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 3 years!

Since 31 January 2024, this visa is available to Australian citizens aged 18-35. It’s initially valid for two years, with the option to extend it for a third year down the track.

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.

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 6 February 2024.

Key facts about the UK

  • Population: Approx. 68 million
  • 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 Andorra, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, Taiwan and Uruguay. 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 18-35 years old (inclusive) at the time of application
  • Have at least £2,530 (approx. AUD4,900) 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 foreign currency 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)

Visa costs

It costs £298 (approx. AUD575) to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

However, you will also need to pay a £1,552 (approx. AUD3,000) Immigration Health Surcharge, bringing the total cost to around AUD3,575 for a 2-year visa application.

If you decide to extend your visa for a third year, you’ll need to pay another visa fee and health surcharge later on.

Immigration Health Surcharge

You will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at the time of applying for your visa. You can use the UK government’s calculator to determine exactly how much you would need to pay.

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

An Australian coming to the UK on a Youth Mobility Scheme visa could expect to pay £776 (approx. AUD1,500) per year, or £1,552 (approx. AUD3,000) for two years. 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 increased significantly on 6 February 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 February 2024, 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.

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.

Arriving in the UK

When making your visa application, you’ll need to provide your expected arrival date in the UK. Once your visa is issued, you’ll need to arrive in the UK within 90 days of the start date on your visa.

You must collect your biometric residence permit in the UK within 10 days after your arrival in the country.

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.

Settling in

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 London Underground, nicknamed the Tube. Photo 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!

Need accommodation when you arrive in London?
A Crenns Properties room in London

If you want to secure accommodation in London before you arrive, we recommend getting in touch with Crenns Properties. They are a family-run business that has been providing accommodation in shared houses for over 25 years to Aussies and Kiwis in West London.

The Crenns Properties team makes it as easy as possible for you to move in. Their rooms are fully furnished, so you don’t need to worry about buying furniture and each room has a lock on the door. You’ll share a kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. All houses are close to the Tube and are run and managed by Crenns.

You can sign up for a short-term tenancy (starting with just a 1-month stay when you first arrive in London) or you can stay long-term. Your deposit will be registered and you will be given a proper contract. You can book a room before you arrive, so check their availability if you don’t want to spend your first weeks in London staying in a hotel or hostel!

Extending your Youth Mobility Scheme visa for a third year

If you’re an Australian currently living in the UK with a valid Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you can extend this visa for a third year. You can only do this once. (As of 31 January 2024, this option is also available to Canadians, South Koreans and New Zealanders.)

At the time of extending your visa, you’ll need to pay a new visa fee of £298 (approx. AUD570) and another year’s worth of the immigration Health Surcharge.

You can apply online to extend your original two-year visa up to 28 days before it’s due to expire. If approved, your new visa will be valid from the day after the old one expires.

If you intend to stay in the UK for a third year, we’d suggest requesting this extension as early as possible. It could take a bit of time for the UK government to process this.

You cannot travel outside of the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man between the time you request a visa extension and receiving a decision.

Unfortunately, if you’ve previously held a UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa which has already expired, and you’ve already left the UK, you can’t apply for a third year.

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 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 80 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

214 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:

      1. Hi Matt,

        Further to the above comment I applied for and was granted a youth mobility visa in November 2020 but unfortunately never activated it or left Australia due to COvid19. I’m aware the funds are not able to be redeemed which is fine but I was curious to know if I am able to apply for a new youth mobility visa? I am planning on moving to the UK (if possible) in 2025/26.

        ps, I know these comments are a couple years old however I am scouring the internet to try find answers!

        1. I don’t know the answer to this, sorry.

          I suspect you wouldn’t be able to get this visa again, but maybe try contacting the UK government directly and asking them if you can?

  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.)

  62. Hi Matt,

    Echoing the above commenter to say thank you for this page, which is so much more informative than some of the official resources.

    I’m living in the UK with a YMV expiring April 2025, and therefore eligible to apply to extend for a third year when those rules come into effect next year.

    I know there’s not a lot of info out yet and you may not know the answer to this, but I’m hoping you may be able to take an informed guess based on the current rules.

    My Australian passport expires in January 2026. I would be extending my visa to April 2026.

    If I apply for the visa extension next year, will it matter that my passport is expiring before the end date of the visa extension? I’d rather wait until closer to the passport expiry date to renew the passport, but I want to get the visa extension sorted ASAP.

    I can’t find anything about it online, I imagine the passport and visa would be separate things, but I wanted to check in case I put in the expensive visa application and get knocked back.

    Thank you!

    1. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to this – what we know so far about the third-year extension for people in your situation is in this article:

      That said, I doubt the UK government would give you a visa that’s valid for longer than the validity on your passport. If I were you, I’d get a new passport ASAP and then apply for the third-year extension with the new passport.

  63. Hi Matt – Thanks for this!
    Do you know whether I can apply for a YMV from inside the UK (but selecting another country like France for the appt.)? I am currently on a sponsored visa but wish to switch next year to the YMV (which I presume is possible?).
    Many thanks in advance!

  64. Hi Matt – Great Article.

    Do you know about applying for YMV as a dual national? I’m a Belgian and have been an Australian citizen for 10 months. I can’t find any info on it online.

    Thanks in Advance

    1. If you’re an Australian citizen then you should be eligible.

      You just can’t apply for this visa more than once using different (eligible) nationalities.

  65. Hi Matt,
    Thank you for this article, it’s very helpful. I have a question regarding the YMV if that’s alright!

    So, I currently am staying in the UK as a visitor, living in my partner’s house. (He’s British)
    I applied for the YMV a couple of weeks back and got my approval e-mail a few days ago. I took my Biometrics in Dublin, so it was outside the UK (technically). I sent off my passport for the vignette and it should come back any day now.
    Now here’s my question: Once I get my passport back, do I have to leave the UK/CTA once and come back in, because as far as I’ve read and heard, we cannot ‘switch’ to a YMV from a regular old visitor’s visa, or is there some other method that I’m unfamiliar with?
    Just as a little add on:
    1. I was VERY transparent with my application, I told them I’m currently staying in the UK with my partner, etc. Note that this wasn’t planned beforehand and I just ended up deciding to find a way to stay when it was only supposed to be a visit. (I got a lot of heat from quite a few people when I mentioned I did this application whilst in the UK and did my biometrics elsewhere, which is why I’m clarifying this.)
    2. My passport is being sent back to the UK to my current address.

    Thank you in advance

    1. As you’re already aware, you’re not technically supposed to be in the UK when you apply for this visa. Because your situation is an unusual one, I’m unfortunately not sure I can give you good advice on this, sorry.

      However, I do believe that you need to enter the UK on your Youth Mobility Visa and see an immigration officer on arrival to get a stamp at the border, when you arrive on this visa, in order for it to be valid etc.

      If I were you, I would leave the UK and then re-enter on your Youth Mobility Visa once it’s approved, just to be safe. However, I can’t guarantee that you won’t have any issues. Might be best to ask the UK government directly if you have any concerns.

  66. Hi Matt,

    First off, great article! I’m learning so much from everything you’ve posted and even from the comments section.

    I’m planning to apply for this visa on February 2024 with a nominal arrival date in July/August, but I also have a planned holiday in London this March/April. Would you know if this will affect the start date of the visa? I don’t want the visa to officially start before July.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Glad you’re finding the website useful, Angel!

      As you’re probably aware, you’re not supposed to be in the UK when you apply. I’m not sure what would happen if you apply in February and then visit separately in March/April. However, my strong suggestion would be just to start the application process after you’ve left the UK in April. That still gives you more than enough time before you arrive in July (even without paying for faster processing, the average turnaround time is 3 weeks) and avoids any potential hassles.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I’m thinking of applying first week of Feb (will turn 36 by end of Feb) and going to London by end of March which will give me 6-7 weeks to wait for the application result. I guess my concern is if my application gets approved before my trip in March, will I have an option to enter UK without triggering the start date of the visa?

        1. My understanding is that once you have an approved visa, entering the UK would trigger the start of this. It’s also not advisable to travel to the UK while you have an impending visa application, even though this might technically be possible if you enter the UK on a different passport.

          Since you’ll turn 36 at the end of February, I would probably suggest that you either just apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa with a start date of March, or otherwise, cancel the March/April trip.

  67. Hi! Thanks for the info, I have a question around the “the earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you travel”
    Does this mean you can’t apply 7 months before but 2 months before is fine?
    Ie if I apply now and want to travel in March would that be okay?

    1. That’s correct. You can apply up to 6 months before you intend to arrive in the UK. Given the average turnaround time is 3 weeks, applying 2 months before should be fine.

  68. Hello,

    Just want to clarify:
    “you can APPLY up to 6 months before your intended arrival date”, but what about the info that says once you get it you only have 90 days to arrive in the UK? Which should we take into consideration?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Julius, I’m not sure where you read that you have 90 days to arrive in the UK? That isn’t mentioned in our article, nor on the UK government’s website as far as I can tell.

      You can apply up to six months before you intend to arrive in the UK. This is based on the date on your plane ticket that you will land in the country. You then need to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

      That said, I don’t think it’s really necessary to apply more than about 2-3 months in advance.

  69. Say I apply in January, but actually don’t plan to go to the UK until late next year. When does the Visa actually come into affect? For when I apply? Or do I have to put a specific date I would like it active from?

    1. The visa comes into effect from the arrival date in the UK that you specify in your application. Note that you cannot apply more than six months before you intend to arrive in the UK.

  70. Do you know what grounds or steps can be taken for instances whereby the Covid-19 pandemic implicated this particular path? In February 2020, I was granted a Youth Mobility Visa and entered the UK. Within days, covid 19 hit and shut everything down and I had to make the decision to return home following government advice to do so. The same day I picked up my physical Visa card was the same day I flew home and due to Covid, could not return.

    Noting that you can only obtain this Visa once, considering the grounds in which we were faced and that I didnt get to use this- is there any steps forward in this regard?

  71. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for your great information. Can you give any advice on the following:
    I entered the UK on the YMS visa early February 2020 and had to return to Australia within 6 weeks due to the Covid pandemic. Australian borders then closed for the next couple of years. Do you know if I can get any exemption to re-activate the visa – given that I only used the visa for 6 weeks? If that is not possible, could I apply for a refund on the fees paid for the IHS?
    Any advice appreciated. Susie

    1. Hi Susie, did you ever get an answer about this from anyone? I am in the same boat.

      1. Hi Millie,
        So sorry to be late with this reply.
        We did get a reply but it was a ‘no’. According to their rules, you cannot re-enter on the visa once you have entered, despite you having to return due to covid.
        Good luck!

  72. Hi Matt,

    I was wondering if you had a general rule as to how much a person should have saved by the time they apply/move to the UK (specifically London). I’m looking to move to London later in 2024, and just wanted to know your thoughts.


    1. Hi Ben,

      To apply for a Youth Mobility visa, you are required to have at least around $5,000 (AUD) in savings, plus to pay for the visa fee and NHS surcharge. You’d also need enough money to buy a flight to the UK. But as a general rule, I would suggest having at least $10-15k in savings before you move. This will give you a bit of a safety net in case you don’t find work straight away or want to do some travel before getting a job overseas. If you’re planning to live in London, maybe add a bit more on top of that.

  73. Hi, if i want to travel to UK at the end of this year (2024), am I able to apply for the youth mobility visa now before the change in prices? Or are you only able to apply for the visa within the 6 months prior to your planned arrival into the UK?

    1. You can only apply for this visa up to six months before your intended arrival date in the UK. If you apply earlier, your application will probably be declined.

  74. What about if I applied this month and said my expected arrival was 6 months from today, then later in the year said it has to be delayed 6 months due to personal reasons?

    1. If you want to try this, that’s up to you – but I would not recommend it as it’s not within the spirit of the rules. I’m not sure what more you want me to say – the UK government is quite clear that you need to apply within 6 months of your intended arrival date in the country.

  75. Hi! I’m in the process of applying for my UK youth mobility visa from Aus and I’m a bit confused about the timeframe of when to apply (it’s Jan now & I’m planning to arrive in the UK this June). On the overview page it says:

    “The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you travel”

    But then when I’m filling out my application it asks for my approximate arrival date, and under ‘why is this important’ is says:

    “If your application is successful, you will be granted a visa to enter the UK. The visa will only be valid for entry to the UK for 90 davs. If vour visa expires before you travel to the UK, you will have to apply for a replacement visa.”

    It sounds like two contradicting statements about the application timeframe (i.e., 6 months vs 90 days), but have I misunderstood? Thanks!

    1. I take this to mean that you need to arrive within 90 days of whatever date you list as your planned arrival date in the UK (which must be within the next six months).

      I guess it could also mean that you have 90 days to enter the UK once your visa is issued. I.e. you can start the application process up to six months before you intend to arrive, but once your visa is issued you have 90 days to enter the UK. There is a gap between when you apply and when the visa is issued, but that’s normally around 3 weeks. If that’s the case you might need to bring forward your planned arrival date if you can, but I don’t think this is what they mean.

  76. I have a pre-existing holiday to the UK coming up in a couple weeks, but was also intending to apply for the visa to commence around the middle of the year. Mindful the fees will change, it’d obviously be advantageous to apply before Feb 6. However, with my existing trip there coming up, could I initiate the visa application but hold off on completing the biometrics, head to the UK (as a tourist), and then complete the biometrics part after returning? Or would that be contravening the whole, ‘you must wait for an outcome on your application’ before arriving in the UK.

    1. You might want to ask the UK government directly to be sure, but I don’t think you can enter the UK while waiting for the outcome of your application, regardless of whether or not you’ve had your biometrics appointment yet.

      You can pay extra to get a faster decision on your application, but that might defeat the purpose somewhat of applying earlier to save on the Immigration Health Surcharge.

  77. Hi Matt,

    Thank you so much for your knowledge and advise!

    I currently live in the UK on a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa (sponsored) but want to transfer to a YMV now they have increased the age, so I can freelance. I’ve resigned from my job so have a finish date with them, and was planning on applying for the YMV with an ‘enter the UK’ date, after my official finish date with my current company, getting my biometrics done somewhere in Europe, then re-entering on my YMV.

    I haven’t been under this scheme before and can’t find any information on transferring from a skilled worker to YMV and hit all the eligibility so presuming it won’t be a problem, but saw your previous comment about it ‘not being possible’ so just wanted to ask further.

    Also is the new age until your 35th birthday or 36th birthday?

    Thank you SO SO much,


    1. Hi Kara,

      There’s not really a pathway to “transition” to a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, in the sense that it makes no difference that you’re currently in the UK on a different type of visa. However, you can still apply for a YMV under the same rules as everyone else. Obviously this is only possible if you’ve never held a Youth Mobility Scheme visa in the UK before (other visa types are irrelevant).

      One of the conditions when applying for a YMV is that you need to be outside the UK. So if I were you, once you finish up with your current job, I would leave the UK (you can go to mainland Europe, back to Australia, or anywhere else – it doesn’t really matter) and then apply from there. It will take a few weeks, or you can pay for a faster application. Once you’ve provided biometrics and got the new visa approved you can return to the UK using that.

      The new age range is 18-35 inclusive, so you can apply until the day before your 36th birthday.

      1. Hi Matt,

        Thank you so so much for the speedy response! So essentially you recommend applying online (I guess I can do that from London?) then booking a biometric appt somewhere in Europe – after my last official day at my current job? (March 11th).

        No haven’t been on this scheme before, only the skilled worker visa for 1.5yrs

        Thanks so much again,


        1. Just be mindful that you are supposed to be outside the UK when you submit your application, so probably best not to do that from London. 😉

        2. Hi Matt – me again.

          Thanks again. Have just received a note from an immigration lawyer stating the application must be made ‘in the country or territory where the applicant is living’ (other than the UK) and ‘have the right to reside there’….she’s suggesting this needs to be Australia.

          Really don’t want to have to go back from Australia and hope to apply from Spain…all your advice is that this is possible…to apply for the YMV outside the UK from any destination you can get your biometrics done? Just want to clarify this.

          Thanks so much – hope you somehow get paid for all this advice and knowledge!! honestly worth its weight in gold.


        3. Hi again,

          Firstly, I’ll add a disclaimer that I’m not an immigration lawyer and this is definitely not legal advice! This is just my understanding based on the experiences of others in the past.

          As far as I understand, you just need to have the right to remain in whichever country you’re applying from for at least as long as it will take you to get your visa issued. The whole point is that you don’t want to end up in a situation where you are staying temporarily in one place and have to leave before your visa gets processed. Obviously, you’d need to make sure you have enough Schengen days available to stay in Spain while waiting for your UK visa. If that might be an issue, consider applying from Germany where you get a full 90 days (regardless of the amount of time you’ve previously spent in the Schengen Area) through the bilateral agreement between Australia and Germany.

          If you’re really concerned, you’d definitely be fine if you went back to Australia and applied from there. But I don’t personally think that would be necessary. However, once again, I’m not a lawyer!

          Hope that’s helpful. Other than a bit of advertising and affiliate revenue, I don’t make much money out of this website – my motivation for running it is to help people like you. But feel free to leave a donation if you would like.

  78. Hi Matt
    My partner is planning to apply for YMS in coming months. He is 31 and I am 38. We are both Australian citizens who been together for 12 years. However we are neither married nor have we registered our de-facto relationship. I have a couple of questions
    – Is there a provision for partners to also travel and work in UK along with the primary applicant? If yes, can you please tell what additional processing we need to do.
    – Would we need to register our relationship as de-facto before we apply?

    1. Hi Gaurav, unfortunately there is no provision for partners to join on this type of visa. If you wanted to join your partner, you would need to get your own visa independently. As you are over 35 years old, unfortunately you would not qualify for the Youth Mobility Scheme.

  79. Hi Matt,
    I am moving over to the UK and my savings are in my partners account which is in her name. There is enough funds for the both of us. Can I use that statement if she is applying at the same time. Or am I better off cancelling my biometric and waiting 28 days and transferring the funds into an account. We live at the same address and have stated that we are partners unmarried.

    1. Hi Mitchell,

      I’m not 100% sure about this one, but the UK government does say that you must “prove you have enough personal savings”. As this is a personal visa application and not a partner visa, I suspect the bank statement would therefore need to be in your name. (I realise you are both planning to go to the UK together, but you still need to both apply for this visa individually.)

      I could be wrong and you could always contact the UK government directly to ask if you’re not sure, but my personal opinion is that you’re probably better off waiting the 28 days for the funds to have remained in your account.

  80. Thank you so much Matt – some seriously good karma coming your way! Do you know the quickest route to receiving the YMV / getting your passport back? I see Barcelona has a ‘premium’ option – not sure if that means same day service or if there are any other visa processing centres / biometric centres that are the quickest? Thanks again!!

    1. I don’t know the answer to this, sorry. If you pay the extra fee for faster processing that should at least speed things up, and if Barcelona has a “premium” option that’s probably worth a try. Good luck!

  81. Once I’m in the UK on this visa, am I able to travel back to Australia within the visa timeframe for a visit if need be, or will doing so void the visa?

  82. Hi,

    Would you happen to know the process for bringing forward the start date of a Youth Mobility Visa? My partner and I had applied for a Youth Mobility Visa in Australia and guesstimated that we would be in the UK around 31 July 2024 – we chose this date to give us ample time to search for a job, undertake interviews and land a job prior to arriving. However, it is now likely that one of us will land a job for a UK-based role within a few weeks so we would like to change the start date to bring it forward to late March/early April.

    Noting that we have attended our biometrics appointment and recently received a letter confirming that our visa application has been successful – it happened a lot faster than anticipated (within less than a week)!

    Unfortunately, most information and articles we have seen on this topic relates to pushing back the start date or changing the vignette period.

    Any useful information and tips on this process would be much appreciated. Thank you!

      1. Thanks for your response Matt. Does that mean that we have to cancel our successful application and then apply for a new application with our preferred date? Or is this also not possible?

        1. I don’t think it’s possible to cancel a successful application. I think you’ll just have to work with the original date you provided in your application.

  83. Hello, I am confused about the application steps if you are able to confirm them for me please. I am currently in the UK and will depart in order to apply for my visa. Do i need to submit the application outside of the UK strictly? Then from that date how long do i have to wait to have a biometrics appointment? And it is from this biometrics app date that the visa then starts to be processed? I am interested in paying extra for a quicker decision and want to understand from what day this takes affect? Also do you know if every country has a biometrics centre as i intend to apply from Serbia and cant find any information online? thank you, Nina

    1. Hi Nina,

      Firstly, yes, you must apply from outside the UK. During the application process, you’ll be asked to select which visa application centre you want to visit to provide biometrics. There is a list of centres here –

      Serbia is on the above list, there is a third-party service provider in Belgrade –

      The amount of time it could take you to get the biometrics done mainly depends on the availability of appointments. You could check when the next appointments are in Belgrade. Once you’ve completed biometrics and the application is processed (you can pay to have this bit done faster), you could then enter the UK on your Youth Mobility visa.

  84. Hi Matt! I’m currently on the YMS Visa, and I’ll be applying for the extension in the next few months as my initial two years is up in June.
    The UK gov site says it can take up to eight weeks to get a decision, have you by any chance heard anything on current wait times? I know it’s just come into effect so maybe not!

    I’ve also heard that if you apply earlier than the 28 days prior to your two years ending, the extension will start from the date with approved, as opposed to the date on which your first visa ends? Do you by any chance know if this is true?

    Thanks so much!

  85. Hello Matt,
    Your help on here is amazing thank you.
    Do you know if getting the UK Youth Mobility Visa for 2 years then allows you to apply for the French 12 month Working Holiday Visa from the UK?
    My understanding is that you need to have a visa with more than 6 months on to apply for the French Working Holiday one?
    Its for my Australian nephew who has arrived in the UK and wants to go and work in France for the summer, this would prevent him I think having to go back to Australia to apply for the French one?
    Thank you in advance

    1. If your nephew has the right to live in the UK for two years, I don’t see any reason he couldn’t apply for a French working holiday visa from within the UK.

  86. Hi Matt,
    This article is so helpful, its fantastic!
    This is the first I’ve looked into a Uk working holiday visa so this information has been really helpful. As i was scrolling i noticed needing to visit the visa application centre and i’m unsure what my options are. When i looked it up there are no local visa centres near by because i live regionally in FNQ. This might be a fairly obvious question but when i further researched it. It seemed there was only one centre pre capital city and you are required to attend the appointment physically, and i could only find vfs global as an option.
    Do you know what options are available for people living regionally?

    1. Hi Isabel, you would need to attend an appointment in person because you need to provide fingerprints etc. In your case, your nearest location would be in Brisbane.

      Trust me though, it’s worth making the trip and this is a normal requirement when applying for many visas. If you’re planning to move to the UK then a quick trip to Brisbane shouldn’t be too much of a problem 😉

  87. Hi Matt Graham,

    This article is very helpful and I’ve been reading all the comments and answers.
    I have a semi unique situation which I would like some assistance in please.

    I originally applied for the YMV in 2018. I was 29 years old at the time. My YMV was all approved and even got my vignette sticker in my passport. Due to life choices at the time, I decided not to go through with the big move and hence never travelled within the 30 day window of my vignette entry date.
    No issues here back in the day and I decided to stay in Australia.

    Then covid happened and life happened and we now fast forward to todays date of 20/03/2024.
    The Great news is that the Government has extended the YMV program to people up to age of 35.

    I am currently 34 years old and about to turn 35 next month.
    I do not want to lose out on this opportunity to work in the UK because I doubt the Government would extend the age limit again…
    That being said, would I be able to Transfer my previous Approved non-used Vignette sticker from my old expired passport to my new one considering time has lapse so long?

    Website currently says It costs £154 to replace your vignette… Surely it can’t be that easy? lol.
    Can you see any issues here?

    1. If you’ve already been approved for this visa, I’m not sure that you would be able to apply again. The UK government is allowing existing Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders who are currently in the UK to extend for a third year, within a month of their existing visa expiring, but this doesn’t extend to people whose visas already expired years ago.

      You could try asking the UK government directly, you never know, but I’m unfortunately not optimistic that you’ll be able to apply again.

      If you’re eligible for another type of visa, such as a UK Ancestry Visa, you could look at an alternative pathway. Otherwise, you might consider applying for a working holiday visa in another country such as Ireland, France or Italy which also have age limits of 35.

  88. Hi Matt,

    I’m an Australian who is hoping to get a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa to live and work in the UK later this year. I was hoping you could please clear something up for me.

    I’m a bit confused about when to apply for one. The UK government website says:

    ‘The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you travel.

    Example: You can apply from 16 January if you plan to travel on 15 July.

    Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.’

    I thought this meant you need to apply for your Visa six months before your intended travel date? However. I I also read somewhere that once your Visa is approved you only have 90 days to enter the UK, and if you don’t, you’ll have to apply for your Visa again?

    1. You don’t need to apply for your visa six months before you intend to arrive in the UK – it’s just the absolute earliest date that they will accept your application.

      I would personally apply 2-3 months before you plan to go. That way you have enough time for the visa to be processed and won’t get caught out by any such 90-day rule.

  89. Hi Matt,
    Please refer to the attached link from UK gov which states the following :

    Cost for part of a year
    The amount you have to pay depends on the length of the visa you’re given and where you apply from.

    6 months or less
    You do not need to pay the surcharge if you’re applying from outside the UK for 6 months or less.

    If you’re applying from inside the UK, you’ll have to pay half the yearly cost. For example:

    £388 for students, their dependants, Youth Mobility Scheme or under-18 applications
    £517.50 for any other application

    I am applying for the youth mobility scheme and have a return ticket for less tha 6 months yet it does not give an option to pay lass than the 2 year amount ? Very confusing

    Also eligible for the Ancestry visa but it says you have to prove you are looking for work ? Do you know anything about this?

    1. Although you may only be planning to live in the UK for six months, the Youth Mobility Scheme visa is for 2 years (with the option to extend for a further year later). There is no 6-month option for this type of visa, so you would need to pay the IHS for 2 years.

      For information about the Ancestry Visa, please see our guide for that visa:

  90. Hi Matt,

    I read your article and all the comments, great information.

    I have a couple of questions that I’ve struggled to find info on:

    It is my interpretation on Australian passport holders applying for the ‘UK Youth Mobility Scheme Visa’ it is 35 years inclusive; Can you confirm that? I was born in October 1990, and want to travel to the UK April 2026 (35 years and 6 months) so can I apply in December 2025 (35 years and 2 months)?

    Further question if the above is correct, and I do apply December 2025 (35 and 2 months) and it’s granted and I arrive in April 2026 do I still get two years out of the visa; until April 28th 2028 (37 years and 6 months)?

    Further question, if the above is correct, am I able to then extend the visa for the additional year, April 2029 (38 years and 3 months) or not because I would be a lot older than the initial 35 years?

    So basically, what is the latest date that I can apply to achieve two years on the visa, (ideally / potentially three), if I was born October 1990?

    Any information and links that could assist would be much appreciated!

    Thanks for your time.

    1. Hi Ella, the eligible ages to apply for this visa are 18-35 inclusive. You can apply up until the day before your 36th birthday. Once you have the visa it’s valid for 2 years and you can extend down the track for a third year. So, basically, you’re fine. 🙂

  91. Hello Matt,

    My name is Isabella and I am currently in Europe. I am planning to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa and would ideally like it to start in July 2024.

    I am flying to London in early May, potentially leaving the UK for mid-May, and then returning to London in late May. I plan to be on a tourist visa for this time. I will leave the UK in early June for 1 month.

    Am I right in thinking that I cannot apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa until after I leave London in early June if I’d like it to start in July?

    Or would it be possible to apply for the visa in mid-May when I am potentially outside of the UK (but have it officially start in July)? *Noting that I will definitely be in London at the end of May.

    I’m concerned I could potentially not be allowed into the UK on a tourist visa at the end of May or that I may ‘activate’ the visa earlier than July 2024 (if that’s even possible).

    Thanks for your help! Hope that makes sense. Cheers!

    1. Hi Isabella,
      You would need to apply for your visa after you’ve completed your May visit and left the UK. That’s because you cannot apply from the UK, nor enter the UK while waiting for a decision on your visa application. Once your visa is approved, entering the UK would then trigger your visa to become active.

      If I were you, I would apply the day after you’ve left the UK in early June. That should give you enough time if you want to start your working holiday in July. You can also pay for faster processing if you’re concerned.

  92. I just wanted to say, thanks heaps Matt for doing all of this! I have never seen this kind of information in so much detail, easy to read, complete, all in one place, and accurate anywhere else. It is so well organised, clear and exciting how everything sounds that it feels encouraging to me to apply and have a great adventure over there.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Mauricio! Glad you found the content useful 🙂

      I hope you make it over to the UK and have an amazing time.

  93. G’day Matt
    Thank you for the guide. Can you please advise as to whether the funds to ‘support yourself’ have to be available in your account for 28 days before you pay for the IHS and application online or for 28 days before you submit your documents at the visa centre? I have the funds, but not yet for 28 days, but want to submit the online application so that I can book a visa centre appointment in advance for the 29th day after I have had the funds available. Is this okay?
    Thank you in advance

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