England offers much to the traveler, whether your trip is for recreational, educational or business purposes. Relations between England and the United States are deep and extensive, and citizens of the two countries travel between the two frequently and in great numbers. Entry into England is not difficult, but there are some specific requirements depending on the type and duration of your stay.
Entering England for Short Visits
If you're going to England for visits of less than 60 days, it's only necessary to have a current U.S. passport. Passports are obtained through the U.S. Department of State, and you can apply for a passport at most U.S. post offices or federal buildings. More information on obtaining U.S. passports can be found at the U.S. Department of State website (see Resources).
Entering England as a Student
England is popular as a destination for study abroad with American students. If a student is planning to stay in England for more than six months, he must obtain a student visa. Student visas are issued by the host government, and application for the visa must be made through them. Specific requirements and applications can be found at the U.K. Border Agency website (see Resources).
Entering England as a Worker
There are very specific requirements for coming to England to work on a long-term basis. Depending on the type of work you do, your skills and other factors, you'll need a work permit or visa with special permissions. Generally speaking, individuals with highly specialized skills or job offers sponsored by English companies have the easiest route to follow in obtaining the necessary documents. For specific requirements, see the information at the U.K. Border Agency website (see Resources).
Travel Notes for Recreation
If you're coming to England to engage in outdoor activities, like hiking, climbing, cycling or fishing, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Traveling with your gear, particularly if it's heavy, can be a problem when flying. Check with your airline on weight restrictions and extra charges for bulky gear like bicycle cases. It's often a good idea to rent outdoor equipment for your trip rather than pay the extra penalties for traveling with it. Campingequipmenthire.co.uk is an excellent online resource for outdoor gear rental in England.
Remember that you'll need a license for fishing in England (known as a "rod permit"). These can be purchased at English post offices or bought online (see Resources).