Tier 5 Visa – Youth Mobility Scheme (UK working holiday visa)
What is a Tier 5 visa?
If you’re under 31, a UK working holiday is a rite of passage not to be missed. The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme replaces the UK Working Holiday visa, and is a great way to experience life in London and the British Isles. A Tier 5 visa lets you work in most jobs anywhere in the British Isles for up to two years. Many young professionals use this opportunity to gain valuable UK work experience whilst also taking regular trips around Europe.
Which countries participate in the UK Youth Mobility Scheme?
The United Kingdom has a reciprocal agreement with several other countries. You may be eligible if you have citizenship in one of the following countries:-
- Hong Kong (you must also gain sponsorship certificate)
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea (you must also gain sponsorship certificate)
You can also apply if you are a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or a British National (Overseas)
What are the other eligibility criteria for a Tier 5 visa?
In addition to having citizenship in a participating country, you need to satisfy the following criteria:-
- You must be under 31 when you apply
- You must apply from your participating country
- You have never worked in the UK before on a Youth Mobility or Working Holiday visa
- You have no dependents
- You have at least £1890 in savings
What are the fees involved for a Tier 5 visa?
It costs £235 to apply online.
You will also need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge when you apply.
When can I apply and how long does it take?
You need to apply for your Youth Mobility Visa from a participating country. You can apply no sooner than 6 months before you travel.
It usually takes 3-4 weeks to get your visa, although each country varies.
What can I do on a Tier 5 visa?
- Live and work in the UK for up to 24 months
- Stay in the UK for the remaining time on your visa if you turn 31 whilst you are there
- Enter the UK any time from the date your visa is valid, and leave and reenter as many times as you like until your visa expires
- Work in most jobs and professions
- Work for yourself (so long as you don’t own your own premises, employ staff, or own equipment valued over £5,000).
What can’t I do on a Tier 5 visa?
- Bring any family members with you (they will need to apply for their own visa)
- Work in Europe
- Extend your visa. If you wish to stay in the UK, you will need to leave and reapply from your home country for another visa type such as a Tier 2 sponsorship visa. You can apply for a Family Visa from within the UK if you have a long term partner, fiancé(e) or spouse who is a British citizen
- Be coming to the UK to work as a professional sportsperson, doctor or dentist in training, a charity or religious worker, or to work in a creative profession such as acting, music or dance. See Tier 5 Temporary Worker visas for more information.
How do I apply for a Tier 5 youth mobility visa?
You can apply yourself online using the UK government website.
Or you can get assistance from a visa agent.
Around 1 in 5 visa applications get rejected, so getting it right the first time will avoid costly delays. We offer a Tier 5 Visa Application package via our UK partners. Their “No Visa, No Fee” for £160 offers great value and is a hassle free way to get your visa sorted.
Not eligible for a Tier 5 visa? Find out about other UK work visa options