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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

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

  1. Hi! Great info site, and points out a lot that is missed on the Visa/Consulate sites; so thanks!
    Has anybody received a Visa (mobility visa) WHILE they had another one from another country still valid? I will be applying elsewhere while I have a valid one in my passport. Thanks!

  2. Hi,
    Thank you so much for all the information! It was very informative and helpful when I was applying for my Tier 5 visa.
    I’ve gone through the FAQs and comments, and haven’t seen anything that relates to what I’m looking for. I’m entering the UK on Monday as an au pair, and the family has just moved, so they have a different address to the one I put on my application. How do I go about changing that? Can it wait until I arrive in the UK, or do I even need to change it. Any help would be much appreciated!

  3. Hi Alyssa,

    I’ve just filled out my online application and and sent it all in. I lived in Israel from 207-2015, and forgot to include that in my travel history. Is there a section I missed where it asks about that? I didn’t include it in my travel history as I didn’t even think of it. Now I’m super worried that I’ve messed it all up!! My appointment is this Friday -to your knowledge is this something I can correct in person, or is my entire application messed up now? How would I go about fixing this?

  4. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for the awesome information! I was wondering if you can travel outside of the UK while on a Youth Mobility Visa? I’m planning to enter the UK with my visa and then travel for a few days outside of the UK before I start my job search, do you think this will be an issue?


  5. Hi Alyssa,

    I must say I wish I would have found this website while I was going through my application process.. I was losing my mind and you have it completely covered in your write up and FAQ.

    I have been awarded the Youth Mobility Visa already and I’m currently living in Wales. I arrived to the UK on July 4th, 2016.

    The issue is that my Welsh girlfriend and I are going back to Canada for a holiday at the end of May for two weeks and my Canadian passport expires in October of 2017. Will it be an issue when I try to return to the UK? Because I will have less than six months remaining on my passport..

    I haven’t actually read anywhere that they will not let me back in but I have just heard rumours. I figured that they wouldn’t give me the visa because my passport expires during the two years.

    Thanks so much for your consideration.


  6. Hey there, Thanks for all the detailed posts. Very useful!
    Quick questions, maybe out of your area of expertise but you seem to know a lot about the process!
    I’m currently living and working on a Tier 2 which is set to expire (I’ve been in the UK for 8 years now). I may go back to Canada briefly to apply for a Tier 5 youth mobility.
    1) Can I use my British bank account as proof of funds?
    2) Is there a minimum time I would have to be back in Canada?

  7. Hi,

    The Tier 5 visa to Uk states that I need to provide info of the passport held for the last 10 years?
    Do you have to provide passport info even though the previous passports have been taken by the passport authorities upon passport renewal? Im applying from canada

    1. Hey Danielle,

      If you do not have your previous passports, do you best to mention all the trips you can remember and their dates. I do not think they will reject you if you leave some out, as on the form it also asks you if you have the passports in your possession. I don’t think they will hold it against you! Maybe look through some old images to get some more info. But try your best to put everything you can remember

  8. Hello!

    I have a question about the proof of funds. The supporting documents got me confused.. is it as simple as a bank statement from my institution?

    This is what it’s saying:
    The letter should state your name; the account number; the date of the letter; the financial
    institution’s name and logo; confirmation that there are sufficient funds present in the
    account (the balance must be at least £1,800 or £1890 if applying on or after 1 July 2014).
    The home regulator is the official regulatory body for the country in which the institution
    operates and the funds are located.

  9. Hey Alyssa!

    I wanted to know, did they ask you about whether or not you were going to live with your partner etc?. Is it wise to mention I will be going to be staying with my boyfriend? or is it better to say a friend?

    1. Hello from 2018!

      I just submitted my application and now waiting for my visa which hopefully would arrive soon. This is my main question too, I read from another QA forum somewhere (but it seems to be from 2-3 years ago), one person mention it might be best not mention as the immigration officer would think that a marriage will be attempted within the UK during the visas validity. So this is my main concern now, I have a boyfriend and will be staying with him but I also got offered a job there as a marketing assistant, which i did mention in my application.

      Other than that my funds exceed 1890 GBP and although it was only there for a week it came from different sources such as my commissioned work and my jewellery sales. Plus I have both the bank letter (With the original letterhead) and statement (dating 6 months) both officially stamped submitted along with some copies of my older passport and my other passports old Tier 4 visa to show them that I use to study in the UK. Yes I am clearly anxious and scared that something could go wrong but it is my ultimate Christmas gift to have my visa.

  10. Hi Alyssa,

    I’m looking at applying for this visa, however, I’m not sure exactly when I want the visa start date to be. I could leave anywhere in the next 2-6 months. If I apply sooner, but decide to stick it out here a few months longer for work, will I lose time on my 2 year visa? If I put a later date however, then I really can’t leave for another 5 months right? Is there any way to get leeway on the start date. I haven’t looked at the actual application yet, but the comments about the 30 day validity sticker further confused me. Does this mean that I can’t apply for the visa unless it’s one month within my intended “start date.” Hope you can clarify this.

    If it helps, I’m looking at travelling anywhere between March – July 2017. Again, I could leave any time really, but have a job lined up here and may end up working a few extra weeks or months before I leave. Does this mean I would have to know the exact date I want to enter the UK and apply 30 days prior to that period of time?

    Thanks so much in advace.

    1. I don’t know if this helps but I saw that you can apply 6 months prior now rather than 3 months

  11. I currently hold a tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa. I arrived in the UK July 25, 2016 when my visa was valid. I didn’t end up working and just travelled around the U.K. And Europe. I returned home to Canada for 2.5 months and I plan to return to the U.K. At the end of January to find a job there. Am I allowed to do this? Are there restrictions because I left the country? My visa is valid until July 25 2018. Please let me know what you find out! Thank you!

    1. Hey.

      I’m have the same visa and I did a similar thing when I first moved to the uk (I was in the uk for a month, then Canada for a month, and then back to the uk and I’m living/working here now) and I had no problem.

      As long as you have your biometric resident permit with you then you shouldn’t have any trouble (the card that you have to pick in the UK, the one they print in your passport is only valid for a month).

  12. Hi Alyssa!

    I’m so grateful for this blog post and all of your other ones regarding the Tier 5 YMS and logistics for job hunting in London. I’m currently reading everything I can about going about this the right way (I’m a dual American and Canadian citizen) to follow through with my visa later this year and your blog has been the #1 most helpful and succinct.

    I have a question that I couldn’t find the answer to in the FAQ since it’s sort of specific – and I’m mostly looking for your opinion if you have one: regarding the question on the application about listing your previous international travels in the last 10 years, I have a number of trips with my US passport, but I have only just applied for my Canadian passport this year – re: there will be NO international travel where I’ve used my Canadian passport. My question is:

    Would I simply put NO/No trips since this visa is for Canadians and with regards to my Canadian passport/credentials? I’m also hoping this won’t look suspect in any way, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be legally accepted.

    I’m also doing research to do my BRP appointment in Los Angeles, which I think I found through an Application Support Centre, but would love to know if you’ve heard of anyone else who’s done the same. I do have the means to get to the Vancouver office if need be, but would love to save that time (and money!).

    Many thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Apologies, a follow-up question: I’ve started to poke around the application even though I won’t be ready to submit it until later this year.

      On the application when it asks for “country of nationality” do I put US (as this is the case) or Canadian (since we’re talking about a visa for Canadians)? Thanks, and sorry, and thanks!

      1. Hey Lauren I am in the same situation as you, (a dual citizen CA and USA) My CA passport is brand new as well, and I’ve done all of my traveling with my United States passport. Have you went through with the visa process, and have you had any problems? If so what did you end up putting for nationality as well as past countries visited. I have lived in China, as well as Ukraine and I am wondering if that could lead to any problems.

  13. I looked long for an answer to this question and have not found it.
    I do not know how long I want to stay. One or two years.
    Do you have any insight as to whether I can extend the same “Youth mobility” for an extra year while I’m still there on the first year?

  14. Hi there! Do I need to have my plane ticket to the UK booked and brought with me to my biometrics appointment? I know you’ve mentioned I don’t have to have my return ticket booked, but what about the ticket there? I’m only going for 2.5 months so it’s cheaper for me to book a round trip ticket, but I haven’t got all the details worked out yet for when exactly I’ll be returning. Thanks for your help, this post is great!

  15. Hi,

    Can a T5 Youth mobility visa be put on pause? Scenario below

    1. Get Visa granted
    2. Go to london starting May 1 for a 3 month summer work term.
    3. Return to Canada in the fall to complete university – PAUSE VISA CLOCK?
    4. Return to london to work May 1, VISA CLOCK STARTS RUNNING AGAIN WITH 21 MONTHS REMAINING?

    or would there only be 12 months remaining on the visa, i.e. no way to stop the clock while back at university in Canada?


  16. Hey Alyssa,
    I just got rejected for the Tier 5 Visa. Do you know if they 2 years IHP or health surface charges will be refunded? thank you so much

  17. Hey Alyssa.

    I was just wondering if you could tell me whether I need to bring all four different types of evidence of my funds to my biometrics appointment or if one will suffice? The website is a bit vague here as it doesn’t specify.


  18. Hi Alyssa

    The home page of your website says that the date of the application is the date on which payment is made to the UKAB. Given that payment can be made on the day that the application is lodged, does this mean that I can wait until the day before my 31st birthday to lodge my visa application? (ie the visa application does not need to be approved before I am 31). Given the new rules regarding entry into the UK, I need to wait as long as possible before applying, so that I can arrive in the UK at the time I have planned.

    Thanks for your help and thanks for putting together this amazing website.

  19. Hello, I applied for my Youth Mobility Visa a couple of days ago and I filled out the information very accurately for the most part, except, for the places traveled within the last five years or so not including the UK, I did not list every place, will this be an issue? I meet all the requirements and have all the proper documents and everyone is telling me it will be fine, I am just stressing out about it.

  20. Hey, my name is Shawn.
    I just wanted to thank you for helping me get my uk visa, your guide really worked.

    I applied for the tier 5 youth mobility visa for 2 years.
    I was wondering if it’s possible to extend my visa for another 2 years. I’m 26 years old now

    If you can provide me with any information that would be great

    Thank you

    1. Hi Shawn, I’m glad it was helpful. No, you can’t extend the WHV but many people have moved on to a Tier 2 visa after being sponsored by a company. I don’t have any experience with this. Good luck!

  21. Hi,
    I paid for my application online on the day i turned 31, that is on my birthday, 2 minutes after midnight, that was when the transaction was finalised, is that ok? Do you think the embassy will grant me my 2 year youth mobility tier 5 visa


  22. I have applied and paid for visa twice. phoned and confirmed with my credit card company that payment went through. also i have confirmation emails of payment but the UK visa on line application system will not recognize that payment has been processed and therefore I cannot print or finish my application. My biometric appointment is tomorrow which I cannot go to as the application cannot be printed. I have called twice and they are putting urgent on my file. This will not help me tomorrow when I miss my appointment that I cannot cancel because it is not within 5 days. so frustrated.

  23. Hi. I am a Canadian on a tier 5 visa that expires early sept 2016. I will be leaving the country prior to my visa expiring however the company I work for will still need to pay me after my visa will be expired. Will this be an issue for me with regards to National Insurance and the gov thinking I have not left the country? Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this.

  24. My application got rejected today. If I reapply, do you know if I will have to pay the immigration health surcharge again?

  25. Hello Alyssa!

    Just to double check the tier 5 youth mobility visa you can apply for this while living in Canada? Would you recommend going through a visa processing agency? You seemed to refer to it not being that bad of a visa compared to others. How soon should I apply? I’m waiting on my friend as she is moving into London (she is about an hour outside London now) so I want an address to put down for my application… if I am thinking of going September should I hurry my butt up and apply? You did mention that Canada hasn’t come close to filling them

    Lastly the health care immigration fee… does this mean that I do not need to buy health care when going over?

    So sorry with all the questions I know you must be sick of answering them now!

    Cheers & thanks again for the wonderful blog

  26. Hi Alyssa!

    I seem to be having trouble booking an appointment for the halifax User Pay visa application centre… for the other provinces it has a link where they can make an appointment, does halifax not have one because it is full for the summer or is it just walk in? Your help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks 🙂

  27. regards to whether  you can shed some insight on how i can extend my entry dates to a Tier 5 youth mobility visa.

    I was unable to retrieve my visa in the allocated time frame of 30 days,unfortunately due to unseen changes in travel planes within South East Asia,
    I applied for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa back in Australia (my home). The visa issued on the passport between the 23/03/16 and 22/04/16.
    I am currently within Thailand trying to apply for an extension on these dates, i am doing this by extending the vignette on the online website, however. On the website it requires me to enter the dates of issue and expiry, seeing as the visa expired on the 22/04/16 it wont let me enter a past date on expiry.

    Does this mean i cant extend the dates of vignette because its out of the expired 30days

    What should i do?

    I need some help please as i am leaving to europe soon, and this is the only real time i have for the extension of entry dates.

  28. Alyssa,

    I already have my Tier 5 Visa and my girlfriend is joining me on September 1st. We paid the application fee today (may 28th) but her appointment isn’t until the 1st of June. Is it okay that she submitted the online application 3 days before the three month limit?

    Also, she used my login and clicked apply for someone else and filled out the form. in her application it has my name is the signature forms, is it okay for her to cross it out and put her name there?

    Finally, her mother has a hyphenated last name but doesn’t use the first part. Is it okay if she put the second part only?

    Thanks so much,


  29. Hi Alyssa

    I have dual citizenship and have a Canadian and South African passport. I have lived in SA for most of my life, although I did spend a few years in Canada when I was much younger.

    I have been in the UK for the past two years. The first year I was on a tier 2 sponsored visa on my SA passport. I am not on a tier 4 student visa – again on my SA passport.

    My question is this. Am I able to apply for a tier 5 YMS visa simply by virtue of the fact that I hold a Canadian passport? Is there any requirement that I need to have spent a certain number of years there or anything? I am also assuming that it would be acceptable for me to switch from my SA passport to my Canadian passport. I would be applying for the tier 5 visa from South Africa.

    Many thanks for your time!


  30. Hi Alyssa,

    I have a question regarding the appointment and my passport. I am currently in the process of applying for my visa to leave at the end of August, I am looking to go to Toronto and make an appointment there. However, someone mentioned I have to leave my passport at the appointment? Is this true? I didn’t realize this and I leave for Asia in just over 2 weeks. What should I be doing? It seems that after I get back all the appointments are booked?

    1. Yeah, they take your passport. You can pay for the fast processing or simply check the website in the mornings for cancellations in the upcoming week following your return. Good luck!

  31. Hi Alyssa, Thanks so much for all the info you’ve provided.

    I have a question that I have not seen yet here. I’m entering the dates of my International Travel and after adding many dates it stopped giving me the option to add more. Has anyone else had this problem?
    Should I just write it out in the comments?


    1. Look at you, what a jetsetter! Probably just add in the comments the places you visited. As I mentioned, you send the passport to verify anyways.

  32. Hey all!

    So my start date is this July 1, but I am someone who is getting pretty anxious not having somewhere to live. I’ve read your awesome and super detailed piece on finding a flat, but I must’ve missed the details on this: is it completely impossible to find something privy without them seeing the original documents in person? I assumed I could sign something so I’d be allowed to move in the day I arrived, (I have friends in town who are willing to view the flat for me to make sure it’s okay) but an agent just informed me that they can’t help until they see my “full visa”, which won’t arrive until 8th at the biometric place apparently (I’m booked to start on the 1st). So. Anyone have any experiences with this they can share? Exeter isn’t a cheap place by any means, so staying in a hotel (Airbnb is almost all booked) is not ideal for me. Anyone know of an agency or way to at least be able to “show up” and confirm officially? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kat,

      Welllll… it depends what you’re looking for. If it’s a flat share, you probably want to meet people. When I got my flat I never even met the agent until the week before I left London! They should be able to accept a scanned copy but if you’re having trouble then I suggest you look for a sublet on Gumtree or Spareroom. I hope that helps!

  33. Hi Alyssa,

    I am planning on arriving in the UK for the start of September. I know immigration stresses not to book travel beforehand, but I feel like there is pressure to book ahead of time in order to save on the cost of flying. Do you know if anyone else has experienced this? I’ve gone through the visa information thoroughly… I am confident that I fit the requirements and think it unlikely my application will be denied. Thoughts?

    Thank yo so much for running this helpful blog!

    1. Hey – I just went through this process. I originally listed my “Intended Travel Date to the UK” as September 15th, and applied and paid for everything mid-April (realizing after it was more than 3 months).

      At my visa appointment I just asked them to change the date to July 1st (so it’s within three months from my application date, and will give me time to sort everything out and not stress about timelines). They weren’t very helpful with explaining to me that it was possible, but three days later I found out my visa was approved, and dated for July 1st as I had requested. Make sure if you do this, that you just list a date within the 3 months you are applying, and you can still go to the UK whenever you want once it’s approved – you may just have less than 2 full years in the UK, which was fine with me.

      Also to note, the process was extremely quick and I was approved within 2 business days, and had my passport back within 5 business days, so don’t stress about time.

  34. Hi, I am 30 years old and will be turning 31 at the end of June. From how I read it, as long as I apply before I am 31 that is ok. I want to apply in June and set my expected travel date to enter the UK in Sept, where I will be 31. Is this ok?

  35. Hello

    I just had my interview today in ottawa. How many days did it take for you to get it back from the interview? Did yours go right to toronto?

    Thank you

  36. Hi Alyssa,
    Thank you for all your fantastic info. I just have a question pertaining to the date of arrival. I am applying for my visa this week and hope to go sometime in early May. I haven’t booked my flight yet as I wanted to have my visa first. I realize I will have to put my intended date of arrival on my application, however, it’s possible I won’t be arriving till later than this date. So with the 30 day clearance, does that mean, if I put May 5 as my intended date of arrival, but didn’t arrive till May 17 and then picked up my biometric visa at the UK post office say on May 19, then my visa would start on May 19 OR would it still start on my intended day of arrival of May 5 which would mean I would only have till May 5 2018? I’m just not sure I understand when exactly the visa would start and before I book my flight want to make sure I do my best not to lose any time off my visa validity period.
    Thank you so much.

  37. Hi Alyssa,
    This information is exactly what I have been looking for! After chatting to friends in the UK (I’m based in New Zealand) I applied for my tier 5 visa to the UK on the 25.3.16 but stated my landing date as 18.7.16 which puts me 3 months and 3 weeks out from landing. I’ve spoken to a friend who had the same situation occurr and his visa was granted. Is it likely the UK will start my visa from the 25.6.16 and give me the 30 day window to land in the UK and collect my residence permit based on your experience with people in my situation? Terrific website and appreciate any suggestions/advice you can make.

  38. Hi Alyssa! This might seem silly, but I remember reading that your partner is in England and I’m in the same situation. Applying for the Tier 5 and what, at the interview do I have to disclose all of that information? Or is it more just going over documents and what not. I just don’t want to go there and apply and have them reject it because I’m going there to stay with him and experience life there for a bit. Thank you!

  39. Alyssa,

    your painstaking thoughtful responses and comments are legendary! Understandably, tons of repeated Q&A so hopefully I have not missed anything.

    I turn 31 in June. I am applying for the Visa as we speak – intended date of arrival is 3 months so lets say July. If everything goes well ; I get the 30 day vignette starting from July so approximately August entry into the UK

    If i do not travel within the 30 day window, does my YMS visa become invalid or do I just need to apply for the 30 day visa again to gain entry to pick up biometrics. YMS is still valid for 2 years.

    Thanks again for your legendary blog and responses.

  40. Hello Alyssa,

    You have helped a lot of people with their questions. Sorry if you have answered this one before.

    So I am applying for a UK tier 5 visa. I booked my flight for the 25/08/2016.

    Recently I saw a post saying that from 6/04/2016 Kiwis and Australians would have to pay the health Surcharge.

    I am trying to save as much money as possible so I want to apply for my visa before the health surcharge comes into effect.

    My question is if I apply, submit and pay for my visa by 04/04/2016 and book my biometrics for 20/05/2016. Would my the three months start from the date I pay my visa or 3 month from when my visa is approved? I want my visa to start on the 25/08/2016 Can you please let me know when I would need to finish my visa application? (Hopefully there is a way to save money by not having to pay the health surcharge).

    Kindest regards


  41. Hi Alyssa,

    This is such a helpful blog!

    I’m currently finishing my Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visa in London and will be returning to Canada when it expires in June. I landed in the UK on June 16th 2014, which I recognise means that I need to be out of the country on my visa before that date.

    However, I would like to potentially do some travelling before returning home. My thought is that I will leave the country in early June, before the 16th, and then travel for a couple of weeks before returning to the UK (after the 16th) just as a tourist to collect the remainder of my things and then leave for Canada by the end of June/early July.

    My question is: is this allowed? Or are there strict regulations around this? I’m having such a difficult time finding this answer online or the correct person to ask. Any guidance would be most appreciated. Thank you!

    1. It’s fine, you’ll have to come back on a tourist visa. They might give you a hard time to make sure you won’t work and that you’ll leave when you say will and stuff though.

  42. Hi Alyssa,

    My common-law partner is applying for his tier 5 visa. On the application he did not list me as a dependent but said that I would be travelling with him. Would this affect his application that he put my name down as travelling with him? I have my canadian PR and hold a passport from a Commonwealth country (although I am not eligible to work in UK and do not intend to).

    Many thanks! 🙂

    1. You’re not a dependent, so no. However, you may have trouble getting into the UK. You will have to show that you have connections to Canada and the means to support yourself while in the UK.

  43. Hey I am an Australian Citizen and hold an Aussie passport , I’m currently living and working in New Zealand as I don’t need a visa to work there because for Australians there is a special agreement, in the application for the tier 5 visa it said are you a national of the country you are apply from and I said yes and I think I’m just a national of Australia, will this affect my application as its all printed off and everything now, thanks so much.

      1. Hi there!

        This is a question for you, Alyssa, or anyone else here who has entered the UK on this kind of visa.

        I applied in November and got my visa issued to me in late December! I am leaving in mid-February and I am so excited!

        I’m just wondering what do I say to the border officials in England?
        Do I just say, “I am here on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa” when they ask me the purpose of my stay? I know they may ask me for proof of funds so I will be bringing a recent bank statement showing I have the required money.

        Thank you in advance for any answers!

        1. They won’t really ask that… They look at your passport. But yeah, that’s all you have to say. Have fun!

          1. Thank you so much!

            One last thing..

            I read the FAQ, but I went through a visa agency (swap!) to help me out with the papers, and they put their address on my application (told me its standard for people who use their services), and therefore my letter reflects the post office near them as to where to pick up my residence card.

            I don’t mind this, but they have hostel premises there, and I’d rather stay in a hotel. Will I face trouble at the border if I stay somewhere that isn’t right by the post office I will be picking up my card at (different address also)?

  44. I have a question. My visa was approved and issued. I got the vignette sticker with 30days on it, but no decision letter on how to collect my BRP. I know my BRP pickup location, but should I go there to pick it up without my decision letter? Is the letter mailed separetly to your home or sent with your passport when its returned?

    any guidance would be appreciated

    1. Hi Johnny,

      I know I’m not Alyssa, but I just got my visa approved as well – like last week! And I did receive my BRP collection letter along with my passport, so maybe that’s something to look into.

      I went through VFS Global in Toronto, so maybe if you went through a different agency there’d be a different process? Not sure.

      1. Hi Victoria!

        Thanks for the fast reply. That’s something for me to look into for sure, as I did not get it. I will email BRPcollections and see what they say.

  45. Im fairly certain that NHS only covers foreigners who have resided in the UK for 12 months or more, at least this is what I read on the website

    1. The Department of Health regulations currently allow Youth Mobility Scheme participants
      to be exempt from charges for NHS hospital treatment after they have spent a period of 12
      months in the United Kingdom. They will also be exempt during periods of employment (including self-employment) in the first 12 months of their stay, but not during periods in that first 12 months when they are not working. Information on entitlement to free hospital treatment can be accessed via the link: [broken]


      The immigration health surcharge has been introduced to help fund the NHS, and will give migrants the same access to the NHS as UK citizens.

      That means immediate access for visa holders.

      Bye felicia

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