Thursday, March 26, 2015

Applying for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility UK working visa

Before I did anything else with my travel preparations, I began the process of applying for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility working visa.  From online research and talking to other travelers, I knew the application process could take some time and can be quite confusing.

This post will hopefully help everyone else who wants to apply for the UK youth working visa.  If you have any questions, please leave comments and I will answer them for you.

What is the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa?
For those wishing to travel to the UK for less than 6 months
, you do not need a visa if you can show proof of your departure within those 6 months (return flight booking).  The Tier 5 visa is a huge opportunity for those wishing to travel for greater than 6 months and for those wanting to work in the UK.

The scheme allows those aged between 18 and 30 to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years.  You will be able to enter the UK at any time while your visa is valid, and leave and come back at any time during your stay.  You will be able to study, work in most jobs, and be self-employed by setting up a company.  

You will be eligible to apply if you are:
    • Aged between 18 and 30
    • From Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, or Taiwan.
See more overview details here.

What you will need to start with:
  • Greater than 1,890 pounds in savings ($3,636 AUD)
  • Current passport - recommended to have greater than 2 years left on it and a blank page for the visa
  • Up to $550 to spend on your visa application.  Applicants from Brisbane, Canberra or Perth are required to pay an additional processing fee for your biometric appointment.  My application cost $416 for the Visa Fee and $118 for the processing fee.
  • Time for a weekday city trip for the biometrics appointment
Please note that you are not eligible to apply if you have children who live with you, children you are financially responsible for, or have already been in the UK under the youth working scheme.  See more eligibility details here.

Online application process:

Once you have all of the above and are ready to start the application process, you will need to apply online here.  The form is generally quite simple and requires details such as full name, address, passport number etc.

It is important to note:
  • Your 'Date of planned arrival in the UK' is also the date that the Visa will start from.
  • You will be requested to put down the 'Main address and contact details of where you will be staying whilst in the UK'.  For this question, just put down the address of the first place you are staying at upon arrival.
  • You receive points for each eligibility requirement you pass such as Nationality, Age, and Maintenance Funds.  If you are fully eligible, you will claim 50 points.  Find out how many points you qualify for here.
  • You application must be within 3 months of your intended travel date.
Once you have filled out the online form, you will be asked to pay and book a biometrics appointment where they will take photographs and fingerprint scans.  Please note the cancellation terms once you have booked.

The biometrics appointment takes about 20 minutes as they check over all your documents, compile and triple check them, and take all of your fingerprint scans and photographs.  Once complete, they will take all of your documents and will give you a receipt with details of your application.  They will send all of your documents away themselves on your behalf.

Please note that if you are applying in Adelaide, you will need to post your documents yourself in a platinum express post envelope within 14 days of your appointment.

If you are having trouble applying online, you can use the PDF guide here.

What to take to the biometrics appointment:
  • Print out of your application form (apply here)
  • Print out of your booking appointment confirmation 
  • Passport
  • Official bank statement showing proof of funds in your bank account - no longer than 30 days old.
  • A current passport size colour photograph (see details here)

Things to be aware of:
  • Once your Visa application has been processed, your documents are sent back to the consulate.  You can pick them up at the city office or can get it couriered to you which will cost an extra $20-30 at your biometrics appointment.
  • Make sure you have a photo/copy of your passport before the appointment, as the consulate will take your passport and you will be without it until your documents are returned.
  • You should receive a confirmation email once a decision is made on your application and another email once your documents have returned to the consulate.  Bear in mind that these emails frustratingly don't tell you whether you were accepted or not!
  • At the biometrics appointment, I had the chance to buy a London oyster card with about $20 AUD already loaded onto it.  This is a simple way to get your oyster card and will be useful for when you arrive in the UK and need to get to your accommodation.
  • You can enter the UK before your visa starts but you will be entering as a tourist and will need to leave the country and then come back in order to activate your visa.
  • The whole application and acceptance process takes about a month.  Usually you will have a confirmation email within 2 weeks of your biometric appointment and your documents sent back shortly after.  You can apply for fast track or priority processing for a further fee.
If you have any further questions, please post them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.   Thanks for reading!  Follow your dreams and love life!


  1. Sometime it takes lot of times on visa approval, having no knowledge of visa process make it more difficult. So I always encourage people who keep sharing their experience on visa process. Thanks for sharing your great opinion which relate to visa process.
    Best Regards, Ale Rossi
    Immigration to Australia

    1. Thanks Ale, I really appreciate your comment.