Recently, the UK government has been increasing restrictions on non-EU visas, such as doubling the healthcare charge for migrants and limiting the amount of Tier 2 visas available. In June of this year, the number of permitted Tier 2 Visas allowed in the UK ran out just two weeks into the month. With news like this, it’s easy to see why candidates are sceptical about moving to the UK to work.
However, Tier 2 and settlement visas are not the only avenue. Probably the best method for Canadians, New Zealanders, Japanese, and Australians to work in the UK is the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa – better known as a Working Holiday Visa. These allow those who qualify to work in the UK for two years. Sadly, this visa is also subject to the NHS surcharge, which previously stood at £150, but is now £300. Nonetheless, it’s a relatively affordable route compared to other visa methods. The basic cost of a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa is £244, plus £300 for the healthcare cost, while a UK Ancestry visa is now as high as £2,496. Bear in mind, this is excluding any additional costs, such as if you require a lawyer to look over your application or you choose a fast-track application. However, while there is a financial investment connected to the work visa, it is usually swiftly recuperated from the higher salaries you can receive in the UK.
One of the biggest fears people have about moving to a new country for work is the time it takes to find a job. London, for example, is an expensive place to live without a regular income. However, the stigma of it being very difficult to find work in London is unfairly earned. 19% of Australians find work in London in less than a week, with 55% finding work in 2 – 4 weeks. In fact, only 8% failed to get a job within 8 weeks. This doesn’t mean the time looking for work is entirely unstressful, of course. We can help make sure that your stress levels don’t peak by ensuring you have employment prospects or even an offer before you leave. After all, recruitment consultants are by far the most popular channel for Australians and New Zealanders finding work in London.
London is facing a skills shortage, so it’s never been a better time for job searching! But there are a few things about your visa application you should know before you apply.
First of all, you need to know your visa requirements. Crucially, the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa is only applicable to those aged older than 18 years and younger than 31 (at time of application) and does not allow you to bring other family members (they must apply separately). Your citizenship also needs to be that of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, or Monaco (a Certificate of Sponsorship is required from those migrating from Hong Kong or the Republic of Korea). Lastly, you must have at least £1,890 in savings, accompanied by the relevant paperwork to prove as much. Note that visa application assessors are very finickity about what counts as acceptable paperwork. Firstly, you need to make sure that you’re calculating your available funds with the correct exchange rate; the assessor will be using the exchange rate as of the day they analyse your funds. Bank statements should be posted to you, clearly showing your name and address, and need to be dated within a month of your application. Statements that are printed off at ATMs or at the bank will only be accepted if they have a stamp from the bank and/or an accompanying letter from the bank, confirming your available funds.
Other than these conditions, there isn’t too much to worry about. This is a relatively simple route for a visa application, especially compared to settlement visas, which require months of bank statements, proof of relationship, countless payslips, and so forth. The only downside is that once the two years are up, you must return to your home country. However, if you work at gaining contacts or make a good impression at a qualifying company, you might be able to gain a Tier 2 Sponsorship visa with the company.
If you would like to know more about finding opportunities in the UK or if you have any questions about visa requirements, feel free to contact us via our contact page (or visit our Walker Hamill UK page here).