close menu

UK Tier 5 visa: Work and travel in the UK for up to two years

This visa allows young people to live, work and travel in the UK for up to two years.

To qualify you must:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30
  • Reside in a participating country
  • Have £1,890 in savings and have held this amount in a bank account in your name
  • Intend to return home after living and working in the UK for 2 years

Terms and conditions for the Youth Mobility visa

To be eligible to enter the UK under the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme, you must meet the general criteria mentioned above and must never have been issued a working holiday visa before.

The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa is issued for two years, during which time you may study and/or take employment in the UK. However, you may not get public funds or work as a professional sportsperson, doctor or dentist in training – unless you can show that you qualified for this position in the UK.

You may not have family members attached to this visa; spouses and children must apply separately.

If you wish to apply and are currently located in Australia or New Zealand, please contact our Australasian office to find out how we can assist you with your visa as well as help you kick-start your life in the UK. For Canada and Japan, please contact our UK office for assistance.

Participating countries

  • Australia - 35,500 places
  • Canada - 5,500 places
  • Japan - 1,000 places
  • Monaco - 1,000 places
  • New Zealand - 13,000 places
  • South Korea - 1,000 places (certificates of sponsorship)
  • Taiwan - 1,000 places (certificates of sponsorship)
  • Hong Kong – 1,000 (overseas British national)

If you are a citizen or passport holder of a country or territory listed above, and that country or territory has not filled all its places for the year, you may be eligible to come to the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme. Your national government will be your sponsor during your stay.

If you are a British overseas citizen, a British national or a British overseas territories citizen, you are also eligible to apply under the scheme. In these cases, you will not need a sponsor and the number of places available is not limited.

Staying in the UK after your Tier 5 visa expires

The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa is valid for two years and is not renewable. We have included the most common visa options below, if you wish to remain in the UK once your Tier 5 visa has expired.

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

Apply from your home country

Ancestry visa

If you have a UK-born grandparent, you will be able to apply for an Ancestry visa. Once this is granted, you will be able to return to the UK, to live and work.

Tier 2 visa

If you have received a job offer or sponsorship opportunity during your two years in the UK, you can apply for a Tier 2 visa.

If you qualify for either of these visas, you will need to return to your home country to apply for them.

Apply from within the UK

If you would prefer to stay in the UK without returning home, there are three visa options which allow you to do this:

Ancestry dependant visa

If you are in a relationship with or married to an Ancestry visa holder, you may become a dependent on their visa. This application may be made from within the UK.

When the Ancestry visa holder qualifies for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will be eligible to apply at the same time.

EEA family permit

For people who are in a relationship with or married to an EU citizen, there is the option of becoming a dependent on their visa.

Spouse visa

If you are in a relationship with or married to someone who is British or has settled status in the UK, you may apply for a spouse visa. However, this route has certain income threshold requirements: Your spouse must earn at least £18,600 per year in order for you to be eligible to receive this visa.

We have some exciting news
for all our visas clients...

1st Contact Visas is rebranding to Sable International!

For the last 18 months we've been slowly merging with our big brother, Sable International. Over the next year we're going to complete that merger. This will in no way affect your visa, ILR, citizenship, passport or work permit applications.

Your caseworker will not be going anywhere as the entire 1st Contact team will be in the same roles at Sable International. You'll still get that great 1st Contact Visas service, just under a new name.

We'll be keeping you in the loop as we prepare for the next exciting phase in this rebranding.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us directly.

Do you like cookies? We do, read why.