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The working holiday UK program is very popular for people from Australia, New Zealand, and other countries that qualify. We at yTravel Blog have personally used a UK Working Holiday Visa, now called the Youth Mobility Scheme, as it’s a great way to work abroad, save a strong currency, and travel the world.
Caz worked in London for 2 years through the working holiday UK program prior to us getting married. She taught primary school in East London, lived in homes filled with up to 25 international backpackers, and had an amazing time traveling around the UK and Europe!
After we got married, we both got a visa to live and work in Ireland for 1 year. Once again Caz taught, and Craig worked in construction.
We had a great time traveling around Ireland and saved up some great cash to go backpacking for 5 months in East Africa. The UK Working Holiday Visa is one of our favorite strategies for making travel more affordable and interesting.
The opportunity to get a working holiday visa for another country gives you the greatest immersion into its culture.
You will develop a deeper understanding of the people and their day to day lives, you’ll get a real feel for the heartbeat of the country and what drives it, you’ll get out of your comfort zone by trying different and unusual jobs, and it’s a great way to meet the locals and form life long friendships.
Here are the typical UK visa options….
1. Working Holiday Visa (Now called the Youth Mobility Scheme) – The youth mobility scheme is for young people (17 – 30yrs) from participating countries who would like to come and experience life in the UK.
It allows you to live in the UK for up to two years, contribute to the economy by working, paying taxes and spending on goods and services while young UK nationals enjoy similar opportunities in the other participating countries.
The countries in the scheme are:
If you are a national of one of these countries, you may be able to come to the UK under the youth mobility scheme. Your national government will be your sponsor.
This is a 2-year visa. It is non renewable, so once you have been there 2 years, you cannot renew for another 2 years. Workwise, people do anything and everything, with the most common jobs being barwork, nannying, temping, teaching, banking, construction etc.
The first thing you need to know is do you qualify?
To apply for a Visa you need to contact the British High Commission in your own country. It is possible to get an application form online. Visas can take time to process so allow yourself plenty, you may end up waiting longer at busy times of the year so don’t procrastinate!
2. UK Ancestry Visa – If you are a Commonwealth citizen and at least one of your grandparents was born in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, or a grandparent who was born before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland, you have UK ancestry and you can apply to come to the UK to work. The UK Ancestry Visa is a 4-year renewable visa.
3. British Passport - If your parents are British you may be able to apply for Dual Citizenship.
For some great travel tips on Finding Cheap International Flights and for Cheap Flights UK whilst living there, please see our Cheap International Flights page!
If you need budget accommodation when first arriving in the UK, a good starting point is a Hostel. They are cheap and a great place to meet like minded people. To find great hostels online with FREE booking and the lowest price guarantee we recommend Hostel Bookers.
And for more permanent accommodation, please see the information below under “TNT Magazine“, “GumTree“, and “Moving to London Tips“.