The UK Youth Mobility Scheme Visa for Australians

The UK Youth Mobility Scheme Visa for Australians
London, UK. Photo by Matt Graham.

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the most popular working holiday destinations for young Australians, who have the opportunity to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years! This will increase to 3 years from 31 January 2024 when the upcoming changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme visa take effect (see below).

Many young Aussies dream of living and working in London. Thanks to the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme visa, which is the UK equivalent of a working holiday visa, you can! In fact, thousands of backpackers travel each year between Australia and the UK – countries with strong cultural, economic and historical ties.

Please note that some Australians may also be eligible for a UK Ancestry visa.

This guide contains information about the UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa (previously the “T5” visa) for Australian citizens. It also contains tips on living in the UK. It was last updated on 26 November 2023.

Key facts about the UK

  • Population: Approx. 68 million
  • Official language: English
  • Capital city: London
  • Largest cities: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool
  • Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)
city road people street Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Anna Urlapova on

UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa requirements

The UK offers Youth Mobility Scheme visas to citizens of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea & Taiwan. See the UK government’s website for more information.

This information is applicable to Australian citizens and may be different for citizens of other countries.

To apply for a UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa as an Australian citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Aged between 18-30 years old (inclusive) at the time of application
  • Have at least £2,530 (approx. AUD4,500) in savings

You cannot apply for this visa if you:

  • Have dependent children who live with you and/or for whom you are financially responsible
  • Have already completed a working holiday in the UK under the same scheme

More information is available on the UK government’s website.

Documents needed to apply for this visa

When applying for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa for the UK as an Australian citizen, you’ll need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • Bank statement showing you have at least £2,530 or equivalent in savings (you must have had the money in your account for at least 28 days in a row, and the 28th day must be within a month of your application)

It costs £298 (approx. AUD570) to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

However, you will also need to pay a £940 (approx. AUD1,800) Immigration Health Surcharge, bringing the total cost to around AUD2,370 for a 2-year visa application.

Immigration Health Surcharge

You will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at the time of applying for your visa.

This would be refunded in the unlikely event your visa application is not approved.

You can use the UK government’s calculator to determine exactly how much you would need to pay. But an Australian coming to the UK for two years on a Youth Mobility Scheme visa could expect to pay around £940 (approx. AUD1,800). While this is quite a lot of money, in return you will have access to free medical treatment through the National Health Service (NHS) while in the UK.

The IHS is expected to increase significantly for applications made from around January 2024.

How to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa for the UK

You can apply for a UK working holiday visa up to six months before your intended arrival date in the UK. It generally takes around three weeks to get a decision (so ensure you leave enough time), although you can pay an additional fee to get a faster turnaround time.

As of November 2023, average wait times are around three weeks.

You’ll need to apply online on the UK government’s website for this visa before arriving in the UK. You’ll then also need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (in Australia, this generally means visiting a VFS Global office).

It is possible to apply for this visa from countries other than Australia, as long as you’re outside the UK. When applying for the visa online, you’ll be asked to select which visa application centre you want to visit and you can choose one in a country other than Australia.

Supporting documentation to show proof of funds

When applying for this visa, make sure that you include sufficient proof that you have had at least £2,530 in savings (or foreign currency equivalent) for at least the last 28 days.

Your application may be delayed if the UK government needs to request further documents to support that you have enough funds. Unfortunately, this is something that happens quite often and the UK Decision Making Centre has been known to request further evidence even when relevant bank statements have already been submitted.

In addition to (or instead of) sending bank statement copies, some people have suggested getting a certified letter from your local bank. This signed letter should state that you’ve had the required funds in your bank account for at least the last 28 days and include the bank branch details. This letter must be dated within 31 days of your visa application date.

Upcoming changes to Australia’s working holiday agreement with the UK

In June 2021, the Australian & UK governments announced a new Free Trade Agreement which will include more flexibility for Australians travelling to the UK on working holiday visas. Australians will be able to stay in the UK on a Youth Mobility Visa for up to 3 years. The scheme will also open to Australians aged 18-35.

These changes will come into effect on 31 January 2024. If you apply before then, you will be subject to the current Youth Mobility Scheme rules and will be able to stay in the UK for 2 years. Australians with a 2-year visa expiring after 31 January 2024 will be able to apply for an extension for another year.

See here for more information: Australians Access 3-Year UK Youth Mobility Visas from January 2024

Arriving in the UK

When making your visa application, you’ll need to provide your expected arrival date in the UK. You must collect your biometric residence permit in the UK within 10 days after your nominated arrival date.

If it’s not already printed on your biometric residence permit, you might also need to apply for a National Insurance Number after arriving. You’ll need this if you want to work and/or open a UK bank account.

If you wish to open a bank account, you may need a local address. But some banks no longer require this. You could also consider opening an online bank account, e.g. with Monzo.

Speaking of your address, you’ll need to find somewhere to live. Rental properties can be notoriously expensive in London, but may be more affordable in smaller cities and regional areas – as well as various boroughs of London.

If you do want to live and work in London, be prepared to commute to work every day. (Luckily, public transport in London is very good and you can even tap on & off the Tube using your credit card.) But don’t be afraid to live in other parts of the UK – there’s more than just London!

London Tube Tottenham Court Road station
Many Londoners commute on the Tube. Image by Michele Mex on Pixabay.

Spare Room and Badi can be useful websites for finding spare rooms and rentals with flatmates. Or you could try websites like Right Move or Zoopla if you’d like to rent a whole apartment.

After arriving you should also consider purchasing a UK SIM card and registering with a local doctor.

The Aussies in London website and Facebook group may also be useful resources for you. Plus, be sure to read our guide to setting up your new life overseas!

While best efforts are made to keep this information updated, we do not guarantee its accuracy. If you spot an error, would like to suggest new information to be added or simply have a question, please let us know in the comments and we’ll endeavour to respond or update the article as quickly as possible!

Matt Graham

Matt Graham

Matt is the founder of Working Holidays for Aussies. Passionate about travel and always looking for great deals, he believes that gap years & working holidays are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and gain invaluable life experience. Originally from Australia, Matt has travelled to over 70 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

138 thoughts on “The UK Youth Mobility Scheme Visa for Australians

  1. Thank you for the information here. I am 33 and the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa has not yet come into effect. Will my application be successful if I apply before the changes have been legislated given my age as I cannot wait until later this year or next year to travel to the UK. Alternatively can I apply for a YMS visa whilst in the UK?

    1. Unfortunately, the changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme visa (increasing the age limit to 35 and the visa length from 2 to 3 years) have not yet come into effect. While there is no timeline yet on when this will happen, it could be as soon as mid-2022.

      Until the changes come into effect, unfortunately you won’t be able to apply for this visa as you are over 30. It is also not possible to apply after you’ve already arrived in the UK – you need to apply for the visa online before travelling to the UK.

      If you can possibly wait a few more months, I think that’s probably your best option until we find out when the Youth Mobility Scheme visa changes will be legislated. If you can’t wait that long, I’m afraid you might need to look at a different type of visa.

      In the meantime, there are a few other countries including Ireland and France that offer working holiday visas to Australian citizens aged up to 35 years old (see

      1. Hi Matt,
        Thank you very much for your reply, much appreciated as the Australian VFS global office could not provide much help. I am going to the UK in the middle of the year to study as part of my Churchill Fellowship so I am hoping the Youth Mobility Visa will be legislated before I leave so I can stay over there for the year. Is there any way we can speed up the process. What do you suggest doing to be notified as soon as the changes are made?

        1. There’s probably not much you can do to speed up the process, unfortunately, until the new agreement is legislated. Obviously it would be helpful if they would get on with it, but that’s beyond our control.

          Certainly, once the changes to the UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa are brought in I’ll be writing about them on Working Holidays for Aussies. Keep an eye out.

  2. Hi there. I am an Australian and 28 years old and already did the Youth Mobility Scheme in 2018.

    Is there any news that we can re-apply for it when it comes to affect??

    1. I don’t think it will be possible to reapply after the changes are implemented if you already had a previous the Youth Mobility Scheme visa for the UK, unfortunately.

  3. Hi, thanks for the info.
    Do you know if i can apply for the youth visa once i am already outside of Australia? Ill be travelling Europe and UK later this year and might want to stay longer than the tourist visa allows, but dont want to dish out 2grand incase i dont use it

  4. My son is travelling in Europe and needs to apply for tier 5 visa. How can he do this while travelling in Europe? He has 1 year French working visa and Australian passport.

    1. It should be possible to apply for this visa from France, if he wants to. You just need to be outside of the UK.

      After applying for the T5 visa online, he would need to visit a UK visa application centre outside of the UK to provide fingerprints and get his photograph taken. These centres are available in many countries including France, where there is one in Paris (

  5. Hi Matt ,

    How do you extend the vignette date? For example, if my visa is approved and I’d like to enter the UK more than 10 days later, will that affect the biometric residence permit? How do I enter at a later date?

    My second question is that I am turning 31 in 4 weeks, do I need to start my application and submit before I turn 31 or just start the application to be eligible?

    Thank you

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by the “vignette date”, but you would normally give your expected date of arrival in the UK at the time of applying for the visa. This date can be any time up to six months in the future. You can’t apply earlier than six months ahead.

      The age limit is based on the date you apply for the visa. You would need to submit the online application before you turn 31.

      If you can’t complete the application before turning 31, you could wait until the age limit is extended to 35. But that could take another 1-2 years from now.

  6. hi , if already living in UK on student visa, and going to apply for Youth Mobility Visa, and this can be done in any country apart from the UK, do they keep your passport so you are unable to go back to the UK during this time?? How long does it take if you pay extra to get it done quicker?

    1. You must be outside the UK when applying for this visa, and you’ll need to wait outside the UK until a decision has been made and your visa granted.

      The application is done online but you may also need to visit a visa application centre (e.g. to give biometrics). You’ll be informed about this when applying for the visa. According to this page on the UK government website, it is also possible that the visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application:

      If priority service is available at the visa application centre where you apply (this isn’t available everywhere), you should get a turnaround time of around 5 days instead of the current ~6 weeks according to this page: There is an extra fee for priority service.

  7. Hello,
    Two questions.
    1) do you have to be in residence in AUS when you apply for the visa, so long as you have Australian citizenship?
    2) if you have already studied in the UK (under U.S. citizenship with a T4 visa), can you still be eligible for applying for a T5 visa?

    thank you

    1. Hi Mia, to answer your questions:

      1. No, you don’t necessarily have to be in Australia when you apply. You just cannot be in the UK.
      2. The requirement here is that you haven’t already held a Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5) in the UK. Previously having a T4 visa shouldn’t exclude you.

  8. I am Australian but already in Europe and have received the letter to confirm my youth mobility’s visa has been approved.
    1.Do I have to return to the same visa application centre to get the vignette inserted into my passport, or
    2. can I visit any visa application centre in any other country to get the vignette. Or
    3. Just present my passport and approval letter to UK immigration upon entry to UK.

    1. Did the visa application centre where you originally visited keep your passport? If so, you can now return to pick it up with the vignette inside (or they will send it to you if you arranged this when you applied). If not, you need to take your passport to the visa application centre to collect the vignette before you can enter the UK.

      I believe you need to take your passport back to the same VAC where you applied, but you could check with them if that’s going to be an issue for you.

      See also:

  9. Hi Matt
    My daughter received a youth mobility visa and did not activate it, she left after 6 weeks in the UK.
    1. What refunds are available and
    2. How do we request a refund please.



    1. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to apply for a refund of the visa fee after attending the appointment to give biometrics and a decision to grant a visa has been made by the UK government. See:

      I’m not sure about getting a refund of the Immigration Health Service (IHS) surcharge, which is a separate process. There are some possibilities to get this refunded if you couldn’t travel to the UK at all due to COVID-19 or work in health care on a different type of visa, but this article suggests it is not possible:

  10. Hi,

    I’m turning 31 soon and I wanted to leave the application for later so I can enter next year when it’s more convinent for me. Do I need to submit my biometrics before I turn 31? Or is it enough for me to just have my initial application (with the fees paid and financial evidence provided) before turning 31?

    1. You can apply up to six months before you intend to travel and need to be aged 18-30 (inclusive) on the date you apply for your visa. As providing biometrics is part of the application process, I would assume that you would also need to do this before turning 31 but I’m not 100% sure. It would be OK if you turned 31 while waiting for a visa decision or between the date when you apply and when you arrive in the UK.

      If you miss the cut-off, you could wait until the age limit is increased to 35. This will happen sometime in the next two years.

  11. Hello,

    If you’re an Australian and you want to get a tier 5 youth mobility visa, can you do it from inside the UK? Everything I’ve read says I can’t but does that mean I need to do it from Australia or can I do it from any country that isn’t the UK. Thanks heaps !!!

      1. Hey Matt,

        Why cant I apply from within the UK? If I am there as a tourist staying with friends for 4-5 weeks and want to apply for the visa, can’t I do so? Wouldn’t I just have to get my biometrics done in London and then once approve for my visa have to re-enter the country?

        Appreciate the help

  12. Hi

    Thanks for the helpful article!

    I am turning 31 in late Dec 2022 and plan to arrive in the UK late January 2023.

    When is the ‘start date’ of my visa? Is it:

    a) the date of arrival I submit on the initial online application
    b) the date I submit my online application
    c) the date of my biometrics appointment

    The way I understand it I will have 30 days from the ‘start date’ of my visa to enter the UK and it will be valid for 2 years from that start date. Is this correct?


    1. Hi! Please refer to my above answer on 30 June to Mikhail, who asked a similar question.

      It’s not really clear from the information provided by the UK government, which just says “the date you apply for your visa” (see

      I would assume you would need to both fill in the application form and provide biometrics before turning 31, but don’t necessarily need to arrive in the UK by then. But if in doubt, best to ask the UK Home Office directly.

  13. Hello Matt Graham,

    Thank you for shedding light on this topic,

    I have been accepted to the YMS with a start date of September 1st.

    I am unable to make it to the UK until next year, is it possible to change the start date and therefore extend the validity of the Visa?

    Anticipating your response if I have to do anything before Sept 1st.

  14. Hi Matt,

    I noticed above that you mention : ”When making your visa application, you’ll need to provide your expected arrival date in the UK. You must collect your biometric residence permit in the UK within 10 days after your nominated arrival date.”

    I just submitted my application with a visa start date of Oct 10th. I realised that I may actually arrive 1-2 months later than this. Will I have any issues entering the UK? Or I just need to collect my biometric residence permit within 10 days of arrival?

    Thank you

  15. Hey Matt,
    If I’ve previously been refused a partner visa in the UK (totally my fault, I misunderstood how much money in savings we needed) – would this affect my YMS application? I’m from Aus, between 18 – 30 and have the required funds for this visa (this time!!)


    1. The UK government obviously has the final say, but I can’t see anything in the eligibility criteria that says you would be ineligible if you were previously refused a different type of UK visa. If you want to apply, you might as well give it a go.

  16. Hey Matt,

    I’m currently in Europe applying for my youth mobility visa. Where it requests my ‘address’, is it advisable to put down the address that I am currently staying at in Europe or an Australian address (i.e., my previous residence or parent’s address)?

    I won’t be returning to Australia anytime soon and don’t have a permanent address so I put an EU address in the subsequent section where it asks for ‘correspondence address’. I am just unsure about the regular ‘address’ section.

    Thank you.

    1. Up to you, but I would probably put your address in Australia (e.g. your parents’ address) and then your current one in Europe for the “correspondence address”.

  17. Hi Matt,

    For this visa is an Australian citizenship certificate valid as opposed to the physics Australian passport. My boyfriend has both Australian and Greek citizenship with a Greek passport. He has applied for the physical Australian passport but not yet received it. He does however, have an official citizenship certificate for Australia.

  18. Hello, will we still be eligible to apply for the youth mobility visa if we are 30 yrs and 6 mths?

  19. Hi Matt,

    Are you aware of the lead time between submitting the YMS application online and submitting my passport? I am asking as I will be needing my passport for a separate trip soon and am wondering if I should submit my application before or after I return from my trip. Thank you!

  20. Hi! When giving my “expected arrival date”, what would happen if the date I give is prior to the visa being processed and approved? I was planning to mark my expected arrival date as around one month after I do my visa application, but as it says in this article, it appears it could be up to 6 weeks before the visa is approved. Is it best i change my expected arrival date to a couple weeks later?

    1. You can put any date that it will let you enter on the form for the expected arrival date (this should match what it says on your flight/train booking to the UK). But ultimately, you won’t actually be able to enter the UK on this visa until it’s approved etc. Therefore, probably best to choose a date that’s after the current expected waiting period for the visa to be processed.

  21. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for valuable info!
    Just wondering:
    – Is the minimum maintenance amount (£2,530) taken into account prior and after lodging the application?

    For example: If at the time just before application you meet the minimum of £2,530 in savings but then use those same funds to pay for said application (£1,204). Are you still eligible?

    1. You would need to show a bank account statement that proves you had at least the equivalent of GBP2,530 in your account for at least 28 days in a row, and day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for the visa. So, it’s based on the time of your application (or up to a month prior).

      There’s some more info here –

      Keep in mind, it’s probably a good idea to have at least that amount of money before arriving in the UK anyway, so that you don’t risk running out of savings quickly.

    1. Hi Patrick,

      The prices are still the same as they were earlier this year. It’s GBP259 for the visa + GBP940 for the NHS surcharge (for 2 years).

      That works out to be around AUD2,170 at the current exchange rate, although your bank may add foreign currency transaction fees depending on how you pay. Of course, the Australian Dollar amounts will vary from time to time due to exchange rate fluctuations.

  22. Hi Matt,

    Such a helpful article, thank you!

    I have two questions:

    1. I understand I need to provide a temporary address when applying for the Visa, but will I be locked into working/living in that specific country? I’m planning on sorting everything out in London but am undecided as to whether I’d like to settle there or in Scotland. Ideally, I’d love to travel between the two beforehand to get a better idea.

    2. I’ll be traveling around Europe for two months before landing in London. I have heard that there is a narrow window between getting your visa approved and activating it in the UK. Is that true? Will I be eating into my eligible two years? Or is it even possible to travel between applying for the Visa in Aus and landing in the UK?

    Thanks a bunch!


    1. Hi Sonja,
      I don’t believe you need to provide an address in the UK when applying for this visa. You can’t be expected to know yet exactly where you’ll live in the UK before you’ve even applied for the visa 😉 I’d just put your Australian address here.

      You can apply for this visa up to six months before your intended arrival date in the UK. If I were you, I’d apply around 4 months before you intend to arrive in the UK (i.e. before you start travelling) – the two years start from the date when you intend to arrive in the UK. There’s no issue with travelling to other countries (outside of the UK) in the meantime, as long as you have your passport etc.

  23. Hi Matt,

    Thank you for the info. Do you know if this youth mobility visa is open to apply all year round? Also, is there any cap on the number for Australian? Thanks in advance.

  24. Hi,
    If you are granted your tier 5 visa but don’t enter the country within 90 days, is there a fee that is charged when applying for an extension?


    1. Hi there.
      Firstly, the UK government’s website says “You can enter the UK at any time while your visa is valid, and leave and come back at any time during your stay” ( So I’m not sure what the 90-day rule is that you’re referring to?

      In any case, there is no possibility to extend the Youth Mobility Visa (for a fee or otherwise). The start date remains fixed and the visa is valid for 2 years from this date.

      Also, please note that this visa has had a name change and is no longer called “tier 5”.

  25. Hi there,
    If I only intend to stay in the UK for less than 6 months, will I still need to pay the healthcare charge?

  26. Hi Matt,
    Do you have any updates of when the amendments to the Youth Mobility Visa will come into effect?

    1. Unfortunately there have been no recent updates on this. But the changes will have to come into force by next year. I’ll update this website once there is more news!

  27. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for the helpful article. Do you know if (a) you HAVE to work while under the youth mobility visa? And (b) if I did work, would I be allowed to still work as an employee of an Australian company rather than for a UK employer? (e.g. retain my current Australian job but just continue in a WFH arrangement…but WFH in the UK 🙂)

    1. No, it is not a requirement that you have to work in the UK with this visa. You have the right to do so, but it’s not mandatory.

      Regarding your second question, I suspect it would be fine as far as the UK visa is concerned, but there may be tax implications to consider.

      Please note that this is definitely not legal or financial advice!

  28. Hi Matt,

    What a helpful article!
    I am just about the pull the trigger on the immigration health surcharge payment and I can’t help but wonder if there’s an another visa that I could apply for instead. I already have a job lined up in the UK from June 5th this year and I am looking to work for about 6 months before I come back home to Melbourne, is the youth mobility the only option I have or is there another visa you’d recommend I look at applying for? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    1. We don’t generally give information about other visa types, but you can have a look at the other types of visas available here –

      If your proposed employer has a sponsor licence to sponsor visas of overseas nationals, then they could potentially sponsor you for a work visa. But this is not really a simple process for the employer if they are not set up for this and they would need to pay a fee.

      You could also see whether you qualify for something like a UK Ancestry Visa.

  29. Hello Matt,
    I got selected in ballot on 8th March 2023, I am 30Years 2days old now. Can I still apply for youth mobility Visa?

  30. Great article, thanks Matt! ☺️
    I’m a permanent resident/ citizen of Australia and I’ve been approved for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa. I’m travelling Europe after I arrive in the UK. Should I be purchasing Eurail? Or will i be required to go with Interrail? Or does it not matter? I would prefer Eurail but unsure if they’ll pull me up for having the wrong pass. Thanks for you help!

    1. Hi, does your question relate to the Youth Mobility Scheme visa or are you asking about the best value train tickets for Europe?
      If it’s the latter, I personally don’t think Eurail is particularly good value unless you’re doing a LOT of train travel within a short space of time. Personally I find it cheaper to buy point-to-point train tickets as needed.

  31. Hi Matt,

    I believe the Youth Mobility Scheme age has been extended for NZ and will take place late June this year. Any chance AUS will be included or are you aware of any updates for AUS?


  32. Hi Matt, I have applied for the VISA and received an email saying i needed to provide proof of funds with reference to 5.1 and 5.2 or the requirements which states that i need to prove the account holder is the same as the visa applicant and that I have full control of the account….

    I provided a bank statement that covered the dates if my application and beyond… I am not sure what else I need to show. Do you know if the account statement I show needs to be ONLY for the dates? as I am unable to create custom date account statements with my bank…

    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Anna, others in your situation have suggested requesting a certified letter from your bank which contains all the necessary information, and submitting this alongside your bank statement/s. Please have a read of

      There’s also some information here about how the UK government assesses your financial evidence:


  33. Hi Matt
    My daughter has arrived in the UK and has her Youth Mobility Visa. I have just realised we didn’t take out a travel insurance policy, do you recommend this?

    1. Yes, in general I would certainly recommend getting travel insurance. However, be mindful that some insurers won’t offer this if she has already commenced her trip and is already outside of Australia.

      The good news is that, while in the UK, she should be covered by the reciprocal health care agreement between the UK and Australia. If she paid the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of the Youth Mobility Visa application, she should also be entitled to NHS services while in the UK.

      Travel insurance would provide the added benefit of health care cover if she happens to be outside the UK, as well as the other benefits of travel insurance (e.g. cover for issues with flights, repatriation costs, etc.)

  34. Hi,
    I was wondering if you could possibly have any info –
    I applied for a Tier 5 visa an and was due to go by February – I had some health issues which prevented me from going. Am I able to apply for another Tier 5, considering I never used my original visa, or is that not possible?
    Super keen to get some overseas work experience.

    1. I don’t think you can apply a second time for this visa, but if it was already approved, perhaps you could contact the UK government to ask if you can still travel to the country using your existing visa?

  35. Hi Matt, thank you for all the information, I find your page very informative! Question, I am flying to London on the 19th of July (from Australia) but only spending one night before I jet off on a train to France/Italy/Spain before flying back to London after 3 weeks. I note that when applying for a visa you have 10 days to activate it, I just won’t have time to do so before we leave for Paris, so am I able to fly in to London from Australia on just like a travel visa and then put my start date on the application as to when I fly in from Spain 3 weeks later or will this be an issue? Thanks so much for your help :)!

    1. Your plan sounds plausible, but you should probably check with the UK government. You may have an issue if you show your flight booking from Australia to London as part of the visa application and they take the date that you first arrive in London to be your intended date of entry for the issuance of the visa.

      If you can change your ticket, I think it would be preferable to stay a bit longer in London after your first entry into the UK in order to collect your residence permit then, or otherwise, fly directly into France/Italy/Spain from Australia and then enter the UK only once you’re ready to pick up the permit.

  36. I am about the apply for my youth mobility visa however I heard the other day that the 3 year visa will be coming into effect soon. If I apply for my visa within the next week or but the visa isn’t set to start until September, if the length gets updated from 2 to 3 years, will be visa be eligible for the longer length?

  37. I previously applied for and was approved the tier 5 youth mobility visa in 2014. I never ended up travelling to UK after being approved and therefore did not activate or use this visa.

    Do you know if I’d be approved again if I were to apply again? Assuming I meet the other eligibility criteria.

    1. The UK government says “You cannot apply if you have already been in the UK under the scheme”.

      I believe the intention is that each person may only apply once. But if you weren’t ever previously in the UK with a Tier 5 visa then I’m not sure how this would be interpreted. Perhaps it’s worth asking the UK government and/or applying, and seeing what they say?

  38. Hi Matt, I am 30 yrs old and live in Australia, however I’m not an Australian citizen or permanent resident yet (will be gaining PR soon). Is there a specific requirement on the applicant’s nationality? Do you recommend I apply regardless or wait to get my Australian PR and then apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa? Thank you!

    1. Hi, your eligibility for this visa is based on your citizenship/passport. Being an Australian Permanent Resident would not qualify you for this visa, although you may be eligible based on another citizenship.

  39. Hi Matt,

    This is such a helpful article and so are the questions you’ve already answered. Thank you!

    My question is regarding the upcoming changes to the age limit (I just turned 34). Is there any news on how the changes will work practically? E.g. if I apply for the visa before my 36th birthday and it is approved, can I still enter the UK after I turn 36? Or do I need to enter before my 36th birthday? I’m planning to go to Canada early next year on the working holiday visa and want to delay the UK visa as much as I can (assuming the changes come into effect by that time!)


  40. Amazing article Matt, very helpful!

    My partner is applying for the YMS visa (he’s Australian), but has hit an unexpected expense. We knew about the application fee and the Healthcare surcharge, which is both stated on the UK government website and your article, but were not expecting the surprise adittional $500AUD charge for getting his biometrics done! I have tried researching why he has to pay this incredible amount and I cannot find any mention of this on any forum, government site, etc. I suspect he may have hit a wrong option at some point along the application that has made this occur. I’m just surprised this isn’t mentioned in the “How much it costs” section of the YMS site.

    Have you ever heard of this additional fee? And, if you have, do you know if there is a cheaper option?

    1. Hi Sarah. No, I haven’t heard of anyone being charged a $500 biometrics fee. The cost of providing biometrics should be included in the visa application fee. Who/what organisation is asking him to pay $500 for this? Unless something has changed recently, it sounds to me like either he’s applying for a different type of visa or (more likely) that it might be a scam.

  41. Hi Matt, thankyou so much for all of the helpful information on this site. I was wondering if the health care surcharge needs to be paid in full (2 years worth) even if you only intend on staying 6 months? Also, post January 31st 2024 will that now be 3 years of health care surcharge that needs to be paid prior to receiving your visa, so 1410 pounds?

    1. I believe it needs to be paid for the full two years as that’s how long the visa will be valid for (even if you don’t use the full amount of time).

      Once the visa period extends to 3 years, I’d expect you would need to pay the NHS for 3 years but not 100% sure on this yet. See

      It will be worth looking how much New Zealanders need to pay from next month, as they will have access to the 3-year visa shortly. I’d expect it will be the same for Australians from February 2024.

  42. Thanks for the information Matt.
    I am currently on the youth mobility visa and it will expire on January 12th 2024. I just fall short of the 3 year extension option on January 31st. Have you heard any updates on a bridging for current youth mobility visa holders ?

    1. Unfortunately I don’t yet know for sure, but it does look like you’ll be able to apply for a third year extension after your current one expires, starting from 31 January 2024.

      It will be interesting to see what the rules are for Kiwis, as they will likely be the same for Aussies (albeit starting from a later date).

  43. Hi Matt,
    Is it possible to complete the biometrics appointment in the UK?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Since you need to provide biometrics as part of the visa application process, and you have to apply from outside the UK, I don’t think that’s possible.

      1. Hi Matt,

        Thanks so much for your reply.

        Do you know if it would be possible to complete the biometrics in another country? Or do I need to make sure I complete it in Australia before settling down in the UK?

  44. Hi Matt,

    My partner previously applied for (and was granted) a youth mobility visa. He wasn’t able to go due to COVID. He received a refund of his NHS (and possibly some other fee) as a result. From what you understand, do you think he should still be eligible to apply and be granted the new youth mobility visa? We are both planning on applying when it becomes available for our age group on 31st Jan 2024.


    1. I don’t know the answer to this, sorry. On the face of it, I suspect it may not be possible to re-apply but it would depend on whether the UK government considers that you’ve already been granted/used a Youth Mobility visa. Since he couldn’t go due to COVID and received a refund of the NHS surcharge, though, I think it’s worth asking the UK government.

  45. Hi Matt,

    Thank you so much for all of your helpful information and guidance. I have been refering to your website religiously for over a year.

    I am 32 waiting for 31 Jan 2024, when the age limit increases to 35, so I can apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme in the UK.

    Question; as the current age limit is 30, do I need to wait until 31 Jan 2024 in order to apply, or can I apply prior to 31 Jan 2024 with the anticipation to travel to the UK in 6 months after the age limit increase comes into effect?

  46. I am 35 and turning 36 on 19 January 2024. Can I apply now for the Youth Mobility Visa with a travel date of 1 February 2024?

    1. Hi RK – unfortunately, I think you’re *just* going to miss out 🙁

      The new rule comes into effect on 31 January 2024, and you won’t be able to apply for the visa with the new 35 age limit until that date. By which time, you’ll already be 36. Sorry to bear the bad news.

  47. Hi Matt,
    I’m 33 now and looking forward to applying for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa. Not sure how can my wife come with me as I just noticed that it’s mentioned under the “cannot do” section:

    bring in family members on your application – they must apply separately

    What do they mean by applying separately? She is over 35 and isn’t eligible. Is there any way to include her other than the normal visitor visas?

    1. Unfortunately, as your wife is over 35 she won’t be eligible to apply for a Youth Mobility visa. She would need to come on a different type of visa.

  48. Hi,

    Thank you for the very helpful information. I was wondering if you knew the process regarding the proof of funds/28 days rule. I have well over the minimum amount however recently transferred savings from one bank account to another in preparation for travel (moved to a bank without international fees). Is there any way to explain the recent transfer/prove I have always had the money regardless of it not being in the current account for 28 days?

  49. hi matt.
    my question relates to our children.
    I am a British citizen and will be moving to the UK.
    my n.z partner will be applying for the youth mobility visa. will she be eligible to apply as she is a mother though the children are not in her care?
    can she mark down that she has no children?

    1. Hi Darren, the rule is that you cannot apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you have “children under the age of 18 who live with you” and/or “children you’re financially responsible for”. If neither of those apply, then she may be eligible.

  50. Hello!

    Are you able to study in the UK with this visa? Such as undertaking a university pathway program? Or would a student visa be required for this matter.


  51. Hi Matt,
    If I am unsure what my UK arrival date would be, due to loose former travel in the EU, would it matter if my nominated arrival date was wrong by perhaps two months? How long is permitted between visa approval in AU and arrival to the UK?

    1. I don’t know the answer to this, sorry, but I suspect it’s not possible because you need to physically collect your UK residence permit within 10 days of your nominated arrival date into the UK.

      I would suggest that if you’re travelling in Europe beforehand, it wouldn’t be that hard (nor expensive) to get a quick flight or train over to London, enter the UK on your Youth Mobility Scheme visa, collect your permit, then finish off your trip around continental Europe.

  52. Hello, I am heading to the UK in November this year for a holiday to see my partner. I plan on staying until i can apply for the visa. I’m 34 turning 35 in June 2024.
    Are you able to confirm that I need to be out of the country to apply for this visa?
    (I’m from Australia). Does this mean I return to Australia – apply – then re enter the UK once my visa is granted?
    I’m also a citizen of Montenegro as I was born there. Would i be able to return there whilst my visa is being processed instead of Australia? Would they have any concerns with this?
    Also when do you need to do biometrics vs proving identity online?
    Thank you so much

    1. You do need to be outside of the UK when applying for this visa and can’t enter the UK while the application is being processed.

      But I don’t think you need to return to Australia to apply. You shouldn’t have any issues applying from Montenegro and there is a UK visa application centre in Podgorica where, at least in theory, you could provide biometrics. This happens after you apply online.

  53. Hi Matt,

    I really enjoy you’re website and am hoping you can assist me with answering a question.

    I have a Youth Mobility visa. I entered within the time frame detailed on my visa, however I did not pick up my BRP while I was there. I had to rush back to Australia because a family member was sick.

    Do I need to apply for a another vignette or can I enter the country and still pick up the BRP from the post office.

    Any assistance would be much appreciated!


  54. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for all the content on this article, I’ve found it quite useful thus far.

    I was wondering, if I were to apply for a YMV from a country outside of the UK (France as an example) and the assessment centre did choose to hold my passport whilst processing, would I then be able to freely travel between other Schengan countries whilst waiting for it to be approved and later return to collect it?

    From what I can gather there is no border controls between Schengan countries but if I were asked to produce a passport during this time would I just be able to mention to local authorities that is it is held up at an assessment centre?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Jacob,

      Technically it *may* be possible to travel within the Schengen Area without physically holding your passport. However, there is always a chance that you may be asked for your passport when crossing an internal Schengen border or when checking in for a flight or bus, for example. Sometimes there are random checks. You may also be asked for ID when checking into any hotel. I personally would not risk it and would wait in France until you get your passport back!

  55. Hi Matt,
    This article has been so useful!
    I am looking at applying for the YMV but when I plan to leave I will be over 35. Is the new age inclusive meaning I have to apply for the visa before I turn 36 or do I need to apply for before I turning 35 and move within 6 months.
    Ideally, I would like to move in early 2026 which makes me over 35 (I turn 35 June 2025) when applying for the visa, is that possible?


  56. Hi Matt,

    My partner and I are planning a potential move to the UK next year. We plan to travel Europe first and gauge whether we would want to live in the UK or another country within Europe (Amsterdam, Germany etc.)

    We were wondering, if we did decide to live in another European country for 12 months on a visa, are there rules that would limit us from doing so back to back either between different Schengan area countries or between one Schengan area country and then the UK for instance?

    I understand this may be a silly question but I haven’t been able to find an answer on it…

    Any known resources that may help us plan ahead in terms of knowing where we’d be best suited to living in advance of being over there would also be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,


  57. Hi

    Do you have the option to only apply for the YMV visa for only 5 months and not 2 years.
    My daughter’s only working for 4 months then traveling. Trying to avoid paying for the health care when not needed,

    Thanks in advance

    1. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe it’s possible to apply for this visa for a period of less than 2 years. That being the case, your daughter would need to pay for two years’ worth of the healthcare surcharge.

      At least, if she decides to stay longer or return to the UK before the two years is up, she would still be covered for that time.

  58. Hi Matt,

    Love this page, it is so helpful! Could you tell me if it is possible to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa whilst living in France (with a French visa)?

    Thank you,

  59. Hi there,

    I was wondering if a credit card balance is an approved form of funds evidence? Say I had $3,000 in my savings account for 35 days prior, but also $15,000 on my credit card, is the credit card allowed to make up some or all of the $5,000 funds evidence requirement?

  60. Hi Matt,

    Fantastic article – really really helpful!

    I have a question specific to my situation I was hoping you may be able to help with.

    I’ve read that the UK government plans to increase both the application fee and immigration healthcare surcharge (significantly) as of 16/01/2024 – would you happen to know whether this is true?

    Off the back of that, if it is to be true, if I were to apply for the visa between 10-15/01 (just within 6 months of my booked flight on 10/06) would I be avoiding the increase in costs? In other words would the fees associated with my application be based on application date or approval date?

    I understand if I were to apply at this time I would also only be applying for the 2-year visa but am happy with the fact that I could extend for a 3rd year down the track.

    I’ve worked out the difference to be paying roughly $2k for a 2 year visa vs $5k for a 3 year visa (taking increased fees into account), hence my questions….

    Thank you!


    1. I haven’t seen the exact date, but yes, the UK government will increase the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge for Youth Mobility visa applicants from GBP470/year to GBP776/year in January 2024.

      I don’t know for sure, but since you pay the IHS upfront when you apply for your visa, I would assume that the current rate would still apply if you submit your visa application before the increase.

  61. Hi Matt – thanks for this website which is more helpful than other more official channels!
    My 18 year old daughter is currently in the UK and wants to stay and work. So she is investigating getting a youth mobility visa before the charges go up! She currently is there as a tourist. If you have any thoughts on following then your advice would be much appreciated!
    1. I believe she cannot apply in the UK for a youth mobility visa. Could she travel to Portugal/Paris etc to do the application from there through a TLS office? Any tips here?
    2. Is the healthcare surcharge payable if you are staying for under 6 months? If not, and you need health care, should this be covered by travel insurance?
    3. If she does stay for two years, can the healthcare charge be paid annually or does it need to be paid fully for two years up front?
    Big thanks!

    1. Hi Tim,

      Yes, she can go to another country and apply from there. When submitting the Youth Mobility Scheme application online, she can specify on there which location she wants to visit to provide biometrics etc.

      And the IHS is payable up-front and applicable for the maximum visa duration, even if you don’t intend to stay that long. So, currently she would need to pay up-front for 2 years. (This will increase to 3 years from 31 January 2024.)

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