This UK Working Holiday guide for Australians sets out to explain the Youth Mobility Scheme looking at how to qualify, how much it costs and how to find jobs and get started if you do qualify.
Australia, being one of the countries that have a special reciprocal agreement with the UK, enables its passport holders to apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme, previously known as the UK Working Holiday Visa program. This allows young people from Australia to live, work and travel in the UK for a period of up to 24 months.
UK Working Holiday For Australians: Taxback’s Travel Tips
Youth Mobility Scheme – Conditions
You can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5) if you qualify and have sufficient savings. The UK Gov websites states you must:
- want to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
- be aged 18 to 30
- have at least £2,530 in savings in your bank account
- have certain types of British Nationality or are from certain countries or territories (such as Australia or New Zealand)
- meet the other eligibility requirements that they list on their website
This visa has replaced the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa.
Conditions of Youth Mobility Scheme
To apply, you must meet the required score of 50 on a point-based assessment process. Points are allocated based on nationality, age, and maintenance, which refer to the number of cash funds that you have during your application. To reach 50 points, you should score 30 on nationality, which would not be a problem since Australia is one of the participating countries in the Working Holiday program. You will score 10 points in the age attribute if you are at least 18 years old and below 31 years old when you apply for your visa and another 10 in the maintenance attribute if you have a cash fund of at least £2530.
How long it will take to get accepted for the Youth Mobility Scheme?
The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you travel.
How much does the Youth Mobility Scheme cost?
The Youth Mobility Scheme costs £244 to apply.
Additional Requirements for UK Working Holiday (Youth Mobility Scheme)
You must also meet certain visa conditions for your application to be approved.
- A Working Holiday or Youth Mobility Visa is only for one-time use, which means you can no longer re-apply if you have previously completed or spent time in the UK with a working holiday visa.
- As a visa holder, you are allowed to stay in the UK for up to 2 years and work during the entire time that you are in the country. You are allowed to undertake any kind of work, except as a professional sportsperson or a doctor in training. Setting up your own business is also prohibited.
- Upon the expiration of your UK visa, you must leave the country. It is entirely up to you to switch to another visa category, but you won’t be able to apply for the Youth mobility visa again. You can come back as a visitor instead.
- If you are on a working visa in Finland, you can directly switch to the Youth mobility scheme provided that you have already spent 6 months in Finland. You can then travel to the UK, without having to return to Australia. The same thing is true if your point of origin is Denmark. But you have to go to the British Embassy in
Copenhagen for fingerprinting.
- If you hold a British passport, you don’t need to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme, but remember to register with the proper authorities for tax purposes.
Finding Jobs in the UK when you’re on your Working Holiday
With visa concerns out of the way, it is now time to search for jobs in the UK or London. Like anywhere else around the world, finding employment can be done online. There are a number of specialist Working Holiday Placement firms who providing working holiday jobs for Australians anywhere in the world including the UK. You can read more about companies who offer this service for non-residents in our UK Working Holiday Job Help Guide for Australians.
Looking for something a bit more alternative from your working holiday job? You can find jobs through the National Trust where you can specify the type of holiday work you are interested in, the length of time you want to work, and where. Start with a broad search, as availability may be limited with certain criteria. What is great about using National Trust is that there are several activities you can choose from, such as Farming, Construction, Historic Houses, Event, Gardening, and special interests.
Getting Started in the UK
The UK is one of the top working holiday destinations for Australians and Kiwis for many reasons. There are excellent work opportunities, people to meet, cities to explore, trips to take and a great lifestyle to be had, but to really enjoy all there is on offer, you want to make sure your transition from the Southern Hemisphere to the UK goes as smoothly as possible. Read our UK Working Holiday Guide for Aussies and Kiwis to be successful in your move.
Because you don’t need a sponsor to apply in a Youth Mobility Scheme, acquiring a visa is fairly easy, especially if you meet all the requirements.
Claiming Back UK Tax After Leaving the UK
When you work in the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme you will be required to pay UK Tax. Your employer will pay this using the PAYE scheme or if you’re self-employed, you may be required to complete a UK Self Assessment Tax Return. On average, non residents are able to claim as much as £1500 for each year they work in the UK. By keeping records of your expenses, receipts for uniforms and travel, or equipment that you have to buy for work, you could be able to make a hefty claim and get some cash back into your pocket for your next chapter.
Good luck on your adventure and be sure to hit us up when you need to complete your UK PAYE Tax refund.