UK Immigration - Working Holiday Visa

A scheme developed and launched for youth and young adults, the Working Holiday Maker scheme has been quite popular. This visa scheme, however, has been replaced with the fresh sounding Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS). It is a cultural exchange scheme for Commonwealth citizens not yet full experienced in their respective fields. UK visas are granted to create reciprocal youth mobility opportunities in participating countries and the United Kingdom.

The YMS allows citizens of Commonwealth countries aged between 18 and 30 to visit the country for experiencing life in the UK. This would be like an extended holiday for them; they can undertake paid work in Britain, live responsibly during half their term, thereby creating opportunities within the participating country for UK Nationals.

Various countries are participating in this scheme including Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, and Taiwan. The scheme was initially intended as a holiday option, with an added advantage of earning some money during their stay in the UK. However, from February 2005, the scheme made employment undertaken incidental to the holiday. It now is a part of the YMS and not a key reason behind applying for YMS visa. Therefore, candidates now are only allowed to work for 12 months out of the 24 months duration granted.

YMS applicants could switch to a UK work permit application if their profession is featured on the Skills Shortage Occupation List. Switching to the Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) from YMS is still permitted.

Because primary nature of this visa is visiting the UK for holiday, no point assessment is required and no employment offer is necessary. With this visa, you may qualify for an EEA Residency Permit.

The YMS scheme is temporary in nature and does not lead to ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK). An applicant is not entitled to permanent residency or UK citizenship. This visa can only be issued once per person and it cannot be extended.

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