Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Entering England for your stage from America

So you have just recieved confirmation that you have been chosen for a coveted stage at The Fat Duck. Yippee, woo hoo, and all that jazz. I am sure I did cartwheels when I got my letter.

Now you tell all your friends, family, and begin to prepare for the trip. What do you bring with you?

Knives, check.

Checked pants, check.

Kitchen shoes, check.

A Work Visa...... what???? What would I need that for. I am American, I can do anything I want, right?

Wrong. It is innocent and naieve to think you can travel and work on our young american part. But the rest of the world will think it is this american arrogance to think you can do what ever you want, where ever you want. We are so blessed with innumerable rights and freedoms in our own country, that we often don't realize they don't exist everywhere.

You need to get one thing through your head, if you haven't already. You are entering a foreign country and you have no rights to work. And if you are going with knives, a working uniform, and the intention to enter The Fat Duck kitchen to work, you are going to work. It doesn't matter that you aren't earning a paycheck. It doesn't matter that you aren't hired by the restaurant. The only thing the customs official will see is that you are entering the country with intentions to work and no visa to allow it. You will be denied access to the country, held in airport jail for up to 2 days, and deported back to the united states.

So after you quit your job, buy an expensive airplane ticket, give up your apartment, and what ever else you did to make this stage possible, don't blow it at Hethrow.

Don't get there and say, "I am here to work at The Fat Duck. What? That's not allowed? Oh, it's ok, because I am going to work for free!"

Or, "Yes, I am traveling with sharp objects, kitchen knives, but they are safe, I rolled them up in a pair of checkered work pants."

If you aren't going to seek and apply for a visa, they are expensive after all, then you are going to be sneeking into the country. Lie through your teeth. Describe a whirlwind backpacking tour through england and ireland. Pack in a big Kelty back pack. Say your sister, brother, college room mate lives in Germany and you will be heading over there after a couple of weeks. Why did you fly into England rather than Germany? The flight was cheaper and you have always wanted to see London.

Don't bring an excessive amount of knives. You will only need three, really. A turning knife, a paring knife, and a chef's knife. Wrap the knives up like a gift and say your parents are sending them to your sister. She was just married and has taken an interest in cooking. I am not kidding. Think of something.

I have just recieved word that 5 american stagieres were turned away at the boarder this year. All for not trying to hide the fact that they were entering the country illegally to work, illegally. Many of them proudly announcing they were there to work at The Fat Duck. Some getting caught with work uniforms and knives.

You earned the right to stage at The Fat Duck. It's your responsibility to get yourself there. Get a visa, or know that you are entering the country without any rights to work, and plan accordingly.


Blogger Jeremy said...

I'm applying. I'm naive, american, and 25. Do help ... what DOES one do to get into the country for a month? Where do you fly into? etc etc etc ... jeremy_spoken23 AT hotmail DOT com

so nervous...

May 16, 2007 5:20 PM  

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