Working Holiday Visa for the UK
The Working Holiday Maker scheme has been replaced by the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS), a cultural exchange scheme designed to grant UK visas and create reciprocal youth mobility opportunities for young people from participating countries and the United Kingdom.
The UK Working Holidaymaker Visa allowed Commonwealth citizens aged between 17 and 30 to pursue UK immigration for an extended holiday of up to two years, with the intention of taking paid work in Britain as part of their working holiday UK visa.
From February 2005, the scheme was geared towards making the employment undertaken incidental to the holiday of which it formed a part, and not the key reason behind the type of UK visa application. As a result, candidates may only have work for 12 out of the 24 months duration granted.
Additionally, applicants could only switch to a UK work permit application if the profession in which they had a job offer featured on the Skills Shortage Occupation List. However, switching to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP was still permitted.
A working holiday visa differed from UK work permits and skill based immigration services such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Program, in that its main purpose was not to bring immigrants to the country to fill job vacancies but to grant leave to enter the UK to those interested in working overseas.
Like similar schemes in Commonwealth nations such as Australia and Canada, the scheme was intended primarily as a holiday option, with the added advantage that for half of their time in the United Kingdom, holidaymakers could earn money.
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Because of the nature of this visa for working in the UK, no points assessment was required and no specific job offer needed to be in place before you coming to Britain, as would be the case with a UK working permit. You may qualify for an EEA Residency Permit
However, it is important to remember that this route to the United Kingdom could only be issued once per person and unlike a Work permit visa application to work in the UK, it could not be extended or repeated.
The scheme was temporary in nature and did not lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK (ILR) often referred to as UK permanent residence, nor was there any progression towards British naturalization through UK citizenship. Find out further information on our EEA Residence Permit page.