The much used working holidaymaker scheme, gateway to the UK for thousands of young Commonwealth citizens over the years, has been withdrawn – this will have important implications for Commonwealth citizens wishing to come to the UK to have an extended holiday and take up employment. In its place, the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has introduced the Tier 5 – the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS).
Essentially, in terms of requirements the Tier 5 YMS is a direct descendant of the working holidaymaker scheme. However, one material and little publicised difference is that it is no longer open to Commonwealth citizens per se, rather it is restricted to nationals of a very selective list of countries and certain classes of British citizen not otherwise allowed to live permanently in the UK. The Tier 5 YMS currently only extends to nationals of Australia, Canada and Japan. The option for young people from New Zealand, South Africa, India et al to experience a working holiday in the UK has now been removed. Individuals who wish to apply for a Tier 5 (YMS) visa must make the application from their own country as they are not allowed to vary their status within the UK.
A further restriction on the number of likely applicants for the Tier 5 YMS will follow from the requirement that applicants must hold at least £1,600 in their bank account on the date the application is submitted.
Prospective applicant’s are advised to check the immigration requirements for any changes prior to submission of the application as the Tier 5 visa is subject to change.