UK working holiday Visa: A guide To The Tier 5 Visa

If you’re interested in travelling to Europe, then a working holiday in the UK is a great option. Not only can you spend time exploring England, Wales, Scotland, and northern Ireland, but you can also make some extra money at the same time.

How would you like to spend the weekend scaling the fortress walls of the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland? Or perhaps you’d rather use your free time to explore the archaeological mystery that is Stonehenge? maybe you’d simply prefer to relax with a cup of tea and crumpets in the lobby of a posh hotel in London?

On the working holiday UK visa, you can do it all.

Plus, if you’re living and working in the UK, nearby countries such as France, Spain and Portugal are just a quick ride away. With a Tier 5 Visa, working and travelling around the UK is simple. 

This guide will show you the ins and outs of the working holiday program in the UK. You’ll be on your way to a new adventure in no time!

What is a working holiday in the UK?
Who is Eligible For a working holiday in the UK?
How To get a working holiday In The UK
How To start working in The UK
What type of work Can You Do On a working holiday in the UK?
Where To find working holiday Jobs
Are There disadvantages to the working holiday Program in the UK?
What To expect From The working holiday Program in The UK
Abschließende Gedanken
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What is a working holiday in the UK?

The United Kingdom’s working holiday program is known as the Tier 5 youth Mobility scheme (YMS). It allows young travellers to come to the UK and experience a vibrant new culture while also working to fund their travels.

When you research different visa programs, you might notice that there are several types of Tier 5 visas. but if you’re a young person interested in travelling and working within the UK, it’s the Tier 5 youth Mobility scheme that you want to apply for.

Visas are granted for 24 months from the date of entry and allow holders to study, work, and travel within England, Wales, Scotland, and northern Ireland.

There are many cities and countries to choose from within the UK. and although most people are immediately drawn to London, there are plenty of other exciting locations outside the city. That’s the best thing about a working holiday visa; you can choose to settle down in one place or explore all four countries.

☞ See Also: how To get A working holiday Visa in new Zealand

Who is Eligible For a working holiday in the UK?

To participate in the youth Mobility Scheme, you need to be a citizen from a country with a bilateral working holiday agreement with the UK. There are currently only eight countries participating in the agreement, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Monaco, new Zealand, and Taiwan.

However, you can also apply for the visa if you are a British national from another country besides the UK. This includes citizens from Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda, and several other territories.

Besides your nationality, there are several other requirements you must meet:

Be age 18-30 (must apply for the visa before you turn 31)

Have no dependents (or anyone under 18 who you are financially responsible for)

Have a minimum of £1890 in savings

Not currently living in the UK

If you are deemed eligible for the Tier 5 YMS visa, then you’re just a few steps away from applying for this fantastic adventure.

How To get a working holiday In The UK

While the Tier 5 YMS application process is straightforward, several extra steps are important to note. since you can apply for the Tier 5 visa up to six months before you travel, you’ll have plenty of time to get your application documents in order.

Fill out your Application

The online application is relatively simple and should take around 30 minutes to complete. before you start filling out the form, make sure you have the following documents and information at hand:

Aktueller Reisepass

Previous passports (for a history of your past travel)

Birth dates and birth location of your parents

Intended address in the UK

Bank statement with £1890 balance and the application date as the closing date

On the online application form, you will also need to enter your proposed start and end date. As a reminder, the date you want to enter the country needs to be within six months of your application date.

You will also need to pay the visa fee of £244 at this time.

Remember, filling out the online application is just the beginning of the process. You still need to complete the following steps before you actually obtain the visa.

Pay the immigration Healthcare Surcharge

Depending on your nationality, the online application tool may require that you pay an immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS). This is so you can take advantage of the UK’s national health services (NHS) once you arrive.

The IHS cost is £300 per year. If you plan to stay in the UK for the entire duration of your tier 5 visa (2 years), you will be required to pay £600. You can pay this fee using any major credit card when filling out your online application.

Once you pay the fee, you will receive an IHS reference number. just remember to print it out, write it down in permanent ink, or save it on your computer! You’ll need this number throughout the visa application process.

Get Biometrics Taken

As part of the application process, you’ll need to submit your biometrics to obtain a Biometrics residence permit (BRP) once you arrive in the UK. This means you’ll need to visit a biometric centre in your home country to take your photograph, fingerprint scans, and collect your signature.

Once the online application has been submitted, you will receive details on where to get your biometrics taken. When you arrive for your appointment at the biometrics centre, bring the following documents with you:

Printed and signed Tier 5 MYS application

Appointment booking confirmation letter


IHS reference Number

Make sure to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment. once you’re called, the entire meeting should take between 30-45 minutes.

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Collect Your Visa

At the biometric centre, the agent will collect your biometrics, documents, and passport to send them to the visa processing centre.

The average visa processing time is between two and six weeks. However, wait times can be longer during the busy season and in non-commonwealth countries. You’ll receive an email once they receive your documents and when they approve your visa. Likewise, you will also receive a rejection email if you do not meet the necessary criteria.

Once your visa has been approved, it will be printed in your passport. You can return to the biometric centre to collect your passport, or you have the option for it to be mailed to your home address (for an extra fee).

Herzliche Glückwünsche! After your passport is returned, you’ll have the Tier 5 YMS visa allowing you to travel abroad to the UK. now you can book your flights, look for housing, and search for a new job.

How To start working in The UK

Although you’re on your way to starting a new journey in the UK, there are still a few steps you need to take once you arrive. This ensures that your transition to a new country, and possibly a new job, is as seamless as possible.

Collect your Biometrics residence Permit

Once you touch down in the UK, you have exactly ten days to collect your Biometrics residence permit (BRP) from the post Office. Don’t skip this step, as you’ll be fined £1,000 if you fail to collect your BRP!

This card will show your details, biometric information, and immigration status. think of the BRP as your residence permit and official form of identification for your stay in the UK.

Ein Bankkonto eröffnen

To get paid by your employer, you’ll need to open a bank account in the UK. Each bank offers different benefits and plans for foreign nationals, so you should do some research to see which bank is the best fit.

Some popular banking choices include Nationwide, royal bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays, the Co-Operative Bank, and Santander.

Apply for an NI number

Since you’re responsible for paying UK taxes, you will need to apply for a NI number. With this number, you’ll be registered for the UK’s social security system. You can start working temporarily without the NI number, but your employer will eventually require it after a few weeks.

Obtaining your NI number requires you to call the national insurance number application line:

Telephone: 0345 600 0643
Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm

The service representative will collect your passport and work permit information. Within a few days, you’ll receive the application packet in the mail. All you have to do is fill out the forms, send them back to the NI centre in the pre-addressed envelope, and receive your NI number a few days later.

Register with the national health Service

During the application process, you paid an immigration Healthcare Surcharge that lets you take advantage of the national health service in the UK. Although you received an IHS number, you still need to register with the NHS itself.

First, you need to locate the nearest general practitioner (GP) in your city. As a resident, you can only be seen by a GP that services the postal code of your home address. For example, you can’t register or visit a GP in Manchester if you’ve claimed residency in London.

Bring your passport and NI number to the GP’s office. After filling out a few forms, the office will set you up as a new patient and provide you with an NHS card. The card may take a few days or weeks to arrive in the mail, but once you have an NHS number, you can start using the UK’s healthcare services.

☞ See Also: How To get working holiday Visas worldwide – The complete Guide

What type of work Can You Do On a working holiday in the UK?

The Tier 5 YMS is an open visa, which means you can work in almost every line of work. You aren’t limited to part-time, temporary, or traditional backpacker-type jobs. The only restriction is that you cannot work as a sports coach, doctor, or dentist.

However, there are a few jobs that are common for young, working holiday visa holders.


The hospitality industry has one of the highest demands for employment in the UK. Whether it’s at a small bed and breakfast in the Welsh countryside or a glitzy 5-star resort in London, there are plenty of opportunities for working holiday participants.

If you’re good with people, you can take a customer-focused position such as front-desk clerk, concierge, or hotel event planning. If you prefer to work behind the scenes, you can still work in a hotel as a line cook, housekeeper, or maintenance worker.


With millions of restaurants, cafes, and bars in the UK, it’s easy to see why there are many job opportunities in the service industry. and with flexible hours and work schedules, a service job is the ultimate position for your working holiday.

Working as a bartender or waiter is an ideal entry-level position that can be found in all cities, villages, and towns in the UK. If you have more experience, there are often open jobs working as a chef or bartender.

If the food industry is not your thing, consider working in retail. depending on your age, the minimum wage in the UK is between £6.15 – £8.21, which can give you a good chunk of change for travelling.


Just because you’re on a working holiday doesn’t mean you have to take up temporary work! With the Tier 5 visa, you can work for a variety of businesses, including financial firms, software companies, or consulting groups. Of course, you’ll need the right qualifications and experience first.

Since most companies are in the market for long-term employees, having the two-year Tier 5 visa is appealing. It’s much easier to land an office job in the UK compared to other countries that offer shorter working holiday programs.

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Where To find working holiday Jobs

There are many ways to find a working holiday job in the UK. While the line of work will depend on which city or region you choose to live in, there are a few places where you can start looking for work immediately.

Online job Sites

One of the easiest ways to search for working holiday jobs is on the internet. There are several large aggregate sites like,, and with thousands of positions listed every day.

On these sites, you can sort by job type, length of employment, and salary. This is a great feature for working holiday participants since they can filter by temporary, part-time, or seasonal jobs. looking at online job sites is a great first step to figuring out what ty