How to Get a UK Working Holiday Visa (Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa)

Having left the UK to go traveling you might think why I’m actually writing this but there is so much to do and see in the UK that it’s well worth living and working there for a while.

We’ve written already about the top things to see in London, and free things to do in London.  We’ve also had a look at a few UNESCO world heritage sites and some ways to get off the tourist trail there. There’s definitely tons more to write about the UK, and with so much to do and see there why not stay on for a year or two and do a bit of work to fund your adventures in the UK? It used to be known as the working holidaymaker visa but changed in 2008 to the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa. Let’s take a look in more detail at what you need to do to get your work on in the UK.


What is a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa?

A UK Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa allows foreigners aged between 18 and 30 to work and travel through the UK. The UK Working Holiday Visa is a two year visa in which travellers can work over any 12 of its 24 months. You can also come and go as you please which makes it a very good way to pay your way gallivanting around Europe too.


What do I need?

You’ll definitely need a valid passport for the period you’ll be in the UK. You need to be from one of the following countries to be eligible to apply:
– Australia
– New Zealand
– Canada
– Japan
– Monaco
– Taiwan
You must also be aged between 18-30 years.
You may also be asked for proof of funds before you enter the UK – this doesn’t always happen but you’re expected to have at least £1800 GBP in your bank account.


How do I apply?

After you’ve made sure you fit the eligibility criteria – you’re ready to apply..Not only will you need to file your application but you need to declare your health status, and any criminal convictions you have (if you have any).

Application approvals are based on a ‘points’ system which basically give you points for filling out the eligibility criteria (nationality, age, proof of funds). There’s an online test on the UK Border Agency websites here ( )

You can easily apply online from the following link here and you’ll be good to go.


How much does is cost?

The fee for applicants of the Youth Mobility Visa is £194 but always make sure you double check the website as prices can always change.


Ok, there you have it a quick rundown of getting a UK working holiday visa. Any other questions you have about the UK you can find right here( Either that or drop us a note in the comments section and we’ll do our best to help you out 🙂

Enjoy working and living in the UK peeps.



  1. I’ve been thinking about getting this visa in a couple of years and have a few questions: Should I try to have job lined up before I go, or should I wait until I’m there? I’m assuming most jobs are hospitality/service related, is this correct? And how long (on average) would it take to get a job? Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

    1. As an English native it’s hard for me to say exactly, and i’m not sure how the economic climate will be in a couple of years.
      However, when Johnny and I went o Australia in 2008, we went without jobs and were able to find some quick enough (we found office jobs but you can get hospitality jobs if you’d prefer).
      Getting a job can always vary in length – Johnny took 7 days, and it took me a month. When your looking for work, if you treat 9am-5pm as job hunting time you should find something in no time – you just have to be strict to it. It wouldn’t hurt to have a look online before so you can hit the ground running when you get there too.

      Hope that helps and if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we’re more than happy to help where we can 🙂

  2. I wish to go to the UK via South America is there any restriciton on the time I take to get there with a working visa? Is there a three month rule for the under 30’s

  3. After you apply for the visa how long does it usually take before you find out if you’ve been approved/ when your visa will start?

    1. The length of time it takes to be approved for your Visa depends on where you are applying from =) You should be able to find out more here: And I believe that your visa starts when you enter the country!

  4. I’m planning to travel europe for 3 months before i go to the UK.

    can i apply when i am in europe, or should i apply here in AUS.
    i know that you can start your uk visa 3 months from when you apply.
    in that case i don’t want to waste any time on my uk visa whilst im travelling europe.
    this is doing my head in lol

    1. Hey James, my understanding is that you can choose the day when your visa starts. Also, that date can be postponed for up to three months. I would try applying while you’re in AUS, it might be easier than while you’re traveling. So you should be able to pick a day for it to start that will line up with when you plan on entering. I know its all crazy, visas can be the most frustrating process!

  5. I’ve been looking into this visa and I’ve read somewhere that they only accept a certain amount of ‘spots’ for each country each year. Don’t they only allow you to apply for a visa in Australia three months before your intended departure time? If this is the case does that mean that if you want to start the visa near the end of the year you’re unlikely to be accepted?

  6. Hello, My name is Daniel from the USA and I was wondering if there was any way to do this from America if I paid the travailing fees ?? Because I really want to do this with my friend…

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