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Hi there! I suspect if you’ve found your way to this Frequently Asked questions, it’s because you’re planning on applying for your UK Youth Mobility Visa – welcome! If you haven’t read YMS visa application guide yet, read this first.

Just as for the application guide post, the same applies for the FAQ: If you have read through the guide, the FAQ, and all the comments, then I don’t have an answer for you. “Unique” situations and questions that have been answered in posts or previous comments will not get a response.

Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

If you are applying for a Youth Mobility Visa, you are now required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge. This amounts to £150 per year of the visa validity, therefore £300. No, it doesn’t matter that you only plan on staying in the UK for 3/5/9 months. You must pay the IHS before completing your Tier 5 YMS visa application as it will ask for the reference number when you apply.

What is this business about a Biometric Residence Permit?

If you apply for the YMS visa after May 31, 2015, you will receive a sticker in your passport instead of the vignette with the full 2-year visa granted. You must provide an accurate UK postcode as part of your application as you will be designated a specific Post Office branch to pick up your biometric residence permit. You will receive a letter with your passport when it is returned to you telling you which Post Office that is. Your BRP is the proof of your right to work in the UK and must be carried with you at all times.

BRPs must be collected from a post office within 10 days of arriving in the UK and the vignette sticker is only valid for 30 days after your intended date of arrival. If you cannot pick up your biometric residence permit in time, inform the Home Office here.

This has two implications:

1) You must put an accurate address on your application.

2) You must travel within 30 days of your intended date of arrival. If you change your travel date you will have to go to the Visa4UK website to apply for a transfer of visa.

* * *

I think I made a mistake with my youth mobility visa application, what do I do?

Do not freak out if you think you’ve done something a little bit wrong. Here is what will happen.

If you have provided:

  • A document in the wrong format;
  • A document missing from a sequence of documents;
  • A document that is a copy and not an original; or
  • A document that does not contain all the required information

They will contact you by writing or telephone to tell you what you need to send. They must receive it within 7 working days.

Also, if a document provided is in the wrong format, is a copy, does not contain all the required information BUT can be verified from other documents in the application, the website of the organization or regulatory body that issued the document, they MAY approve your application exceptionally.

If you are turned down, you can appeal the decision. Read the Guidance document for more information.

How do I know if they are out of spots? What if I waited too late in the year?!

Canada has 5,500 places in the UK Youth Mobility Scheme. When I asked the woman at the application centre, she said that Canada has never even come close to using all of the spots. In June 2013, approximately 370* of these visas were processed in Canada.

Here is what will happen is there are no spots left:

Directly from the Guidance document: “…a notice will be released to notify customers of this. The notice will be published on the relevant UK embassy, High Commission or Diplomatic Post website.”

If there is no notice, then you may still apply. If you’re confused about what the relevant website would be, it is the British High Commission in Canada website if you’re Canadian. The High Commission in Australian website if you’re Australian, etc.

* If you would like to calculate that number for yourself here is how – They are no longer releasing the numbers for visas processed.

Look people. Seriously. Canadians between the ages of 18-30 are not particularly enthusiastic about moving to the UK. I know you think they are, because you are, but they are not. There will be places left no matter when you apply. In the decade-plus that this visa has been going, Canadians have never used up all the spots. So this is not something to worry about. Seriously. As mentioned, check the UK embassy website. For Canadians, that is the British High Commission in Canada website.

The online application is asking for a UK address and phone number - what do I do?

I put down the address and phone number of my partner’s family. If you don’t have friends or family in the United Kingdom, find a hotel or hostel where you will be staying and supply their number. This is simply to ensure that you will be going somewhere when you arrive in the UK and there is a record of your stay. No, you don’t HAVE to stay there but they will ask you again for this when you arrive in country, so you better have a place to stay booked or arranged.

Make sure that the address you write is at least NEARBY where you plan on staying (e.g. don’t put an address in London if you’re going to Cardiff). As of May 31, 2015, you will have to pick up a biometric residence permit from a post office near you, which will be indicated in a letter from the UKBA.

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When does my visa start? How far in advance can I apply?

It starts on the date you requested it to start – that is your intended date of arrival. This date must be within six months of the date of your application. Your application will be rejected if you try to date it further in the future than that. So, if the start date is February 17, 2017 and you arrive on March 10, 2017, your visa will still only be valid until February 17, 2019.

You may arrive in the UK whenever you like, but your time will start running out after the visa validity date, regardless of whether you have arrived in the country. If you change your travel date to after your temporary vignette expires, you must apply for a transfer of visa on the Visa4UK website.

If you don’t enter the country to activate the visa, you can reapply at a later date.

NEW: For applications made after May 31, 2015, you will be issued a 30-day clearance sticker (in your passport). This sticker is only valid for 30 days after your intended date of arrival. If you plan on arriving later than that, you will have to request a new one. Your official “visa” is a biometric residence permit card, which must be picked up within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

I don't understand this bank statement date thing - why do I have to have the funds in my account for 30 days?

You don’t. You must show that the minimum maintenance funds were in your account on the date of your application.

Furthermore, your documents cannot be more than 30 days old (30 days before your application date). If you apply on February 17, your documents must be dated on or after January 17.

Can I enter the UK prior to the visa start date?

Yes, BUT you must leave and re-enter on or after the start date of your visa in order to validate it. If you are a few days to a week early, they will validate your visa, but you will not be allowed to commence working until the visa validity date on the visa and the border security might grill the shit out of you to make sure you weren’t planning on it.

Does my TFSA (tax-free savings account) count towards my maintenance funds?

Yes. I included a print-out from Scotiabank explaining that TFSA is a cash access account, because I’m meticulous like that.

Can I work as a pharmacist/doctor/sportsperson? What restrictions are there on work?

You may not work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you can demonstrate you attained a degree in those fields in the UK. You are not allowed recourse to public funds (i.e. welfare). You may not be employed as a professional sportsperson or sports coach. You are allowed to be self-employed as long as you don’t own a business premises (other than your home); the value of your equipment does not exceed £5000; and, you have no employees.

You can work anywhere in the United Kingdom.

I lost my old passport - what do I do?

Try as best you can to remember your previous travel and indicate on the application that the passport has been lost.

I haven't heard about whether my visa has been issued. It's been two weeks and you got yours in a week! Does this mean I've been rejected?!

No. The visa processing centre endeavours to have visas issued within 10 business days, but anything can arise that will push the processing time back. I know this isn’t reassuring, but: just wait until you hear. You can check what the average processing times have been throughout the month by following the same process as I outlined in the ‘How do I know if they are out of spots?’ answer.

If you have followed the instructions, meet the requirements and are not a convicted criminal or have been removed from a country, 95% of the time you will not have been rejected. THIS IS A REALLY EASY VISA TO GET AND VERY DIFFICULT TO MESS UP. THEY ARE APPARENTLY FORGIVING WITH MISTAKES. YOUR SITUATION IS NOT AN EXCEPTION. STOP WORRYING.

What if I become pregnant?

You will be in violation of the terms of the visa and must leave the country voluntarily or you will be removed from the UK.

I suspect that they want to avoid the drama of people seeking settlement because they have children born in the UK. I actually think they may have removed the line about pregnancy from the document (probably because, in my opinion, it was offensive and sexist). If you become pregnant and are in your first 12 months of your stay and unemployed, you will not be covered by the NHS. You will be required to pay for any antenatal care, including delivery. If you have paid the health surcharge then you will be covered. However, under the terms of the visa you cannot have any dependents; therefore, giving birth in the UK would breach your visa terms and if you are found out or reported to the UKBA, then yes, they can deport you.

Do I need a return ticket?

A return ticket is not necessary.

Can I study while on this visa?

Yes, but it must not be the main purpose of your stay in the UK nor should you obtain a degree. If you wish to obtain a degree, you must return home and apply for student visa. It appears that the rules have changed and you can study while on the Youth Mobility Visa. Some courses require an ATAS certificate.

However, the immigration rules state that in order to obtain leave in one of these categories you “must intend to work”. Therefore when you applied you did so on the understanding that your main intention in the UK was work.

If you later change your mind and decide to study, there is a danger that the immigration authorities may think that your reasons for being in the UK have changed, and they could decide to cancel your visa. If you do undertake study while holding a work visa, it is advisable to continue working in the UK.

It is acceptable to study part time whilst holding a visa in one of these categories. Remember, however, if your visa runs out before the end of your course you cannot obtain an extension as a Student in order to complete your studies, since you must be studying full time in order to be granted a Tier 4 student visa.

Is it possible to switch between visa types?

No. If you are currently in the UK, on a student visa for example, you must leave the UK in order to apply for the YMS visa. If you are on the YMS visa and would like to switch to another points-based visa, then you must begin the process prior to your current visa’s expiry date. That being said, if you’re currently working for an employer they can sponsor you for a Tier 2 visa. You must begin before your visa expires and you will still have to return to Canada while the visa is being processed. I have heard a rumour that you don’t have to leave in the case of applying for Further Leave to Remain (Marriage). Since your permission to stay was longer than 6 months, then you can apply from within the UK. This visa allows you to continue working in the UK.

Do I need traveller's insurance?

No. I was not asked at the border and you will be covered by the NHS upon arrival in the UK (between the validity dates of your visa). Whether you want to have it, i.e. for repatriation and such, is another question. I wrote a follow up post regarding opening a bank account, registering the NHS and National Insurance number – read it here.

Should I pay for priority service?

I don’t know! This costs US $228 and your visa will be the first processed in the batch that arrives at the same time. If you have already attended your appointment, you can apply for retrospective priority, the details of which are here.

Do I have to disclose my traffic offences?

That depends. They ask about crimes you have been convicted of, they’re looking for drug traffickers, murderers, assault and battery and the like. The application said in my day said ‘except minor traffic offences’. That said, if you have been convicted of a DUI or something similar, that should be disclosed. By minor, they mean parking tickets and speeding tickets (unless you were drag racing, but then you would be charged with reckless endangerment, right?).

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!

More YMS Visa Posts:

Should I move to the UK first or find a job first?

What’s the difference between a British CV and a North American resume?

How long will it take me to find a job in London?

How to Bring Money Over to the UK?

What do I do about my taxes while on the Youth Mobility Visa?

Should I put my Youth Mobility Visa status on my CV?

How do I find a flat in London?

How do you make friends in London?

Updated:  12 March 2017

289 thoughts on “UK Youth Mobility Visa for Canadians – Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. I recently finished my online application for the youth mobility visa and just today noticed that i made a mistake. In the area where it asks for your mother’s family name i put her current one and not her maiden name. I have my biometric appointment coming up and don’t know what to do. Please help!

  2. I’m in the UK on a Tier 4 visa right now as a postgrad student. I’m getting married next month in canada so my fiance will be applying for this youth mobility visa so she can return to the UK with me after the wedding.

    Will the fact that her spouse (me) already has a Tier 4 visa/entry clearance affect her application in any way, positively or negatively?


  3. I finished my online application yesterday (March 8th), i requested for my visa to start June 20th, which is more then 3 months. Will i be rejected?

    1. Hi Shelby,

      Yes, it has happened to people. Perhaps you can withdraw your application or change the date at your visa appointment. Best of luck.

  4. Hi,

    I started my application today but will not submit until I am within the 3 month time frame (I am not looking at moving until August 15th or just before September but am busy with my thesis and wanted to start chipping away at the application) – is this okay?

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Caitlin,

      Yes it’s the fine. The date of your application is when you have paid the visa fee. Good luck with your thesis–I’m heading back to Toronto for a masters myself!

      1. Hi Alyssa,

        I just saw your response now! Thank you so much – this whole thing is a bit nerve-wracking. I do have another question – I am moving with my boyfriend who will be doing his Masters out there (still waiting to figure out what school and whether it will be England, Scotland or Wales). He has a UK passport because his father was born there and will likely be using his UK passport while we are away. The Visa application asks who I am traveling with, etc. Do you think it will be problematic that he has a UK passport while I will be using a Canadian passport and hopefully a Visa?

        My best friend is just finishing up her Masters in Journalism from Ryerson. What will you be pursuing?


      2. Hi Alyssa,

        Quick question, During the application, the second last step was registering with a commercial partner. I clicked on it but it looks like it is for someone getting a different status.

        I just received an email about my appointment but not a pdf. Any thoughts? Thanks so much

        1. I believe that the commercial partner is VFS Global, but I don’t know, that wasn’t part of my application.

  5. Hi,

    Is it possible for me to enter another country in Europe and then go to the Uk with my visa? I found a cheap return flight to Copenhagen as i will be flying from there to Canada to apply for my visa and then would fly from Copenhagen to London for the intended start date of my visa.


    1. Yep, no problemo. Just make sure you go through border control (I flew in from Dublin once and no one checked my passport!).

      1. Hi. My son is in UK now from canada. Entered through Dublin and did not go through Border Control. The Post Office would not release his BPR today without stamp. How does he get this fixed. Tuesday is his deadline.

          1. Thank you. So II understand correctly, leave UK snd come back in going through Border Control.

          2. I think so. I believe there is also a way of getting it done at the police station but I can’t be sure.

  6. Extremely helpful FAQ, thank you so so much for this! You’ve really helped me to chill out and stop stressing so much (my biggest fear was I’ve paid this huge fee and they’ll tell me the quota filled up on Jan 1st already and I don’t get the refund).

    I have made a mistake – applied March 17, said my entry date will be June 30 (so more than 3 months)… Really hope I can change this at my appointment in 2 weeks.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Ruby, I did the exact same thing, and would be very interested in hearing what ended up happening with your application (if you were able to amend your intended travel date, or if they allowed your application to be more than 3 months from your travel date). My appointment is in a week, and I’m feeling anxious about it!

  7. I was wondering if I could hold two youth visas to two countries at the same time…
    I was hoping to get to Denmark which has a one year visa and then go to the UK after for the second year of the two year youth visa… I turn 30 in May and I work until the beginning of August. I thought if I applied for both this April I could just squeak in and head out to Denmark sometime between September and January. I know I wouldnt get my full year but Im not planning on setting in, just working here and there.
    Have you heard of this?

  8. Hey Alyssa! First off I just want to thank you for this blog!! It has been a life saver and you’ve answered so many of my questions, so thank you so much. I just have one more question for you I’m not sure if you could answer but you’re the first person I thought of! I’ve applied for my YMS visa, did the appointment, now it’s the waiting game.. Should be within the next few days. My intended date of travel was May 20th, 2015, so I understand that this is when the visa will start, but I was wondering if I am able to go to the UK before this date as my job here at home in Nova Scotia is done and I’m just waiting around to go in May. I realize I will not be able to work until my visa officially starts but I just want to spend time with my boyfriend and his family and really get comfortable with London! I’ve heard that you can do this but just wondered if you had any further info on it!

    Thank you so much in advance,


    1. Hi Jessica,

      Yes, you can go to the UK before the visa date and they should still validate it for you. You may get some hassle if they think you will start working before the visa start date, so be sure to have your boyfriend’s number just in case. If they don’t validate it, you’ll just have to leave and come back once the date has arrived or passed.

  9. Hi Alyssa. I have a potentially problematic situation on my hands. I am applying for my visa for the uk as my partner is a resident, all well and good besides the fact that I was deported from Australia 1 year ago for briefly working cash on a tourist visa. Now are you aware of any restrictions on this or does it depend on the case/immigration officer when attempting entry? I was fingerprinted and also see that as cause during my biometric. Any help on this is very much so appreciated!

    1. Hi Rianne, this is one of those situations you should talk to a lawyer about. Being deported usually makes it difficult to get a visa in the first place. If you do receive it, once you arrive it should be fine unless they think you’re at risk of starting work before your visa validity date or overstaying the visa.

  10. Also just seeing the big ole chunk of money required for health surcharge. If I was to pay and be rejected would I receive the money back?

    1. It’s to cover the costs of using the NHS and is now required by anyone applying for a visa that does not involve leave to remain. I will add more details on this shortly.

      1. Hi Alyssa!

        been following your site for a while now. Like the majority of people, I put off paying and sending out the application and just as I was about to do it last week(April 6), they implemented the healthcare surcharge. It’s kind of a bummer cause it was still a chunk of money, but I guess that’s a lesson learned from procrastinating.

        1. It’s SO MUCH money. But it’s an election year and they’re trying to reduce the burden on the health services…

  11. Hi Alyssa! Thank you for sharing your experience with this visa process, it’s been extremely helpful. I have a slightly stressful problem I’m hoping you’d be able to provide some clarity with – I had filled out my application in February 2015 and have just submitted and paid for it today. Unfortunately I didn’t change my “intended date of travel” and it is currently listed as 1 June 2015, but I won’t be departing til 15 July 2015. My appointment date is 14 May 2015. Is it possible for me to change my “intended date of travel” at my appointment or should I withdraw my application? Any advice you can provide would be so appreciated!

    Thanks, Vanessa

  12. Hi Alyssa!

    How can I pay for the return courier fee so that my documents/visa can be returned to my home address from New York? I wasn’t given the option to pay for this service when I payed the visa fee/user pay service online. I am just wondering how I can go about doing this before my biometrics appointment in Edmonton, AB or do I pay for the return courier service there?

    Thanks, Jill

      1. Okay, thanks!

        I also was wondering about the receipt for the visa / user pay service. I only have received an emailing regarding confirmation of my visa application payment. Is this the email that I will print off and bring with me to my biometrics appointment or was I suppose to be emailed an actual receipt? Just a little confused.

        Thanks for the help!

  13. I accidentally dated my intended date of travel 5 days outside the three months of my application date. I didn’t relaize that was the date of the application and not when you submit everything at your appointment date. Can I fix this or will my application be rejected? Would it be best to apply for a refund right away and apply agaiin? Thanks

    1. I did the exact same thing!! No problem though they just changed the date at my appointment .. Good luck!

  14. Hi Alyssa,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write up all this for us! I’m on a visa in Ireland right now, and am heading back to Canada in a couple months to apply for my tier 5 UK visa right away- so my question is regarding the bank statements as I’ll have some money saved in my Canadian bank account, but the majority is saved in my Irish bank account. Given that the bank statement is within the 30 days of my application, do you think there’d be any problems with using an Irish AND Canadian bank statement to show my funds??
    Thank you!!

  15. Hello Alyssa!

    How are you doing? Please I need further clarification about a topic you already sort of touched on. It mentions on this site
    ( that you Can Study with the YMS, but does not provide that much details. I was considering studying for one year to get a post graduate degree, and then working the other year. Is that not permitted?

  16. Hello, thanks for all the info!

    This morning I transferred a fair bit of Canadian dollars in an account – got a simple statement with bank stamp (hope it works)… then this evening – I paid my health fee however there was nowhere to put it on the application!? Unless I am missing something. I have an appointment in two days and was going to print out all my confirmations incl. the IHS receipt and number…any advice?

    Trying to avoid being denied as I have bought my ticket already (June 30)!

    thanks 🙂

  17. Hi Alyssa,

    I plan on moving to Northern Ireland in the Fall. I was able to book a super cheap flight to Dublin but have now realized there are no flights from Dublin to Belfast and there is no border control between the North and South of Ireland. Do you know if I will I be able to fly to London or somewhere else in the UK to validate my visa from Dublin?



    1. Ha! Now this is a question I haven’t had before and an issue I’ve never considered. I would probably just mosey on up to Belfast, settle somewhere I can leave my stuff, and then book the cheapest return flight to/from any city in the UK for a little holiday!

      1. Actually I just realized I will be getting the Biometric Residence Permit. Will I even need to worry about traveling through UK border control?

  18. Hi Alyssa,

    I apologize if you have answered this elsewhere but I have looked around and cannot seem to find it. I contacted my financial planner at my bank (RBC) and asked him for a printout as evidence that I have the required money in my TFSA for the visa application and they emailed me a document today. The document he provided is a letter addressed to me stating the amounts that I have in all of my accounts that are cashable investments (i.e. TFSA, savings, etc.) along with a grand total of the cash I have available to me should I need it. The last line of the letter then says “I hope this will meet any need you have for obtaining a youth mobility Visa”. It is signed by him and has a branch stamp on it but there is no date.

    Will this work? What specifically did you submit to show your amounts and how did you get it?

    Thank you,


    1. I covered that in the original post. Print out the email with the date on it and send it in.

  19. Hi Alyssa,

    I love your blog it has been so helpful! I really need your advice, I plan on doing some travelling before i move to the uk. I was hoping to spend 2-3 months travelling throughout Asia before entering the uk. HOWEVER! you state the date of arrival must be within three months of the application process. Would it be cutting it too close to apply for my visa within a month of leaving for asia. For instance if my flight is on october 31 can i apply for my visa october 1. In conclusion, is a month enough time for the application process?
    I would love to know your thoughts on what i should do about travel plans prior to the uk move.

    thank you so much!!

    1. Hi Micaela,

      Sounds like an awesome plan! If that’s what you’re thinking of doing, I would recommend paying for the express service. Don’t forget that new rules state you must enter the UK within a month of the date of your visa. I hope that helps.

      1. Hi Alyssa,

        Thank you for such a quick response! you rule!
        I’m assuming you mean enter within a month of the est ‘date of arrival’ as opposed to the application date?

        Thanks again

    2. Hi Micaela! I am hoping to do the same thing you did- I want to arrive in the UK for the beginning of September, but I am working in the US until the beginning of August so I have to wait to apply. How did the application process work out for you? It’s nice to know I’m not the only one!

  20. hi!
    I recently filled out my application and made a mistake. I’ve been emailing the contact service but they either do not answer my question or are very vague about it. I forgot to add my middle name to my application so I canceled it and resubmitted a new one. Would I have to do the same for my healthcare surcharge?

    And I canceled less than 48 hours to my appointment. Do you think they will refund me? I am worried because I may not get that money back. Even though I paid for it all over again.


  21. Hello, I’m wondering if my friend is able to apply at 17 and then only have the visa come into effect once he’s 18? Also involving the imigration centres because I live in manitoba am I apply to just get the photo and fingerprints done at a police station and then send it in? If so that would save us a trip to Edmonton.

  22. Hi Alyssa, it’s such a pleasure to read your posts and get all these infos.
    You mentioned that on a Tier 5 youth mobility visa we cannot study or graduate (aka get our diploma) however after speaking with Antone who works for the Visa lawyer Uk, he told me that I could study and get my diploma. Now I’m all confused since on the Visa website they do mention that you can study but this is as far as they go with the explanations.
    I have been accepted for a 1 year Master’s degree at The University of Edinburgh and I start on Sept 14 2015. So I need to rush to get my Visa and I’m just scared of doing the wrong application (Tier 4 or Tier 5 youth mobility).

    Thank you so much for your kind help/answer
    Hope you are doing well

    Best regards

      1. Hi Alyssa,
        I’m in the same boat as the previous commenter regarding wanting to do a 1 year diploma while on my youth mobility visa- you’ve said here the rules have changed regarding this and I was just wondering where you found this information? If you could point me in the right direction that would be very much appreciated!

  23. Hi Alyssa,

    I am a Canadian currently in the UK, and waiting for my graduating ceremony in July 2015. I was a Tier 4 (Student General) and my Visa expires October 26, 2015. I’m concerned that if I return home in August to apply for Tier 5 Youth Mobility, the quota would have filled up. But as you mentioned here in June 2013, approximately 370 out of 5500 applications were made. I have tried to contact UK visa immigration and Toronto’s UKBA for enquiry on Canada’s quota, and NONE of them know the answer. SO should I worry about spots available in 2015?

  24. Hi Alyssa, For the Tier 5 YMS, do they check up on whether or not you still have the 1890 GBP in your savings account after the date of application? I know you said it is a good idea to have the money when entering the UK, in case the border officials ask for proof of funds at that time. I feel confident that I will have the money saved up by September (when I hope to enter). But right now (when I hope to apply) I don’t have that money myself and will likely have to borrow from my parents for the application. Can they put the money in my savings just so that I can obtain the statement proving the funds, and then take it out right after? I just want to make sure this isn’t dishonest or problematic in some way. Hope that made sense! Thank you!

    1. Not unless you sent the wrong documents, then you need to send new ones.
      Yes, that’s fine. Make sure it’s in there when you apply.

  25. Hi Alyssa,

    I have a couple of questions for you and realize that you might not have the answer to these, but thought I would try anyway!

    1) My visa start date is July 8th 2015. However, I have run into some last minute medical problems and may need to have a small surgery done which is going to set my trip back by at least a few months if not more. In the meantime, my 2 year validity period is going to start to run out. Do you know if there anyway of cancelling my current visa and reapplying for a fresh one, due to these medical reasons? OR postponing the start date due? Or is the UK Gov extremely strict about the “once in a lifetime” rule for applying for the Tier 5 Visa? I can’t seem to find ANY information about postponing or cancelling an issued visa due to emergency on the net, and this makes me think that it is not possible at all….

    2) I noticed on your website that you mentioned that there is a new rule stating that you must enter the UK within 1 month of the start date of your visa. I can’t seem to find this anywhere on the visa/gov uk website. I was under the impression that anyone can enter at any time after there visa begins, knowing that their 2 year velidity period would have started to run out…
    Is that info available anywhere?

    Thanks for your time Alyssa!

    1. 1) If you don’t enter the country to activate the visa you may reapply at a future date.

      2) It’s in the documentation and web pages related to Biometric Residency Permit. Which is on the site related to the Tier 5 visa.

  26. Hello- I saw you mentioned above that if you become pregnant while in the UK on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa you must leave, but I can’t seem to find any information on this online or on the Government website. I have been in the UK 8 months, with a quick trip home to Canada after the 8 months for 3 months and am now back in the UK and haven’t been employed while being in the UK yet. Does that mean I would still have to leave to have the baby in Canada?

  27. Hi Alyssa,

    What happens if my passport is set to expire halfway through the 2 year visa. Do i need to reapply for my visa when i renew my passport?

    thank you.

  28. Hi Alyssa!

    Reading over your FAQ and just wow-thank you for all these tips!

    I do have a question or two, not sure if you’ll know.

    1.) I am a dual-citizen, both of my parents are Canadian but I was born in the States, so I am just processing my proof of Canadian citizenship now. Do you think that citizenship certificate will be enough, or will I need to get my Canadian passport as well (I’m assuming I do, but what I’ve read online is now confusing me).

    2.) Due to my unique-ish situation, getting my biometrics is a bit tricky too, as I’m assuming I’ll need to travel up to Toronto to get them done. I live in Florida, and while that’s not too much of a trouble, I was hoping on making it tie in best with my schedule, which would be in October. I asked this question on another post but it seems more suitable here. I’m not planning to start my application until February, as I wish to start my visa in May 2016. My biometric appointment details can be put on hold, can they?

    3.) If you can’t answer these questions, do you have any advice on who I should talk to? The Canadian Consulate/British Consulate in Miami don’t deal with visas, so they weren’t too much help.

    Thank you, a trillion times.

    1. Hi Katie,

      1) Exceptional situation that is beyond my expertise.

      2) You cannot book your appointment until you have submitted your application. You may do your biometric appointment in the US.

      3) Immigration or visa specialists. Some do online consultations for a fee.

  29. Hi Alyssa,

    You’re page has been very helpful to me as I was doing my online application and I want to thank you for sharing all those information. However, I have one concern, I submitted my application on July 13 and put October 15 as my planned arrival in the UK (it is 3 months and 2 days). Do you think it could be a ground for having my visa denied? I will be attending my interview at Visa Application Centre on July 21st. Should I change that information before my appointment?

    Thank You,

  30. Hi Alyssa, thank you very much for the useful FAQs.I have a question about the bank confirmation letter I received.

    I am with BMO and I went to the bank today to ask for a letter confirming the fund sufficiency. They issued a letter indicating my name and the balance I have in Canadian dollars (without showing my account number on the letter)

    I showed them the requirements from the official guideline I printed emphasizing that: 1) my account number needs to appear on the letter; 2) it should indicate that the fund in CAD is sufficient comparing to the 1,890£ and 3) a letter mentioning that TFSA is a cash access account.

    Here are their response:
    1) Their official format does not include the account number so they could not add it; 2) they are not able to convert my Canadian amount into British Pound so they could only show my account balance in CAD, without mentioning that it is sufficient or not; 3) they could not issue me a letter about TFSA, they said that the Visa Centre should know that it is.

    They also mentioned that if I insisted to show my account number I could print the e-statement online myself.

    I went to two different BMO branches and got the same answer. So what I could do is to print out a statement and bring it together with the bank letter.

    Do you think it will work? It always stresses me when it comes to bank confirmation stuff as it’s never the same.

    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. Violaine,

      1) Print out the e-statement as they said.
      2) It does not need to show that – they will calculate it themselves
      3) The bank won’t do that. Do it yourself.

  31. Hi Alyssa,

    Me again. I will be applying for my visa in August as I intend to leave in October. There is a part on the application asking: “Have you been issued any visa for the UK, UK Overseas Territories or Commonwealth Country in the last 10 years?”

    I went to Northern Ireland via Gatwick in 2014 and was issued a “Leave to Enter” for 6 months. Is that considered a visa?


    1. I don’t believe that is the kind of visa they mean, but include it anyway? Rule of thumb: Better to be safe than sorry.

  32. Hi Alyssa!

    My goodness you have been such a life saver for so many applying for this visa myself included! Ive read and kept updated on your blog and the comments for about a year now and I’m all set to go for September thanks to you!. I was just wondering if you knew how the new IHS charge affects applying for the NI number or registering with the NHS, as discussed in your post entitled “arriving in the UK on a YM Visa”.



  33. Hi Alyssa, it’s me again. I have another question about translation and I am wondering if you happen to have the answer. On my old passport there are stamps entering into non English-speaking countries and I am waiting for the translation. However, they failed to provide the translation before the promised time and I am facing the risk of not having the translation before the interview. If it happens, do you think it’s acceptable if I bring my old passport and the print-out of my email with the translation company explaining to them that the translation could be sent to them once received? Or it’s better to reschedule my appointment? I don’t know whether the stamps needed to be translated as sometimes part of them are bilingual but think it better to do it. Thank yo very much for your patience!

    1. Hi Alyssa, never mind my question. I just sent an email to the Embassy for a clear answer. Thank you for everything!

    2. I’m 99.8% sure that nowhere in the documents does it require translation of your passport stamps or visas…

  34. Hi Alyssa: You note the following in your information: “•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)”. However my daughter just received the following in ad email from the United Kingdom Visas & Immigrationsinternational enquiry service.

    “You must be aged 18 to 30 by the time you are submitting your date of
    application (a date in which you submit your online application and pay for
    a visa application fee). For more information, please refer to the link
    provided below.

    Do you have different information, or do you need to update your posting?
    Thanks for your time.

    1. From the guidance document, page 10:

      Claiming points
      40. Please refer to paragraphs 101 to 104 of Appendix A of the Immigration Rules. You can
      claim 10 points if you:
      •will be 18 or over at the time your entry clearance becomes valid for use;

  35. Hi Alyssa, great job on the blog, I have a question I’m not sure you’ll have the answer to but worth a try! So they ask for your “home address” and how long you’ve been there, well technically I call it my home address because my mom lives there and until I went travelling I also lived there, however in the past 3 years I’ve only spent about 3 months there because I’ve been travelling (Australia, Asia, Europe and then I went to another part of canada where I had a live in position and stayed in hotels in my days off) so I didn’t even have an address there, so I guess I’m just wondering should I put my mothers address and not bother explaining how I basically haven’t had an actual address for probably 9 months (I was only staying there for 3 months) and then my last address before that would’ve been 10 months before in Australia haha (obviously that isn’t valid anymore) thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Jessi, thanks. Use the address where you are currently residing – which should be in Canada or a country in which you have had a long-term visa for 6+ months.

  36. Just a note to all your readers about a specific thing that happened to myself and a friend when we applied for our youth mobility visa. I started my application in May 2015 and did not finish it until June 2015. My friend, who is travelling with me, started and finished her application in June 2015. On all documents within the official application site it referred to a Biometric Resident Permit or BRP. After our appointment in Toronto we both received our passports with Visas. She received a letter with her application stating where she could pick up her BRP and I received nothing but my passport. I panicked a little thinking they had somehow messed up my application and I would be kicked out of the country after thirty days. After contacting the BRP collection emailed they stated that I did not need a BRP just the vignette that was included in my passport. So if you started your application in May 2015 and then finish it afterwards you will most likely not need a BRP.

  37. Need some advice please!!

    My friend is Canadian and has just applied for a YMS UK tier 5 visa, he meets all the requirements! My worry is he lived in Australia for 10 years on different various visa’s, The last visa he applied for in OZ was a partnership visa and the visa was denied as he was only on a Bridgen visa not a substantial visa, so he had to leave Australia, would this effect he’s YMS application visa?


  38. Hi there! I have completed my application online, and booked my appointment in Toronto. However I was never prompted to pay the health surcharge… I went to the external government site for it and after answering the first two question it said

    “You don’t need to continue. You need to pay the IHS in your visa application if you’re applying from outside the UK.”

    I have no idea what this means or where on my VISA4UK application I am supposed to find a link to pay it.. My visa appointment is in 2 days and I’m starting to get really nervous.

    1. There isn’t a link on the application. It’s paid separately and you must have the number when you apply.

  39. Hi Alyssa,

    Im sorry if this question is something you’ve repeated elsewhere but as i have my interview tomorrow i would just like to set straight the exact documentation required for the interview. As i understand it the documents i need to provide are my printed out and signed application, my bank statement a print out of my appointment confirmation and my current and old passport. Is there anything else i should include.

    Thank you for all the help

  40. Hi Alyssa and any others who have completed the application process,

    How long after sending your application were you able use the DHL tracking number to track your application?



  41. This is a question for those who completed their process in the Vancouver office. Did you have the opportunity to collect your passport or was it mailed out to you? I am staying at friend’s condo and don’t know if I should risk having it mailed out and lost.

  42. Hey!
    I have a question regarding forgetting to put an international trip down that I had done in the last 10 years on my YMV application…
    I traveled to Germany over 3years ago now and forgot to place it on my application (which is already being sent to New York)…Do you think this is a problem? Should I call them and let them know of my mistake? Or do you think its not too big of a concern?
    Also! Another question!
    I have a place to stay and I wrote the address down on my application but I did not have the phone number to the residence…Should I call them to add this to my application or is simply an address ok? Also should I have noted the name of the person I am planning on staying with?

    These are just a few things stressing me out…
    Thank you so much for the help! Your Blog is great!

    1. As I wrote, they can check your travel history. They will know. If VFS Global didn’t say anything, it’s probably fine. No name needed.

  43. Thanks for your insightful website! It’s been great to hear your experiences and get your advice.
    I’m just starting to plan an adventure outside of Canada and I’m looking for your opinion into my dilemma.
    I’m planning to be outside of Canada in two different countries for 6 months prior to entering the UK on this working visa. The first country I can enter via the UK. Can I validate the visa on a layover in the UK, be in the 2 countries for 6 months and then return to the UK to work with 1.5 years left on my visa? Or do I have to return to Canada to mail my passport in after the 6 months of being in those 2 countries and then get the visa to work in the UK?
    Thanks so much for your help!!

    1. Yes you can but you will have to pick up your biometrics card. Yes you would have to return if you wanted to do it that way.

  44. Hi Alyssa,

    Your website is very informative. Thanks for all the info!

    I got my tier 5 visa back in Feb. 2015 and went to London last month to visit. I’m actually moving there in 2 weeks but I’m not sure if the biometric permit applies to me. Do you know if I’ll need to get one even though I have my visa before they implemented this new policy?


  45. Hi there!

    You have the best FAQ for this visa I have seen for Canadians, so I just want to ask something that has greatly been worrying me.

    I am starting the process for applying for this visa, however I.. do not have any post secondary degree. I have a highschool diploma and I have attended college in Canada, I just never finished it.

    Is it even possible for me to get this visa? I have looked through the British site, through (they seem to know what they’re doing), and countless other sites, and I cannot seem to find any regulation saying that you need a degree.

    If it’s open to people starting from age 18, I doubt it, however I am 23, 24 by the time I enter the UK if I get this visa, so do the rules change?

    Thank you so much!

  46. Hey!

    Some useful information (unsure if it’s been covered) regarding stamps:

    So I had an issue getting my 30 day visa stamped because I flew in to the UK through Dublin. The post office wouldn’t issue my BPR and told me to contact the home office. So I did, after a short panic I sent them an email detailing my issue before rushing back to the airport to see what immigration could do for me there!

    Flying somewhere was not an option for me!

    Anyway, I got my stamp issued and managed to get my BPR, and today I received an email back from the home office stating that the post office is supposed to issue the BPR regardless of stamp, so long as you’re within the 30 days of your visa.

    I noticed I wasn’t the only person who had this issue, so I wanted to put this information out there in hopes that it’s helpful!

    1. Hi Kolki,

      Thank you for posting your visa experience.

      I am a Canadian living in Dublin and am planning on applying for this visa (I will be getting my biometrics done in the office in Dublin)and am planning on living in Belfast. I was worried about the ”entry” issue since there is no boarder points between the Republic and NI. Can you be more specific how you were able to get your BPR released from the Post Office if you weren’t able to get a stamp in your passport showing your ”entry” into the UK?

      Best regards,

  47. I have applied for the tier 5 youth mobility visa. I completed all the steps and paid all the fees and application status now says complete, however there is still a tab after everything that says “register at commercial partner” Do you know what this is? Ive tried going to the link and it just takes me to the vfs site, there is a section somewhere that says register but it seems to be for people applying for citizenship only? or at least it wont take my application number?

  48. Hi Alyssa,
    I wish I would have found this article last year when applying for my visa – would have saved so many headaches.
    I’m not sure if you can answer this but do you know if you have to leave the UK right when your visa expires or can you play tourist for a couple days? I’ve tried looking it up online buy all I can find is how to extend with other visas. Thanks 🙂

    1. Probably shouldn’t risk it. Leave and go back on a tourist visa if you want – though they will be a bit skeptical about you not working.

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