and would appreciate information on that, if possible.

  • +1 and as resident expert @GayotFow indicates, you should look carefully at the UK and Schengen rules, and adhere to them. – Giorgio May 15 '17 at 16:08
  • @GayotFow more specifically, the answer is "no, you can't re-enter for the rest of your six months, but you can apply for a new period of entry, which, if granted, will generally be for six months." Isn't it? – phoog May 15 '17 at 16:08
  • Are you sure you got a fresh 6 months in Dublin on May 6th? You may want to post a copy of your entry stamp if it helps. You may be in danger of overstaying if you stay beyond 90 days from your last entry. – user 56513 May 15 '17 at 16:15
  • +1 @phoog ... why don't you put in the more appropriate Euro-centric response? – Giorgio May 15 '17 at 16:15
  • @Dorothy what do you mean by "the more appropriate Euro-centric response"? – phoog May 15 '17 at 16:26
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Every time you enter the UK as a visitor, you are admitted for a new period. For example, suppose go to the UK and receive a six month leave-to-enter stamp in your passport. Two months later, you go to France for the weekend. When you return to the UK, if they admit you, you will normally get a new six-month stamp in your passport.

However, you are not allowed to live in the UK as a visitor. If you're spending more than half of your time in the UK, you will eventually arouse the suspicion of a border officer, in which case you might be admitted for a shorter period or refused entry altogether.

You say

I reentered at Dublin on may 6th and was given a 6 month visa for my stay in Britain.

Dublin, of course, is not in the UK, although they are both part of the "common travel area." Normally, if you enter through Ireland, you only get a three-month admission.

You should therefore double-check your Irish passport stamp and plan accordingly.

Spouse visas are generally off topic here; if you have plans to move to the UK to be with your boyfriend permanently, you should ask about those at Expatriates.


As an aside, your terminology is a bit off. The UK does not have a "visa waiver program"; this name is used by the US and (with different spelling) by Ireland, but not by the UK. Instead, the UK lists several countries whose nationals do not require visas to enter the UK; these travelers are referred to as "visa-free nationals."

Similarly, when you are stamped in at the border, you are not being "given a visa," as you write, but rather you are being given leave to enter. The visa is a sticker placed in your passport before you travel to the UK, so the ink stamp placed in your passport at the border is not a visa. (Some countries use different terminology, confusingly, but this distinction also holds for Schengen countries, the US, and Canada, at least.)

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