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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 and work in the UK for up to two years. This is a great way to gain international work experience as well as travel throughout the EU.

UK Tier 5 Kickstart package


  • UK Tier 5 visa
  • Relocation Package
  • UK bank account
  • NI number application
  • Free money transfer

Purchase package

Apply for a Tier 5 visa to live and work in the UK

This visa is issued for two years, during which time you may study and/or be employed in the UK. However, you may not use public funds or work as a professional sportsperson, doctor or dentist. Also, A UK working holiday visa does not allow you to bring family members with you (partner or children).

To apply for the Tier 5 visa, you must fulfil some very specific requirements. 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


Money Transfers

Participating countries





New Zealand

Hong Kong

Republic of Korea


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 visa expires

The Tier 5 visa is valid for two years and is not renewable, which means that you cannot apply for an extension. Below are some visas you can switch to, which will allow you to remain in the UK after your working holiday visa expires.

There are various routes available, depending on your family relationships and work circumstance. You might need to leave the UK and apply for a new visa in your home country.

Switching from a Tier 5 visa: Applying from within the UK

The easiest way to stay in the UK without having to return to your home country is to be in a relationship with someone who already qualifies to live and work in the country. Below are the three most common categories.

Partner of a UK Ancestry visa holder

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

Partner of an EEA family permit holder

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

UK 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 partner visas. This visa covers three different statuses: Married partners, unmarried partners and fiancés.

Settled status is most commonly held by:

  • A British citizen
  • An Irish citizen ordinarily resident in the UK
  • An EU national (or non-EU national family member) ordinarily resident in the UK holding a permanent residence card
  • A non-EU national ordinarily resident in the UK holding indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
  • A person holding the right of abode

To find out more about when a person is considered to hold settled status, get in touch with our UK immigration experts.

Switching from a Tier 5 visa: 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 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 while on your Tier 5 visa in the UK, you can apply for a work permit. When your Tier 2 visa expires, you may apply for a Tier 2 visa extension, provided you meet all the necessary criteria. You must be present in the UK to extend your visa.

We know that switching visas can be a tricky and stressful process. Our expert immigration advisors can ensure your application is smooth and successful.

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Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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