canadian passport, uk youth mobility visa, work in the UK
Photo courtesy of James Nord

About This Guide

This is a step-by-step guide to applying for a Tier 5 YMS visa for the UK, while located outside the UK.

If you’re reading this post, I suspect you’re considering or are in the process of applying for your Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa for the United Kingdom. Welcome! Before we get started, please have a look at my Disclaimer page.

Last Updated: 23 April 2018

The Essential Youth Mobility Visa Handbook
 Why waste time sifting through 10 different resources when you can get it all in one place? The Essential Youth Mobility Visa Handbook: Everything Canadians Need to Know about Getting the Visa and Moving to the UK contains 56 pages of useful information that will help you make your dream of moving abroad a reality!

Get it now!


  • Canadian Citizen
  • Age 18-30 (you can apply at 17, but you must be 18 on or before the visa start date; you can move to UK at 31, as long as you were 30 on the date of the application)
  • No dependents (children under 18 either living with you or for whom you are financially responsible)
  • A minimum of the equivalent £1890 (~ $3245 as of June 2017) in your bank account
  • Not currently in the UK

You can apply for this visa if you are not in Canada, as long as you are legally allowed to stay in that country for more than six months and there is a UK Border Agency where you can have a biometric appointment. For example, you are in Australia on the working holiday scheme for one year, then you may apply from Australia and attend your biometric appointment in Sydney.

British High Commission in Ottawa
British High Commission in Ottawa | Photo courtesy of ukincanada

How to Apply for the UK Youth Mobility Visa in Canada

This Official Guidance Document will give you information on all of the requirements for your documents as well as the limitations on the work you may do. Read it twice, if not three times.

Once you’ve done that, Apply Online Here.

What You Need:

  • Current passport and all previous passports (if you have them)
  • Dates of all international travel, including travel to the UK
  • Birth dates and birthplaces of your parents
  • Accurate UK postcode to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (your permanent work/residence permit)
  • Credit card to process payment for Visa Fee, Immigration Health Surcharge, and User Pay office (if applicable)
  • Your proof of funds (do it now and you won’t have to worry later! 🙂 )


1.  Gather the information needed and fill out the application. If you run into information you don’t have – don’t lie! Save the form and get it, or tell the truth (e.g. you lost it, you don’t know, etc.). Make sure your name is filled out exactly as it appears on your passport. I failed to put my middle names on the application, which I was able to amend at my appointment.

2.  Fill out the intended date of arrival as accurately as possible. The vignette you receive in your passport is only an entry visa, so you must enter the UK within 30 days of that date or apply for a transfer of visa. See the FAQ for details on the Biometric Residence Permit and the temporary vignette.

3.  For the international trips – visiting the USA counts even though there may be no stamps in your passport if you went by car. Put the trips you remember and explain in the comments section at the end of the application. If you forget a trip, don’t sweat! Just mention it in your appointment.

4.  Make the payment. The fee for this visa is £244. It is charged in USD because the visa processing office is in New York.

5.  You will be directed to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £300. You must complete the payment and return to the application page within 30 minutes. This link has all of the documents you will need to hand to make the payment.

6.  Print out your completed application. Confirm all the information is correct and sign and date where necessary. Write your IHS number on the front page.

7.  You will be directed to the VFS Global website to book an appointment at their office in Toronto. Choose the date and time that is convenient for you. If you are not in Toronto, other offices include User Pay Offices in Edmonton, St John’s, Vancouver, Halifax and Ottawa.* There is a $100 USD fee to use these Offices. Print out the appointment confirmation notice.

** Halifax and St John’s User Pay Offices are only open one or two days a month. Be sure to take this into account when applying. **

The Visa Appointment

I should point out that this is officially what is required – I do not have experience with the VFS Global application service, as I used a Worldbridge office when I applied. Please refer to the comments if you would like to know about other people’s experiences with VFS Global.

What You Need:

When you attend your appointment, you should bring:

Information and Documents 

  • Current passport. It needs to be valid for at least 6 months but your BRP card will be your permanent visa (so you have to keep it on you at all times!).
  • Proof of funds dated within 30 days prior to the date of application. Refer to the Official Guidance Document above for specifics. For this visa, you need to have the minimum maintenance amount on or anytime within the 30 days before the date of application. Here are some examples of what this means:
    • A hard copy bank statement showing the balance received before your application (no older than a month);
    • A letter from your bank on official letterhead stating your balance on the date of your application;
    • A print-out of your bank summary from the date of your application showing your balance with an official stamp from your bank.
This is the same kind of Account Summary I had printed a few days BEFORE I applied for the YMS visa. Note the stamp and signature from the bank.
  • The date of application is the date you paid the fee to the UKBA. Maintenance funds required is £1890 (Canadian Dollar amount is calculated using the rate of exchange from the date of your application). My accounts were a chequing account and my TFSA. You must have access to these funds in cash, i.e. they cannot be held in stocks, assets, or credit cards. Lines of credit and joint bank accounts are okay as long as your name is on them.
  • Appointment confirmation, visa fee receipt, and VAC (User Pay) service fee receipt.
  • You no longer require a passport photo as VFS global now takes it. Be sure to double check if you are applying outside of Canada.
  • Print out of your application form (should be available when the application is complete), signed and dated.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Number
  • Your hand and your face


1.  Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appoint to check-in. Someone at the desk will verify you have all the required documents. If you don’t they may have them on hand but you can be asked to come back. The person at the desk will put them in a folder and give you a number. If you have any last-minute questions, the manager can advise you on your application.

2.  Sit and wait for your number. Watch the “Visit Britain” video they play on repeat. (I can not confirm that they have these videos at the VFS Global locations 🙂 ) You are not allowed to have any electronics, food or drink. Also, don’t leave your bag unattended – they will treat it as a bomb threat and evacuate the building which almost happened when some guy left his bag on a chair for 20 minutes.

3.  When your number is called, you will go see an agent who will look at your documents and then put them in a DHL bag to be mailed to New York. Yes, it’s silly that Canadians get their British visas processed in America…but you know. Budget cuts

4.  You have the option of picking up your visa in the office in Toronto or having it delivered to you for US $37. I decided to have it mailed. You can also have someone else pick it up for you with an authorization letter.

5.  Sit and wait again. Become British by osmosis. Your number will the called by the person at the desk and your photograph and biometric data will be taken. They scan your fingerprints and take a picture.

You are now free to go!

7 Days Later…

UK Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa
UK Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa!

From applying online to receiving my passport with the vignette, it took a total of 15 days. I applied on a Tuesday, had my appointment the following Wednesday, and had my passports returned to me the week after that on Thursday. I thought this was a pretty fast turn-around, though once I got to the visa stage for my French work permits, it took about a week as well.

The visa processing office in New York sends you an e-mail when they receive your documents and then once the visa has been issued (and presumably if you are rejected).


If you found this post helpful, imagine what the whole book could do for you!



989 thoughts on “Getting a UK Youth Mobility Visa for Canadians”

  1. Hi Alyssa,

    Thank you for your post! It has been very helpful.

    I went to RBC the other day and requested a letter confirming my funds in my chequing account. The customer rep stamped the letter but it is not on official letterhead. Is it still acceptable?


      1. I went back to my local RBC branch this morning to request for one on official letterhead with the same date stamp as the original. The customer rep was very understanding and completed it in 2 minutes! 🙂

  2. Thanks for your answer Alyssa! I really appreciate it.

    I have one other question, which I don’t think has been asked but my apologies if it has:

    I am currently in the UK on a Tier 2 visa and it expires in a few weeks. If I overstay in the UK by just a week (i.e. within the 28-day grace period), return to Canada and then apply from Canada for the Tier 5 YMS, will my application be declined? I rang UKVI and they said overstaying within the 28-day grace period shouldn’t affect future applications, but do you know of anyone having been in the same situation?


  3. Hey there Alyssa, so I didn’t realize I had this question until I was looking at my passport gathering all my travel dates outside of Canada, turns out last summer I stayed in Europe longer then I should have (is it correct we are only allowed to be in the schengen region Only 3 months out of a 6 month period? I was looking at my passport and I arrived in Spain in May 2015 then I didn’t leave the schengen region until September 10th, so I basically over stayed a fair bit, I never had anyone stop me or it never caused an issue I’m just wondering if I’ll get in trouble when applying for this visa and if it will affect anything, let me know what you think

    1. Correct on the 90-day buzzkill. That said, this is one of those “beyond my expertise” situations. FYI, the UK isn’t in the Schengen Zone so maybe no one will notice? 🙂

  4. Hi Alyssa,
    You’ve answered one of my questions in the past and your blog has been a huge help throughout this process, big thanks!
    I thought it was time I returned the favour with some info I found. The stats for how many Tier 5 visas are issued are posted on the UK government website ( This is an excellent resource for anyone getting nervous about availability. Last fiscal year 2014, they granted a total of 3,973 Tier 5 – Youth Mobility to Canadians and during the first Quarter of 2015 (Jan-Mar) they’ve granted 796.
    The data specific to Canadians and this visa are in Volume 2, on the last tab. It takes some playing around with the filters but you get the exact figure that has already been granted for the year.
    I’m also finding out whether if with the new BRP process it’s still necessary to leave the country and come back under Tier 5 if you initially entered on a tourist visa – will report back to you on that. We’ll be arriving a week and a half prior to our requested visa date.
    Thanks again for all the great info!

  5. One last thing…to my fellow applicants, make sure you take a copy of your IHS confirmation/number to your biometrics appointment. You will need it as it is not noted anywhere on the application and they will ask you for it.

  6. Hi Alyssa,
    Thanks for all your advice! Just a note — I applied for my Tier 5 YMS in July 2015 and was issued the full leave. No need to pick up a biometric residence permit at the post office. I was a little confused and emailed home office about it but apparently they still issue a full leave vignette for the two years.

    Hope anyone else doesn’t get confused by the sticker/vignette thing!

  7. Hi Alyssa!
    I’m leaving in about two weeks to come to the UK with my visa! I’m just wondering, do I need a stamped bank statement when going through customs or can I simply print my statement off my computer? I’ve had to open an account at a different bank than I usually use and the hours are very limited and its horrible to try to get to. If it’s a necessity I can try to go, but if not then it’s one less thing I have to worry about before I leave.
    Thank you!!!

  8. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for the detailed blog!
    Question: If my savings are above the required amount within the last 30 days or on the day of applying for the application (the document I provide will show a savings of above $3541) but fall underneath that after paying for the application fee and the healthcare surcharge, will I not be accepted for the VISA? Does it create any problems?
    Essentially I’m wondering if I can use those saving funds to pay for the additional fees?

    1. Hi Nana, should be fine but personally I wouldn’t risk it. Keep in mind that with the current exchange rate, the savings requirement is around $3,840 CAD.

  9. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks so much for this and every other blog post you’ve written about the YMV process! I only wish I had found them before I applied, but they helped ease my mind and get a send of timelines and such whilst I waited for my visa to be returned to me.
    Just thought I would leave a comment with my timeline, and also let you and your readers know that I wrote about my experience on my blog as well, I had a little bit of trouble along the way and thought that I might be able to help some people avoid my mistakes!

    My Timeline:
    Started Application Online: Jul 31st

    Booked & Paid for Appointment, Application & IHS : Aug 1st

    Had Biometrics Appointment in Ottawa : Aug 11th

    Received Email from UKVI in New York That They Had Received My Package: Aug 12th

    Received Email from UKVI That My Visa Had Been Approved: Aug 20th

    Visa Arrived in My Mailbox: Aug 28th

    Thanks again Alyssa!

  10. Hi Alyssa,

    I applied for my visa on Sept 7th and my biometrics appointment is on the 15th. I was reading your blog thoroughly to make sure i am prepared for my appointment and came across bank statement details stating: “Your bank statement must show that the funds were in your account on or within the last thirty days”
    I didn’t realize you needed a bank statement before your application as i was going to get one printed tmrw, right before my appointment. What do i do in this situation? should i get my bank to print out a statement from the 7th, is that possible? or is a statement dated 2 days after my application suitable.

    thank you so much for your help,

      1. thank you for such a quick reply!
        Just to be clear, am i getting the bank to retrieve a stament dated for sept 7th? Or is a statement dated on the 9th ok?

        thanks again,

  11. Hey Alyssa,

    Not sure if you will be able to answer this question. I applied for my tier 5 visa and have my appointment in toronto this Wednesday. On my application I put I was travelling with my boyfriend, and had to put his information (nationality and passport number). He is canadian so I putthat, but he just recently applied for his first British passport as his dad was born there. So when it asked what visa he held I pit not required. He will therefore have to go through a different line then me at the airport in the UK since he will be using his British passport and won’t be with me. Will this be a problem when they see I am traveling with someone but he is not with me???

  12. Hi Alyssa,

    I applied and received my Tier 5- Youth Mobility Visa ( Before May 31, 2015). After that I realized my Passport will expire once I am in the UK over the 2 years, so I renewed my passport. I am now in the UK, with 2 passports ( the new one, and the old one with the Visa). Today I went to a recruitment company and they said that it is illegal for me to work in the UK when my Visa, is in a different passport then my current passport. Do you know if this is true? They suggested I get a bio metrics card. Do you know anything about the process for applying for this or whether or not it is necessary? I appreciate any help!

    1. Recruitment companies don’t always hire the brightest lights in the harbour. You can and you can show them the documentation to that effect. It’s in one of the documents, don’t ask me to find it. Good luck!

  13. Hey Alyssa,

    Just wanted to say thanks for this blog! It was useful during my application process. The comments with timelines were also appreciated! I’ll include mine below for those who are currently applying or curious about processing times!

    Sept 11 – applied online and paid for my health surcharge, application, and biometrics appointment
    Sept 14 – biometrics appointment in Ottawa
    Sept 15 – application and passport received in New York, informed that the average processing time for applications received that week was 14 business days from the day they receive the application in NY
    Sept 18 – application was approved and queued for visa printing
    Sept 21 – visa issued (4 business days after arriving in NY), informed my passport would be sent out within 72hrs of this notification. DHL waybill return tracking started that same evening
    Sept 22 – passport was delivered by a DHL courier to my house in Ottawa

    The entire process was much quicker than I anticipated! 11 days total from the online application date (7 business days). I did not pay for priority processing, which the attendant at the biometrics appointment suggested for an additional couple of hundred dollars (lol right :p it had already cost me nearly $1500 to apply at that point!)

    For the proof of funds, I got the bank teller to just print out a statement that showed my personal information and my current balance with the date. He then stamped it with the bank’s stamp.

    Overall, the entire application process was not as daunting as it seemed before I had applied. My plane ticket has been booked and I’ll be off in 9 days!

    Thanks again and best of luck to those applying now! (:

  14. Hi Alyssa,

    I have two questions.

    1/ Is there any way around the having to be in a country that isn’t Canada for a full six months before applying from that third country? That seems really quite prohibitive to have to fly back to Canada or wait 6 months in another country to then apply for a UK visa. Also, I haven’t seen this said anywhere on the UK Visa website. Any links/guidance appreciated!

    2/ I’m on the fence about applying right this moment. If you apply and are accepted, can you defer the visa by a year or a few years (outside the two year validity)? Or, can you cancel it and reapply at a later date? I read that you can only do the Tier 5 scheme once. But does that only mean if you enter the UK or once you receive the Tier 5 visa you have two years and that’s it?


    1. 1/ No. Read the documents listed above.

      2/ You cannot defer. You can apply, get the visa, not enter the UK, and then reapply at a later date after the two years is up. Yes.

    1. Is it listed as a requirement on either my blog or the guidance documents? If no, then there’s your answer. If yes, please let me know where so that I may update the post.

  15. Hi there,

    I applied for the visa intended date to travel January 1, 2016. But my actual arrival date is Jan 23, 2016. Will there be any complications? I applied for the visa on January 05, 2015.

  16. I wanted to thank you for making this and other posts as I’ve been using them as my bible during the process of getting to England. I also wanted to let people know that, although this could be different to each case, myself and another person have noticed our frets regarding the date of your bank statement matching the date of your application and the inclusion of every single visit you have made outside of Canada were not needed. The money transferred into my account took longer than expected and my statement date was two days after my applicaiton date so I am going to assume that as long as you have the money before your appointment, don’t fret like I did! Even the officer who I had the appointment with told me it was fine. I also could not remember the dates of all my trips but included all I could to the best of my ability. So if you cannot remember the date of that trip you went on 8 years ago to disney world no biggie just “guesstimate”. They also give you the option of including extra details so if you want you can explain your lack of exact dates there but I did not and I still got my visa approved.
    One last thing and I am reaching out to anyone who has had an experience at the Toronto VFS.. I received my visa approval email and it states that if you arranged to get your passport mailed directly to your house that that would happen in 72 hours. Does that mean if you want to pick it up it is available already? Or is that email stating that it was approved in NY and has not arrived to Toronto yet?

  17. Hi Alyssa! Thank you so much for this site, it was WAY more helpful than the official visa site. I have a question for you regarding the bank statement. So I submitted my online application on October 5, and had my biometric appointment on Oct 15th. I guess I kinda misunderstood the instructions, and I thought that the statement had to be stamped within 30 days of the date that I give my supporting documents. So the bank statement is stamped October 14th, but there’s a transaction list in the statement and it clearly shows that I had enough funds in my account on October 2 (still within 30 days before October 5th). I know you wouldn’t know for sure, but do you think this would be enough to possibly not get rejected?

    1. Ok, I read the comment above mine, looks like it should be okay as long as the funds are there before your appointment..I just hope I get someone nice! I actually applied through the Budapest office since I’m currently working in Hungary. So I think they send the docs directly to London. I had my appointment on the 15th, and already got the email on the 16th that it had arrived at fingers crossed that this works out soon! Kinda stressed because I need my passport back ASAP to apply for a Russian tourist visa for my graduation at the end of November. I’ll keep you updated, and thank you once again!!

  18. Hello Alyssa! You helped me out a lot about a year ago, and I’ve been enjoying London life immensely, so thanks for the wonderful blog! For my question, I wondered if you (or anyone on here) might know the following:

    My Canadian passport expires at the end of April (in 6 months)
    I want to return to Canada for Christmas for two weeks (at which point I will only have 4 months left on my passport when I return to England)
    I know that I can re-enter the UK as many times as I like with the visa BUT according to passport control, to enter the UK in general, your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your stay
    I will be remaining in the UK for an additional 8 months when I return after Christmas

    My question: Should I be able to re-enter the UK with a valid youth visa but only 4 months left on my passport? I would much rather apply for my new passport after Christmas so I don’t have to worry about it getting it back before my travels….

    Thanks so much for your help! 🙂

  19. Alyssa, thank you again for all your information! I just received my passport today:)

    Here is the process for someone who is applying from OUTSIDE of Canada. I’ve been working in Budapest, Hungary for 10 months now so I have a residence permit for here, allowing me to apply from the Teleperfomance office in Budapest. Here is how my process went:

    Oct 5: Submitted my online application and paid for the health surcharge and application fee
    Oct 15: Biometric appointment – One downside of applying abroad is that there might not be a need for that service as much as at home, so this particular office was only open every other Thursday, for 5 hours a day
    Oct 15: Got the notification that the application was transferred to UKVI
    Oct 16: UKVI received my application
    Oct 28: I got the notification that my passport has been emailed out. I got a little worried at first because they didn’t say anywhere online what the decision was, and there wasn’t even a checkmark beside the “Decision made” field in the application tracking feature. I waited a bit and later that day I got the DHL notification that it was being shipped from the British Embassy in Warsaw (I guess that’s where the Central/Eastern Europe “HQ” is, like NYC for Toronto)
    Oct 29: Received my passports back by courier! 🙂

    So even though I didn’t apply from home, the process was still relatively fast!

  20. Hi Alyssa,

    I’m so happy I found your website, the UK YMV is so much more complicated that the OZ and NZ ones which I’ve done in the past so it’s been a great help! I have a question about the expiry date of passports (I apologize if it’s been asked/answered before, I scrolled through the comments and it didn’t seem like it was). Will they approve your application if your passport expires within the two years that you will be in the UK, regardless of how long you’re planning to stay? My passport expires November 2017, but I’m really only planning to be in the UK from February 2016 to August 2016. Unfortunately I’ve submitted my application already, do you know if they will allow me to fix it at my appointment? And I should just apply for a new passport now before I make my appointment?



  21. Hi Alyssa, I have a question regarding the bank statement. Say i ask for a bank statement today and it had todays date on it and my appointment is next weds. Will I need the bankstatement to state that I had an amount of 1890pounds kept in my bank account in the past 3 months or is it okay if i only have the bank statement given on the day before my appointment stating i have 1890pounds? THANKS

  22. I know it has been posted many times, but thank you so much for this blog, Alyssa! I stumbled across it one night while looking for new experiences, and I was inspired by how clearly put the steps were. I didn’t think that it could possible be this easy! Well, here I am planning my trip at the end of December.

    I just received the entry clearance in my passport back and I’d like to provide my timeline as there hasn’t been one since October.

    Nov 20: Appointment at GFS in Vancouver.
    Nov 23: Email stating my documents had been received and forecasted wait time was 14 business days.
    Dec 1: Email stating the visa had been granted.
    Dec: Documents were returned by courier.

    Total time: 9 business days between appointment and having my documents returned.

    If anyone has concerns about using London Drugs’ photos, just make sure they use the right face measurements. That’s what I did and it seems the white background was accepted.

    Another point of confusion was when my bank letter from HSBC did not have my account number on it. I thought that would be detrimental, so I printed off a screen shot of my transactions which had my account number on it. Seems it worked out though.

    Seriously though, thanks for all of this!

  23. Hello,

    I have a question. When filling in the document it asking you for the address of where to send your document in UK. If I don’t know anyone living there, can I just write any hotel address?

    Thank you

  24. Hello Alyssa,

    Iam turning 31 in end February. I want to enter the UK in May or June. So I wonder, when I fill in the application what date of entrance should I put (since it is mentioned it should be within the next 3 months) but at the same time you say that you can enter later but it will be deducted from your 2 year period stay.

    Also, If I mention the date of arrival within the next 3 months but arrive later in pring, what about the documents that should be received upon the arrival. ( I think you have 30days to get them)

    Thank you

  25. Hello Alyssa,

    yes I read it many times, thank you. However, after reading the posts Ive got a little bit confused. In one post you said that the person can arrive after 3 months which will be deducted for 2 years. But at the same time you mentioned that the document must be picked within the 30 days of your arrival date that you put in the application form. From what I understand in the application form I must put the any date within the 3 months after application date? Sorry, just confused.

    Also, the 3 months start from the date when you submit your application or when you receive your visa?
    And final question, should I book my hotel before submitting application?

    Thank you very much!!

  26. Sorry for bombarding you with the questions Alyssa. Do you know if I need to send my application before I turn 31 or I need to receive the answer that I was accepted before I turn 31? (Therefore, if I turn 31 on February 25 for example, I need to send my application before that date or already have an answer whether I was accepted?)

    Thank you

  27. Great post! Thanks. I’m applying in the next few days, and was wondering about the section which talks about “Travel to the UK”.
    I was previously on a Tier 4 visa and left the country to come back to Canada for Xmas break and summer. Does my return back to the UK count as a “travel/visiting”, as I was going back to study/work part time, and therefore, should I list these in that section?


  28. Hi again,
    Just wanted to share my recent Tier 5 YMS application timeline;
    January 8th- applied online (paid IHS and visa fees)
    January 14th – Had Biometrics done in Vancouver
    January 15th – Was notified that visa application was received and opened in New York
    January 19th – Got the “Your Visa has been issued” email!

    So we’re looking at about 3 business days since I had my visa appointment and I didn’t even pay for priority service! Amazing.

    I have to say this was the fastest UK visa process I’ve ever had and I’ve already spent 6 years there under the Tier 4 and the doctoral extension scheme, so I was pretty concerned that it would take as long as those ones did! I also didn’t have alot of time to plan on applying for this visa, as my new job starts very soon, and needed a visa ASAP.
    Thank you so much for your advice Alyssa! Really helped me, especially as I had to apply so short notice and quickly.

  29. So, I am in Canada and now applying for the tier 5 visa to work in the uk.
    my question is
    1) can i just go to the uk for a job interview and come back to canada assuming i will not work.
    2) for biometrics, if i dont know anyone in the uk and for entering a postal code, can you give a little tip what i should write down for the postal code.


  30. Hello Alyssa, during my application process after making all the payments there is a Register at Commercial Partner link, when clicking on it, it says applying to UK Visa in 3 easy steps. But I already just applied and paid everything. Do you know what this is? Thank you

  31. Hello…
    I would like to ask for the bank statement does it have to be from a UK bank or it can be from my Canadian bank??

    Thank you,

  32. Hello,

    I’m confused by this sentence on the website:

    “You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK (even if you actually arrive at a later date).” (

    It was my understanding that I have 30 days to enter the UK from the date of expected arrival I stated. Here it implies that I not only have to enter within 10 days of my date of expected arrival, but to pick up my BRP within that window as well.

    Can someone clarify this for me please?


  33. Hey Alyssa!
    Your page is amazing, it’s beautiful to see that someone takes time out of their life to help others with such will.
    I have a minor, well, major dilemma.
    I am from Toronto (it’s funny knowing you’re currently there) but I am currently in London, England.
    I booked a ticket for a month to Israel (departing March 21st as that’s the date I have to vacate my apt) in order to get the Visa done from there, but I only have a three month permit.
    The requirement appears to be 6 months in the country you’re at if it is not your home country.
    Is there anyway I can resolve this issue, or do I have to fly back to Toronto and just get the entire application done from there?
    I’d appreciate your help. Thanks.

  34. Hello Alyssa, I have read all the comments that talk about biometric residence permit, however I still have a question. I applied to UK visa 2 months ago, was accepted and have to enter the UK before June to pick up my Biometric document. However, I am planning to move to UK only 1 from now.I also just turned 31, so reapplying for another visa will not work for me, but going to UK just to pick up my Biometric document and come back to Canada doesn’t make any sense either. Any suggestions? Thank you!

  35. Alyssa, you ROCK! Your page was SO helpful, I received my visa from Toronto roughly 14 days after applying: I submitted my application on Feb 29, had my in-person interview on March 2, received acceptance/confirmation on March 10 and received a note to pick up my visa on March 14. My ticket it booked and I’m off to the UK on March 31 🙂

    Everything is pretty straight forward and yes you’re right – as long as you can prove you’re:
    a) under 30 at the time of applying
    b) capable of supporting yourself and have the minimum $$ required for entry
    c) haven’t committed a felony of any kind
    d) are a citizen from a country listed on the webpage

    Getting approved is pretty easy. Don’t sweat the small stuff, I forgot to include several trips overseas (who can remember where and when they travelled over the last 10 years??) as well as 2 visas (1 was for a visit to Ghana and another was for a visit to Russia, both of which were contained in the old passport that I submitted with my application) and was super stressed that they would deny my application. I decided to write a note making them aware of my omission and apologizing for making the omission and everything turned out fine.

    If anyone has any more specific questions about the process, I’d be happy to help 🙂

    Thanks again Alyssa!

    1. Is the passport sized photo still needed? I don’t see anything about this on the website nor the documents page? I have an appointment Tues. Jul 5 in Toronto.

  36. Alyssa,

    what a wonderful blog. I am just about to submit my information thanks to your help!

    I have been doing some research myself : Elena above brings a valid point – If you do not enter within 30 days of intended date of travel ; you need to apply for a new 30 day vignette which implies new biometrics and a corresponding fee. The procedure is not as clear cut form the British government so I am hoping if anybody here has a solution for this or accomplished this?

    The forums online are struggling with this – I did read one person from Switzerland ( who was not Swiss) applying at the respective British consulate and doing the biometrics again to get it sorted ( new 30 day vignette)

    It almost seems worthwhile just going within the 30 day window.


  37. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for the post! Very helpful as I’m about to apply.

    My question for you; My work is transferring me to our London office, and they want me to get this Visa as its much faster and more affordable for the time being. Can you see this a being an issue whatsoever?

    All the best!

  38. Hi Alyssa,
    First I want to thank you for an excellent blog. I used it extensively as a resource during our entire process. Our process was very quick.
    March 7th: Completed online application and booked appointment for March 17th
    March 17th: In person appointment in Edmonton (we’re from Winnipeg, a long way to go for a 15 min appointment), received email confirming our documents had arrived in New York the same afternoon.
    March 24th: Visas were approved.

    It’s the next bit that has me frustrated. My arrival date is June 6th, but my Biometric Residence Permit is not available for pick up until June 13th. Whether I misunderstood or whether it was not very well communicated in the documentation, I thought that the BRP would be available on or, very shortly after our arrival date. Wouldn’t be a big deal except I am supposed to pick it up in Surrey, but my job starts in Cambridge on the 13th. We were planning to stay with family in Surrey a couple days, pick up or permits and then be on our way.
    So, my question is this: Does anyone have experience with transferring a biometric permit to a different Post Office? How long does it take? (I have to pick up the BRP within 10 days of arriving but they aren’t making it available until 7 days after my arrival; leaving me with only three days for it to get to Cambridge). Also how much does it cost?
    I’ve tried asking Visas and Immigration, not helpful. I’m going to contact the Post Office but my fear is I will get yet another ambiguous answer.
    Again thank you so much for your blog and all the help it provided us. It was fantastic!

    1. Here’s a bit of an update on this. It costs £21.90 to redirect your BRP to a different Post Office. You have to coordinate this in-person at the Post Office branch you want it directed to. It should arrive within 7 days. When I asked about how that would affect me picking it up within the 10 days of my arrival, the answer I got was that they use the 10 day rule and the threat of a big fine/revoking your BRP just to hurry people along to pick it up. The Post Office holds your BRP for 60 days and the man I spoke to on the phone with the Post Office said that he had never heard of them ever handing out a fine for picking up the BRP late. I will find out if this is true in June I guess!

  39. Dear Alyssa,

    Thank you soooo much for your help! I am super interested in having this visa.

    I have two things to consider though, I am Mexican/Canadian and studying in Switzerland with my MEXICAN passport. I want to go to England to work with my Canadian Passport. Could that work? Can I apply in Switzerland with the Canadian Passport even though I have a swiss visa in my mexican passport?

    Also, do I need to have a job contract before applying? or can I have the visa and then search for a job?

    Thank youuuuu

  40. Hey Alyssa!

    Just wanted to say for any dual citizens (I commented on here about six months ago asking if anyone knew about the process & wanted to share my experience) that it may be best to take the hit and hire a visa agency. They write a supporting letter explaining why you have two passports (I was born and raised in the States, but my family is Canadian so I have dual) and I’m hoping that clears everything up whilst the UK decides. All my files are in New York now, so wish me luck… Ah! But yeah, if anyone is dual, you’re allowed to try for this visa, it’s just a wee bit more complicated.


    This is a bit weird of a question, fair warning, but I was curious if Alyssa or anyone knows whether or not the IHS surcharge (I know it gives us NHS access) covers birth control as well? I was planning on getting an IUD before coming over, but seeing as I just dropped 580 USD on healthcare, I didn’t want to drop even more here in the States for something that may or may not be covered. On the NHS website it says “Most types of contraception are available free in the UK. Contraception is free to all women and men through the NHS,” except I know IUDs in the States are a couple hundred dollars, so I’m wondering if this falls under the “most” category. Suppose this is for any women who’ve been in a similar situation! Sorry if it was a bit too TMI!


  41. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for the awesome blog! It was very helpful to me.

    Wanted to provide my timeline in the event it is helpful to others:

    March 29th (technically March 30th, or so says my application, as it was evening in Eastern time – next day in British time) – submitted online application;
    April 1st – Biometrics appointment in Toronto (there were earlier appointments, it was just better for me to take the Friday off to travel to Toronto);
    April 4th – Application received in NY;
    April 6th – Visa approved and issued e-mail;
    April 7th – Visa received at home in Ottawa.

    Less than 3 business days from biometrics appointment to visa issued, with priority processing (the man at the office in Toronto freaked me out with his “visas take an average of 3-6 weeks to process”) as I have a job lined up starting at the beginning of May, so I forked up.

    I had a few red flags (in my opinion) I was worried about – I was denied a work permit in Switzerland very recently (I was sponsored by an international company but Switzerland gives priority to EU/EFTA citizens for permits, which I am not, and they determined EU candidates could have been found.) I explained briefly and had the Swiss letter officially translated from German to English and submitted it along with my application.

    Looking forward to moving to London soon! 🙂

  42. Hi Alyssa,

    Would I be able to enter the UK as a tourist and apply for the YMS visa? Also, do I need to find a job before I could apply for this visa? Or I could just go search for jobs in London?

  43. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for putting together (and continuously updating) such a fantastic resource!

    I plan to apply for the YMS visa and was wondering: Would it be ok if I begin the application process while in the UK, save it, then complete, pay and submit it once in Canada?

  44. Hello Alyssa, amazing blog that has gotten me and my girlfriend through the process! was just wondering, we’ve been dating now for about 5 months and shes just applied for her youth mobility scheme visa. On it she put single because we weren’t and haven’t lived together, but we will be once shes here. will that be seen as a problem? we didnt qualify for any of the other visas.

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