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How do I qualify?

The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) Working Holiday, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is open to people aged 18-30 years old*

*Please note that you are still eligible to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visa providing that you have not reached the age of 31 years old at the time of your application.

At present a limited number of people from the following countries can apply*:-

Participating Countries YMS Visa Allocations
Australia 30,000
New Zealand 13,000
Canada 6,000
San Marino 1,000
Monaco 1,000
South Korea 1,000
Japan 1,500
Hong Kong 1,000
Taiwan 1,000
Iceland 1,000
India 3,000

*Please note that you are also eligible to apply if you are a:-

All candidates will need to have a YMS Visa to join the YMS Working Holiday programme. Various qualifying rules apply depending on which country the candidate is applying from.  For example candidates from the following countries will need to enter a ballot:-

  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • India

Ballots in the first 4 countries listed above are usually held in January and July each year. However, the date for the first Indian ballot has yet to be released:- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/youth-mobility-scheme-visa-ballot-system

Also, prospective candidates from India under the India Young Professionals Scheme must have either a RQF level 6, which is equivalent to a BA/BSc (hons) degree, or 3 years’ relevant industry experience equivalent to an eligible occupation listed here:-  Appendix Skilled Occupations A clearance certificate from the police issued within 6 months prior to the application must also be provided.

If you are successful in the ballot, then as with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Monaco, San Marino* and Iceland*, you can apply to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for a YMS visa by clicking here:- apply online

*Prospective candidates from San Marino must first supply a letter of suitability for the YMS, dated within 6 months of the date of their YMS visa application, from the Directorate of Political and Diplomatic Affairs of the Republic of San Marino Department of Foreign Affairs.

*Prospective candidates from Iceland must have a criminal record check issued in the form of a certificate for private use, dated within 6 months prior to the date of their YMS visa application.

During the application process  you  will need to prove your identity and depending on which country you come from and the type of passport that you hold, you will be advised whether you need to do this by either:-

  • Going to a UKVI centre, to have your photograph and fingerprints taken, after which you will be given a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)


  • Scanning your identification using the UK Immigration: ID Check App

Some candidates will also have to have a Tuberculosis (TB) test and provide the results, depending on what country they are from.  Further information can be found here:- tuberculosis (TB) test results

In most cases the YMS visa application process takes on average 6 weeks from start to finish but can be completed in as little as 5 days, or even the next day, depending on which country you are applying  from and at an extra cost.

For further detailed information please visit https://www.gov.uk/youth-mobility/eligibility

In order to be eligible to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visa there are various cost considerations involved:-

  • You must have at least £2530.00 in your bank account for at least 28 days in a row and the 28 days must be within 31 days of applying for the YMS visa.
  • The fee payable by you for the YMS visa application itself is £259.00
  • There is also a Immigration Health Surcharge payable by you at the time of your YMS visa application of £470.00, which will cover you for your first year in the UK. A further £470.00 is payable by you upon your arrival in the UK, which will cover you for your second year in the UK.

If English is not your first language, then before you arrive in the UK you will be asked to take an Oxford Online Test, which will be free of charge, in order to determine your level of English.

If you are B1 / intermediate level, or above, then you will be placed directly into employment with one of our hospitality partners.

If you are B1 / intermediate level, or below, then you will be placed with one of our IEA member English language schools so that you can take a General English language course to improve your level of English.  Once you have reached B1 / intermediate level, you will be placed into employment with one of our hospitality partners.

When you arrive in the Bournemouth, you will also be given another English language test, which will also be free of charge, to ensure that your English levels have not regressed since taking the online test.

To give you an idea of what your current level of English might be, have a look at the checklist in the link below:-

CEFR Descriptors Checklist