Working Holiday (Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme)
The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme (previously known as the UK Working Holiday) visa is available to passport holders of
Up until December 2008, South Africa was included on this list, but this has since been revoked. The following British Passport holders can also apply:
- British National Overseas (BNO)
- British Overseas Citizen (BOC)
- British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC).
There are several restrictions to the Working Holiday Visa for the United Kingdom, but in general is available to any person aged between 18 and 30 and allows a holder to live and work in the UK for a period of 2 years.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so this visa cannot be issued for a second time. There is no extension to this visa available. In addition, time spent in the UK on this visa does NOT count towards the residency qualifying period for other UK visas.
This visa is issued abroad (i.e. it cannot be applied for while in the UK). There are only limited options to switch from this visa category to another from within the UK. These do NOT include any employment category visa (like the HSMP Tier 1 or Work Permit Tier 2).
There has been much confusion in the past over the type and nature of work permitted on this visa. With the introduction of the Tier 5 category, this has been clarified. When you are in the United Kingdom under the youth mobility scheme, you:
- must register with the police if this is needed by paragraph 326 of the immigration rules, and
- must not claim state benefits.
You can do any work you like during your stay without our approval, except you must not be employed as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach) or as a doctor in training. You are only allowed to be self employed if:
- you do not own permanent premises from which you do your business;
- the total value of your equipment that you use in your business is not worth more than £5,000, and
- you have no employees.
You are allowed to rent premises provided the above conditions are met. Setting up a company for the provision of the business and holding shares in a company are both allowed as long as the above conditions are met.
You can also do:
- privately funded study;
- au pair placements;
- voluntary work.
You must pay the correct fee with your application, and send the correct supporting evidence to support your application. If you make an application and it is unsuccessful because you do not meet the requirements, your application fee will not be refunded.