Work in the UK

Visas

To book onto our Work UK program, you must have the right to work in the UK, usually through the UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa or UK Ancestry visa. Here’s the need to know.

How do I apply for a working holiday visa UK?

A four-in-one deal, a UK working holiday gives you have the freedom to work in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; in most professions (other than as a professional sportsman and in some medical fields); and for one employer for the full 24 months of your visa.

Less straightforward, is that there are two visa options open for eligible international travellers – the two-year UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa and the five-year UK Ancestry visa. BUNAC provide the support and guidance to apply for your visa, but all applications and payments are made directly through the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) website.

UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa eligibility

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa allows you to work in the UK for up to two years. You can check the most up-to-date rules and eligibility requirements on the UK Government website.

 

Must be 18-30 (inclusive).

 

Must be an Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Iceland, San Marino or Taiwan passport holder.*

Must be able to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, currently £940 for a two-year visa.

 

Must have £2,530 support funds when you enter the UK.

 

*Due to a limited number of visas released each year, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan passport holders will need to enter the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot in order to be invited to apply for a visa. Find out more here.

 

UK Ancestry visa eligibility

The UK Ancestry visa allows you to work in the UK for up to five years. You can check the most up-to-date rules and eligibility requirements on the UK Government website.

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Must be 17+ and a Commonwealth Citizen.

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Must be able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

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Must be able to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, currently £3,120 for the full five-year visa.

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Must show that you can and plan to work in the UK, and can maintain and accommodate yourself without access to public funds.

EAA passport and other passport holders

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, freedom of movement ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. The UK has introduced a points-based immigration system that applies to anyone who wants to come to live, study or work in the UK. Click here to find out more. Currently, Irish citizens can continue to freely enter, live and work in the UK – without a visa, any form of resident permit or employment permit.

Are you a US passport holder?

Unfortunately, US citizens aren’t eligible for the required visa for our Work UK program. However, if you’re a student or recent graduate, check out our Intern in Britain program. Move to the UK to do a paid or unpaid internship, get professional experience in your chosen field, and get yourself a plummy British accent.

Confused?

Confused?

We have offices all over the world, but we were born and raise in the UK, so there’s nothing we don’t know (or are willing to find out) about living and working here. Arrange a 1-to-1 video call with our BUNAC Work UK team or check out our handy FAQs.

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