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UK working holiday visa

 

The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa - often referred to as the UK working holiday visa - allows a person aged 18 to 30 to live, work and travel in the UK for up to two years.

Apply for a UK Working Holiday visa to live and work in the UK

This UK working holiday visa is issued for two years, during which time you may study and/or take employment in the UK. However, you may not use public funds or work as a professional sportsperson, doctor or dentist. You also cannot bring any family members to accompany you (partner or children).

To qualify you must:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30
  • Be a passport holder of a participating country
  • Have sufficient funds at your disposal
  • Not have been granted the visa previously
  • Intend to return home after living and working in the UK for two years

Participating countries

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan

If you are a British overseas citizen (BOC), a British national overseas (BNO) or a British overseas territories citizen (BOTC), you are also eligible to apply under the scheme. 

 

Staying in the UK after your Tier 5 visa expires

The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa is valid for two years and is not renewable. We cover the most common visa options below if you want to remain in the UK after your Tier 5 visa expires.

Switching from a Tier 5: Applying from your home country

If you qualify for either of these two visas, you will need to return to your home country to apply for them if you are applying for them while you hold a Tier 5 visa.

UK Ancestry visa

If you have a UK-born grandparent and are a Commonwealth citizen, you will be able to apply for a UK Ancestry visa. Once this is granted, you will be able to return to the UK, to live and work for a period of five years.

Tier 2 Work Permit

If you have received a job offer or sponsorship opportunity during your two years in the UK, you can apply for a work permit.

Switching from a Tier 5: Applying from within the UK

If you qualify for the following three visas, you can switch from a Tier 5 visa without returning to your home country.

Ancestry dependant

If you are married to (or in a relationship with) an Ancestry visa holder, you may be added as a dependant on their visa. When the Ancestry visa holder qualifies for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), you will be eligible to apply for ILR at the same time.

EEA family permit

For people who are married to (or in a relationship with) an EU national, you can apply for the EEA family permit.

Spouse visa

If you are married to (or in a relationship with) someone who is British or has settled status in the UK, you may apply for a UK spouse visa.

Settled status

Settled status is most commonly held by:

 

Contact our immigration team

Phone us (SA): +27 (0) 21 657 2180

Phone us (UK): +44 (0) 20 7759 7580

South Africa

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
Cape Town
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1DG
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

Australia

Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

Hong Kong

Level 1102
The Lee Gardens
33 Hysan Avenue
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
t: +852 3959 8681

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