Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa

1. Overview

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa if you:

  • want to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
  • are aged 18 to 30
  • have £1,890 in savings
  • have certain types of British Nationality or are from certain countries
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

You need to be sponsored if you’re from Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea or Taiwan.

Fees

It costs £225 to apply.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You’ll be given a visa to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months.

You can enter the UK at any time while your visa is valid, and leave and come back at any time during your stay.

If you turn 31 while you’re in the UK, you can stay for as long as your visa is valid.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • study – for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
  • work in most jobs
  • be self-employed and set up a company – as long as your premises are rented, your equipment isn’t worth more than £5,000 and you don’t have any employees

You can’t:

  • work as a professional sportsperson (eg as a coach), doctor or dentist in training – unless you can show you qualified in the UK
  • extend your stay
  • get public funds
  • bring in family members on your application – they must apply separately

2. Eligibility

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa if you’re aged 18 to 30 and you’re from:

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

You can also apply if you’re 18 to 30 and a:

  • British overseas citizen
  • British overseas territories citizen
  • British national (overseas)

You can’t apply if you have:

  • children who live with you
  • children you’re financially responsible for
  • already been in the UK under the scheme or in the former ‘working holidaymaker’ category

Money

You must have £1,890 in savings.

Sponsorship: citizens of Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan

You must get a certificate of sponsorship reference number before you apply.

A certificate of sponsorship is a unique reference number that holds information about the job you will do and your personal details. It’s not a certificate or paper document.

You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your certificate of sponsorship.

Get a certificate of sponsorship

Apply for a certificate of sponsorship in:

  • Hong Kong
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan

3. Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel ID
  • a passport size colour photograph
  • a bank statement showing you have at least £1,890 in savings
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You must have a blank page in your passport – this is where the visa will go.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

Read the guide for a full list of documents you can provide.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

4. Apply

Read the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) guidance before you apply.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

You must complete your visa application by 5 July if you’ve already paid the immigration health surcharge or you might have to pay it twice. You’ll get a refund for your first payment.

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for this visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.

You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date).

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application centre.

North Korea and Zimbabwe

You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea or Zimbabwe.

You must still be from one of the eligible countries to get this visa, even if you’re applying from another country.

Download the application form and appendix.

Read the instructions for:

  • North Korea
  • Zimbabwe

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