The UK wants more Australian and New Zealand youths

There’s good news for prospective travellers from Australia and New Zealand, as the UK has raised the annual visa allocation for both countries under their Youth Mobility Scheme.

The Youth Mobility Scheme replaced what was previously known as the UK Working Holiday Visa programme.

Since January 2016, the number of Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visas available has been increased by 20% for Australians and 9% for New Zealanders.

The annual allocation of places for 2016 is as follows:

Australia: 45,500 places
New Zealand: 12,000 places
Canada: 5,000 places
Japan: 1,000 places
Monaco: 1,000 places

This visa is only available to those with a valid passport, aged between 18 and 30, from the selected countries. These requirements are presented on a points-based system, with a total score of 50 points required in order for applications for the Tier 5 visa to be successful.

These points are broken down as follows:

  1. Nationality – 30 points
    The applicant must be a national of a country participating in the Youth Mobility Scheme.
  2. Age – 10 points
    To score points under this section, applicants will need to be between 18 and 30 years of age.
  3. Funds – 10 points
    Applicants need to show they have at least £1,890 in their personal bank account.

The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa is only available for single use, with successful applicants unable to apply for this visa when it has been granted previously.

If the visa is granted it will allow the holder to leave and enter the UK at any time during their stay. Tier 5 visa holders are entitled to live and work in the UK for up to two years, subject to certain additional eligibility requirements.

Ready to start your UK adventure? Not only can we help you with your visa, but our Kickstart Package will make sure you hit the ground running when you land. Questions? Give us a shout.

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  • meg


    I was hoping for some advice and assistnace from first contact.

    I am currently in the UK on a Ancestry visa (expiring Aug 17). I plan to leave the UK in 2018/19, therefore could apply for either ILR or extend the Ancestrty visa to get me to when I leave. Now due to the healthcare surcharge, both ILR and extending are similar prices, with what I can only see the main point of difference as the processing times.

    When I was 19 (now 25) I was approved a Youth Mobility visa, which I entered into the UK with but didnt work and only remained for 2 months then returned to Australia (my nationality).

    Are there any other available (and cheaper) options I have to remain and work in the UK aside from what I have detailed above?


    • 1st Contact

      Hi Megan,
      The other visa options to you are the Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsorship visas and should you have a partner who holds a settled status or a British/EU passport you may look at the partner visa.

      • meg

        Thanks for your reply.
        Do you know what the health care surchage would be for the partner visa? I have been in a relationship and living with British national for 4 years.

        • 1st Contact

          The Surcharge amount payable for this application would be £500.