What Exactly Are Working Holiday Visas?
United Kingdom Working Holiday Visas permit young foreign nationals (normally aged between 17 and 30 years old) of certain countries to come to the UK to travel and work. UK working holiday visas are two year visas and people are entitled to work for a total of 12 months out of that two years either sporadically or consecutively. The Working Holiday Visa scheme was part of a number of reciprocal agreements with other countries that allow young people to work and travel to new places. It is an excellent way to fund a long trip abroad. It is now referred to (as of last year) as the Youth Mobility Scheme – Working Holiday.
How Do the Working Holiday Visas Work?
Exactly as described above – the visas permit people to come to the UK for an extended stay/holiday of up to 24 months. The work permit that accompanies the visa states that you can work for a total of 12 of those 24 months in any job in the UK, although there are a couple of exceptions (such as sports people). You cannot use the Working Holiday Visa to set up a business in the UK. As part of the visa you are permitted to leave the country (the UK) as many times as you want but there is no pausing the two years you have been allocated. Also, you can only ever have one UK Working Holiday Visa.
What About Recent Changes to the Working Holiday Visa?
As part of their shake up of Immigration regulations the Border Agency recently changed the UK Working Holiday Visa programme to a new Youth Mobility Scheme. This is almost exactly the same scheme with a new name, although there are a couple of changes outlined below.
How to Apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme – Working Holiday
The new Youth Mobility Scheme is found in Tier Five of the Border Agency’s tier and points based system. People wishing to apply should go the tier five page on the border agency website and first check whether their country has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to allow them to apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme. It is worth noting that the number of countries who are part of the scheme has been cut significantly under the new programme. As it stands at the moment only people from the following countries are eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme:
- New Zealand.
In order to be approved for the Youth Mobility Scheme you need to achieve a score of 50 on the PBS (Points Based System). The points are normally allocated with 30 for nationality, 10 for age and 10 for the amount of maintenance you will have. In addition to the countries listed above you can get the full 30 points if you are a British national overseas, a British overseas territories citizen or a British overseas citizen. To get the full 10 points for age you must be 18 by the date that your visa would become valid and under the age of 31 when you are applying for the scheme. Finally, to get the full 10 points for maintenance you must be able to prove (at the time you apply) that you have funds in excess of £1800 in cash.
Conditions of your Youth Mobility Scheme Visa
The conditions for the Youth Mobility Scheme are almost the same as for the old Working Visa Holiday programme. People who have previously used the Working Visa Scheme (or the new Youth Mobility Scheme) cannot take advantage of it a second time. However, under the new changes applicants can now stay for two years and work the entire two years if they so wish, but they still cannot work in professional sports nor set up their own business. They are also not permitted to work as trainee doctors. They do not need sponsorship from employers.