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Working Holiday Visa (Youth Mobility Scheme)

The youth mobility scheme – previously known as the UK working holiday visa – is for young people (aged 18-30) from participating countries and territories who want to come and experience life in the UK. Every year, the UK government allocates a number of places on the scheme for each country and territory.

The countries and territories participating in the scheme, and the number of places or certificates of sponsorship allocated to them for 2013, are:

Australia – 35,000 places

Canada – 5,500 places

Japan – 1,000 places

Monaco – 1,000 places

New Zealand – 10,000 places

Republic of Korea – 1,000 places (certificates of sponsorship)

Taiwan – 1,000 places (certificates of sponsorship)

If you come to the UK under Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) you will be free to do whatever work you like whilst you are here, but you must leave the UK at the end of your stay. You should not view this as a route for establishing a long-term career in the UK because after you have left, there is no guarantee that you will be able to return straight away as a Tier 2 or Tier 5 migrant, to work for the same employer in the same job.

In order to be awarded the Tier 5 Visa, you must score 50 points:

30 points are awarded if you are from one of the above countries or territories.

10 points are awarded if you are between 18 and 30

10 points are awarded if you have £1,800 available in cash funds.

You must be able to support yourself throughout your stay in the UK without needing public funds (such as state benefits). You should assess the potential costs of living in the UK. If you do not expect to get any income from working in the UK after the first month, you should ensure that you have enough funds to support yourself.

Source: 1st Contact Visas

The Tier 5 YMS visa costs £235.

If you’re like most people, applying for a visa can be quite a daunting task – especially when you consider all of the other things you need to take care of before heading off to the UK. That’s why 1st Contact has been offering specialist visa advice and services for nearly 20 years.

If you’re applying for a Tier 5 visa, all you need is a copy of your passport and a few supporting documents and 1st Contact will take care of the rest! Visit their website to find out more about their services and how they can help you.

Prefer to go it alone? You can find all of the application information here.

Visa advice for backpackers

Tourist Visa

If you are wanting to just visit the UK as a tourist, you should apply as a ‘general visitor‘.

If you are a Chinese national and will be coming to the UK as part of a group for a maximum of 30 days, you can apply for a visa as an ‘ADS visitor‘.

There are restrictions on what you can do in the UK in these visitor categories. For example, you cannot get married.

If you come to the UK as a visitor, you are normally allowed to stay here for a maximum of 6 months. If you want to stay here for longer than 6 months, read the other categories in the Visas and immigration section to see if you qualify for another type of visa.

See the Travel and customs section for general information about visas and travelling to the UK.

If someone in the UK will ‘sponsor’ you during your visit, they should read the Sponsoring a visitor pages.


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