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Topic: USA to U.K. w/cat - cabin, visa & 5 day rule questions  (Read 1565 times)

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USA to U.K. w/cat - cabin, visa & 5 day rule questions
« on: April 22, 2017, 06:14:18 PM »
I am moving to the UK on a T2 ICT visa on or around July 1 (depending on when my work sorts my CoS). I need to bring my cat with me!

My questions are:
  • Any restrictions on bringing her when it's not technically a permanent visa?
  • I saw she has to travel within 5 days of me, I assume that means of my visa entry date. However I also saw on the UK Gov guidance that I can designate someone to bring her but she has to travel within 5 days of them? The move will be so crazy, it would be much easier for my mom to bring her over a couple weeks after me but it wasn't clear if this is allowed?
  • I can't bear to put her in the hold. She's flown with me in th cabin before and does great. I've seen some topics here about flying into France and then getting the ferry (if my boyfriend, who lives in the U.K., drove over to get us). Even this seems like a lot of trouble since he'd have to hire a car and will be in the midst of a big move himself to join me in London. I've flown to LHR on Lufthansa via Frankfurt before, and that airline apparently allows cats in the cabin. Could I not take her that way, since she's not entering from the U.S. in cabin or can she not come in the cabin from anywhere, even EU? If the latter, I guess I could deal with putting her in the hold for the Frankfurt-Heathrow portion since it's short. Could I take her in cabin and then check her as cargo? Even if it means booking the legs separately?

Thanks so much for this and the wealth of other info on this forum, you all seem so kind and helpful!

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Re: USA to U.K. w/cat - cabin, visa & 5 day rule questions
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 06:28:19 PM »
Of course you can bring kitty!

I'm not the best person to answer about the five day rule.  I believe it's just a bit of extra paperwork if kitty is outside the five days.

Bigger issues to sort will be will your housing.  How quickly you'll be able to find appropriate housing that allow cats will be a bit more difficult.

Unfortunately there is no way around the fact that kitty MUST enter the UK via cargo if flying in.  The only ways around that is to fly into another European city and then enter via car (as train is not an option either).

I flew my two (older) cats in via cargo.  I was much more nervous than I needed to be.  Best decision I ever made bringing them!  It's much harder on us than them.  My vet assured me that they would be much happier in cargo.  He said it's warm and dark and they are soothed to sleep with the noise of the engines.  Versus the contrast of the cabin where they are down by your feet, lights going on and off, feet stomping by, trolleys clunking along.  Could have been bull but made me feel better!!   ;D
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 07:23:16 PM by KFdancer »

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Re: USA to U.K. w/cat - cabin, visa & 5 day rule questions
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 07:16:20 PM »
My elder cat was quite happy in the hold. She took the whole trip in stride, and settled in quite happily once she arrived.

Don't worry - just arrange it and do it.
Married December 1992 (my 'old flame' whom I first met in the mid-70s)
1st move to UK - 1993 (Letter of Consent granted at British Embassy in Washington DC)
ILR - 1994 (1 year later - no fee way back then!)
Back to US in 2000
Returned to UK July 2011 (Spousal Visa/KOL endorsement)
ILR - September 2011
Application for naturalization submitted July 2014
Approval received 15-10-14; ceremony scheduled for 10 November!
Passport arrived 25 November 2014. Finally done!

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Re: USA to U.K. w/cat - cabin, visa & 5 day rule questions
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 09:58:59 PM »
Ours went in the hold and although I was so worried for them honestly it was pretty helpful in the end. I mean, they are in a special heated compartment, its not like they are tossed around in with the luggage. If they had been able to fit squashed under the seat in front of me I would have been afraid of them meowing the whole trip and disturbing other folks. Other posters are right - cargo is fastest and easiest on everyone involved. It will be over and done with before you know it.

The five day rule... PM me on that as I have some information regarding that rule (from a legitimate source!) that I cannot share in an open forum. But yes, its doable for someone else to bring them.

Do check the USDA website though as well because there are a ton of vet checks, paperwork, and stamps that have to be done on the US side before leaving. Thankfully they now have a handy flow chart to use, but the info is required for entry into the UK.

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Re: USA to U.K. w/cat - cabin, visa & 5 day rule questions
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2017, 07:53:22 PM »
We're using WorldCare to bring our cat in June. He has to be microchipped (first) and then he needed a rabies shot (after). They have been great! https://www.worldcarepet.com/

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Re: USA to U.K. w/cat - cabin, visa & 5 day rule questions
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 10:53:16 AM »
Chiming in as I am making the same plans for my cat. I posted the same question on a longer thread about moving pets, but will add some comments re: flying with pet in cabin. For me, I do think in cabin can be good (maybe more for me than the cat), but I took mine on a 20+ hour flight from the US to China and my cat only meowed at the very end when we landed in China. She was a pro the rest of the time and I think appreciated being petted by me from time to time. Plus, I could give her a little water here and there to make sure she stayed hydrated since she was stuck in her carrier for so long.

I think the biggest concern for me is clearing customs in the European city you land in. For me, this will be Amsterdam, and we will switch to cargo from there. Now I am being told we must clear customs there, but no one seems to know if my paperwork for UK customs will do, or if I need something else. It seems like the requirements are the same, but hate to make a mistake there and have kitty get in trouble during her transfer to our second flight. We have to stay overnight too because there are only certain "animal-approved flights." Definitely check in with the ARC in the city you'll land in in the UK if you go the cargo route for the final leg of your journey. I have also read you can take the Eurostar or certain ferries, but the cat must be in a car at all times. That wasn't very convenient for us, but sounds like it might be an option for you and probably a lot cheaper than flying your cat in cargo.

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