The UK working holiday visa or "UK Youth Mobility Visa", allows people between 18 and 30 years of age to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. Your eligibility is determined on a points-based system, and you must score 50 points to qualify. View our FAQ section for answers to all frequently asked questions - costs, requirements, and more.
UK Working Holiday Visa Requirements
- You must have a passport from Australia, Canada, Japan or New Zealand. Visa First currently organises visas only for Australia, New Zealand and Canadian citizens.
- You must not have any dependent children.
- You must not have held a UK Working Holiday Visa or Youth Mobility Visa before.
- You must declare any criminal convictions - some may result in ineligibility.
- You must not set up your own business or provide services as a professional sportsperson or a doctor in training while in the UK.
- If you are married, your spouse is no longer required to travel with you. Although spouses/partners of UK YMS participants may not enter the United Kingdom as dependants, they may enter if they qualify and obtain the YMS visa, or qualify for a different visa.
Visa Work Conditions
The new UK Youth Mobility Visa is valid for two years and you are allowed to work for the full two years that your visa is valid for, however you cannot provide services as a professional sportsperson, doctor in training or be self-employed.
Visa First have over 10 years experience processing working holiday visas. Over 40% of visas are refused due to application error. We have a 100% success rate.
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How is Your Eligibility Score Calculated
Under the new Tier-5 UK Youth Mobility Scheme, which replaced the UK Working Holiday Visa in November 2008, your eligibility is based on a points system.
You must score 50 points to be eligible. You will receive 30 points for your nationality, 10 points for your age and 10 points for available funds.
Nationality: You will score 30 points if you are from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, or if you are a British overseas citizen, British overseas territories citizen or a British national (overseas).
Age: You will score 10 points if you are 18 years old or over when your visa becomes valid or less than 31 years old when you apply. You must file your UK Youth Visa application before your 31st birthday.
Evidence of Funds: You get 10 points for evidence of funds. You must be able to provide evidence of enough funds to partially support yourself during your time in the UK. Evidence can be a bank statement which must be no older than one month which shows a final balance of at least AU$4000/CA$3100/NZ$4500.
The statement must clearly display:
- Your name
- Your account number
- The financial institution's name and logo
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long is this visa valid for?
How long can I work for?
What do I need to apply for this UK Visa?
To apply for a UK Working Holiday Visa you will need:
- Your visa processing fee AU$499
- The completed UK visa application forms
- Your valid passport from an eligible country. Please note that Visa First currently only organises UK Youth Mobility Visas (Working Holiday Visas) for Australian, New Zealand and Canadian citizens.
- Evidence of funds: You must be able to provide evidence of enough funds to partially support yourself in the UK – at least £1800 (approximately AU$3000/CA$2900/NZ$4000/€2200).
How do I apply for my UK Working Visa?
What's the processing time for this visa?
Do I need to provide evidence of funds?
Can I re-enter the UK if I leave?
How do I get a National Insurance Number in the UK?
Can I apply if I have children?
Can I re-apply if I got this UK visa but didn’t enter the UK?
When should I apply for my visa?
Do I need to attend a biometric (fingerprinting) appointment as a part of my visa application?
My working holiday visa expires in two months and I will go travelling in Europe. I need to pass back through the UK a month latter - will this be permitted? Or does the visa free stay not apply for a period of time after the expiration of the working holiday visa?
My next birthday is in Jan 2010. If I apply before my 31st birthday and my application approved, does that mean I can stay and work in the UK the age of 32?
Can I work in Northern Ireland with the working holiday visa?
Can you apply for a UK working holiday visa if I am in Ireland on a Irish working holiday visa?
I am currently living in the UK. The first 2 years of my HSMP visa have recently expired. I am not working at present. Can I apply for the YMS? And can I apply form within the UK?
- must never have been in the UK on a working holiday visa;
- must apply outside of the UK - either from your home country OR from a country for which you have a valid long term visa and have already spent 6 months before submitting your application;
- must be aged between 18 - 30 and have no children
Can the visa be put on hold at all?
Are there rules around how much time you have before you need to arrive in the UK after you get your visa. I am 30 but I do not want to work in the UK until next year (I will be 31). Ca I apply this year and use it within the 2 years?
After 2 years have I got to go back to Australia?
I am an Australian resident. I am in the process of getting a religious workers visa. I will then be looking again with someone else from Sep to Jun. Is this possible to do? Also after the Jun study can I go on the YMS? If I can, am I able to apply to go on it while I am in the UK? If not can I say go over to France, apply there and then go back with it?
Can I go on holiday to European country in my 2nd year of WHV?
I intend to get a round the world ticket and go to Africa first a 1 month, starting on the Jan 31st, 2010 and arrive in the UK at the end of Feb. It I apply for my YMS now and it is issued to me more than 3 months before I will arrive in the UK, will I still be able to work in the UK? I have heard a great deal about having to be in the country within 3 months of having the visa issued.
Can I work in Europe on a UK working visa? e.g. Italy? If not, is there a visa I can apply for to work in Europe, if I am already in the UK?
Do I need to arrive in the UK and have my passport stamped before I turn 31? Or is it ok to apply for visa while still 30, but not arrive until I am 31 or 32?
I met my partner whilst in UK on my Tier 5. Can we get married in the UK on this visa?
If I hold a UK Ancestry visa, am I able to return to Ireland for a period of six months or more under that visa?
Once my working holiday visa has expired is there a certain amount of time I need to be out of the country before I can reenter on a tourist visa?
In order to apply for this visa, do I need to submit my physical passport or only a copy? I am travelling overseas between applying for my visa and the expected waiting period.
I am an Indian, can I apply for UK working holiday visa?
I am a canadian, currently in South Africa. I have been here for a month, and will be here for another 2 months. Is there any way to apply for a UK visa without returning home to Canada?
I am currently travelling around south america is it possible to apply for a working Visa for the UK when im not in my home country?
I am intending to spend a month in France prior to commencing work in the UK; however I will need to pass through London on the way to France. Am I able to enter the UK on a tourist visa and only start my working holiday visa once I return from France? (Assuming I re-enter within 3 months of my visa being issued)
If you work for the whole two years, can you travel through europe after the two years or do you have to go back to your country of residence? and if you are accepted for this visa, can you travel through europe through out your work/stay time in the UK? ex. work for a year then travel for a bit then come back and work again or work for a year and a half and travel the last six months?
I am an Australian moving to Finland for 12 months on a working visa. Am I able to switch straight from that visa to a UK Working Visa when it has finished or do I have to return to Australia?
I know you can not have children when you apply for the Tier 5 YMS visa, BUT...what if you fall pregnant when already in the UK?
As the youth mobility scheme has replaced the 'working holiday' visa, is one able to work in the same field as they were employed in when they were working in Australia? I heard that on the old working holiday visa, you were unable to work in the same field as it was considered a 'working holiday'... Is this true?
Is it better to apply for the working holiday visa first then apply for uk jobs?
Within the two years allocated for this visa, can i work with the one organisation for the entire length of my visa (2 years). I am a qualified social worker.
With the UK visa, what are all the places you can work?
If I already have a Australia work visa but I have changed my mind and no longer want to travel to Australia. Now I would like to get a UK visa, will the other visa interfear with me getting a UK visa?
Hey I was already issued a two year working visa ...I was wondering can I re-enter the uk and stay and work .. please let me know
I am malaysian, I am qualified for the 20 points to apply UK Youth mobility scheme visa. how do i earn another 30 points?
Hi there. I am on an australian working holiday visa, which expires in 2 months. I have been living in london but not worked for several months. I plan to travel through ireland, (then england and europe) but will be returning to england after visa expiry. Is this possible? I have been told that as i have been on a working visa it will be assumed that i intend to still work in the UK and will be deported
I am a discharged Bankrupt will this affect my visa application?
I am currently an au pair in Denmark (so have an au pair visa which is valid till august 2011). I am looking to become an au pair in London in September (after my 6 months here in Denmark has finished), can I just apply for youth mobility scheme for the UK, without going all the way back to Australia. And if so how do I go about it?
I am an Australian who has already worked and completed a uk working visa in Northern Irealnd, is it possible to apply for a 2nd UK working visa or how can I go back to the UK to work? Also can I work in Northern Ireland on a Rep. of Ireland working visa?
Can I apply for this if I already had and used the WorkingHoliday Visa in 2005? I am a NewZealand citizen but would like to return to the UK to live and work.
If I get a youth mobility scheme visa once can I return a few years later and get another one?
I am an Australian citizen currently traveling around the world; I am hoping to apply for a UK working visa through the Youth Mobility scheme. I will be traveling to Portugal for 3 weeks and was going to apply there with the UK embassy location in Lisbon. Will this be possible? How long will it take? And how long until I will be able to work in the UK after I apply.
I don’t think that you will be able to apply for your UK Youth Mobility visa from Portugal because in order to be eligible to apply for this type of visa from a country, other than your home one you need to have a long-term visa valid for at least 6 months. Tourist visa is not acceptable.
With regards to the processing time it depends from the consulate’s availability. They are aiming to finalise YMS applications within 28 working days after receiving the full pack of the required documents.
If there is no way to travel back to Australia to apply for your visa you will be allowed to enter the UK as a visitor for a period of up to 6 months but you won’t be allowed to work.
I am Australian and am looking at going to the UK in April 2011 for a working holiday with my partner. I will be 31 in August 2010. I have also had a working visa for the UK back in 2002, but only used 6 months of it. Can I get another working visa? If not is there any other options? If yes do I have to apply for it before turning 31??
If you were granted a working holiday visa to the UK before, then you are not eligible to apply for the UK Youth Mobility visa. It doesn’t matter whether you have spent the whole visa period in the UK or not – the visa expires 2 years after its date of issue and you are not able to apply for the same visa type again.
There are quite lot different visa categories for the UK. You need to check which type of visa will be the most suitable for you. For those visa types you are not required to be aged under 31.
I am a New Zealander currently living in Australia, I have dual citizenship for New Zealand and Australia, however I only have a New Zealand passport. Can I apply for a working holiday visa while living in Australia or do I have to return to New Zealand to do so?
I have a UK working visa, but I now want to do some work in Austria. It says above my UK working visa wont cover that. Can you please tell me what I need to do to get an Austrian working visa?
I am an Australian currently on a 2yr UK youth mobility visa. I have been in the UK since February and am looking at working in Norway for the winter period. Am I able to apply for a Norwegian visa in the UK or do I have to be in my home country?
Can you enter the UK on a tourist visa after the working holiday visa has expired?
I am an Australian resident but I have a British Passport. I am wanting to holiday and work in both Great Britain, Europe and the republic of Ireland do I need any kind of working visa to do so?
I have been a grad. student in the UK since September 2009. I would like to work in the UK. Are there any restrictions on students educated in the UK and who've resided there, though they have Canadian citizenship?
I currently hold the 2 yr working holiday visa which is due to expire in August 10. We have booked our tickets home departing London in Sept as we want to travel in Europe after our visa expires. We were hoping to come back to London on the visitor visa after expiry but customs told us we will not be able to do this and could be rejected and not be allowed back into the UK. Is this true and should we risk being denied entry even though we have proof of a flight home?
I have a 2 week trip planned to the UK in 4 weeks as a visitor but would like to apply for a Youth Mobility visa now so I can come home and return again in 6+ weeks. Does my September 2010 trip disqualify me for my application? Do I have to wait until I am back home in Canada to apply for my visa?
Hi I am an Australian and want to go to the UK and France to work. Can I get the working holiday visa for France and the working holiday visa UK at the same time?
I am planning to travel to the UK in December, and I will be staying for 4 months. I want to get a working visa for back up, but I want to be able to come back in the future to work, not necessarily within the two years. Are you only issued with one working visa in your lifetime for the UK, or can you get multiple?
I have a YMV and was wondering if I can enter the Republic of Ireland with it? I haven't read anything about it, but want to be sure.
Can I apply for the YMS visa before I turn 18?
My UK visa application is ready for collection after only 12 working days, what does this mean, a refusal or not?
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