Those who go on a working holiday or gap year to the United Kingdom apply for either the Youth Mobility Scheme or the Ancestry Visa.

UK Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

The Tier 5 Visa also known as the UK Youth Mobility Scheme (YMNS) was once called the Working Holidaymaker Visa. This visa allows you to live and work in the UK for two years. To qualify:

  • You must be a citizen of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Taiwan or Republic of Korea.
  • You must be between the ages of 18-31 years inclusive.
  • You must have the equivalent of GPB1,800 in a bank account at the time of the application.
  • Have no major criminal convictions.

Ancestry Visa

You can apply for an Ancestry Visa if you are a Commonwealth citizen and have a grandparent from the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).  Being granted an Ancestry Visa will enable you to live and work in the UK for up to 5 years. Towards the end of the 5 years, you can either apply to settle in the UK permanently or extend your visa. To be eligible:

  • You must prove you are a Commonwealth Citizen
  • You are aged 17 years or over
  • You have a grandparent who was born in the UK, or have a grandparent that was born in the Republic of Ireland before 31st March, 1922.
  • You are both able and planning to work in the UK
  • You can support yourself and your dependents without help from public funds.

There are other visas available including a Student Visa and Skilled Worker Visa. Information and how to apply is available from your nearest High Commission or Consulate General.

You will need to apply on-line for your visa. You will also need to have a biometric data taken. This is the process where you will have your fingerprints scanned and a digital photo taken. It is compulsory to have your visa entered into your passport before you arrive in the UK. You cannot apply for one in the UK. Contact your nearest British High Commission to apply.