Summary of the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) Scheme

Summary of the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) Scheme

18 April, 2017

1. Tier 5 is for those allowed to work in the UK for a limited period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives. It is split into two routes – Youth Mobility and Temporary Workers. The Youth Mobility visa was introduced in November 2008 to replace the Working Holiday visa and allows participants to live and work in the UK for up to two years. Holders must be aged between 18 and 30, have proof of £1,890 in savings and be from one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

2. The number of Youth Mobility visas issued has increased by 11% in the period 2009-2016. 50% of the Youth Mobility visas issued in 2016 were to Australians, followed by 18% for New Zealanders and 15% for Canadians. Tables 1 and 2 indicate the numbers involved.

Table 1: Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) visas granted to main applicants, 2008-2016. Home Office Visa Statistics, Q3 2016.


Table 2: Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) visas issued in 2016 by country. Home Office Visa Statistics, Q3, 2016.

New Zealand3,954
Hong Kong1,191
South Korea954

3. This visa does not lead to settlement. Applicants must pay the healthcare surcharge.

4. People with dependent children are not eligible to apply. This includes those who have children who live with them or children for whom they are financially responsible. Also ineligible are those who have already been in the UK under the scheme or under the former Working Holiday category.

5. Citizens of Hong Kong and South Korea must get a certificate of sponsorship reference number before they apply. This is a unique reference number that holds information about the job they will do along with personal details. It is not a paper document. Applicants must apply for their visa within three months of receiving their certificate of sponsorship.

6. See the Home Office conditions for this visa.

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