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UK Working Holiday Visas

UPDATED - From 8 February 2005 it is only possibly to take employment incidental to your holiday and you can work for only 12 months out of the 24 months of the Working Holiday Visa duration. In addition, you can no longer switch to a Work Permit unless it is on the Skills Shortage Occupation List. You can still swith to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.


If you are a Commonwealth Citizen from the age of 17 to 30 you can come to the UK and enjoy a working holiday for up to 2 years.

What is the working holiday scheme?

The working holidaymaker scheme is an arrangement where a person aged between 17 and 30 can come to the United Kingdom (UK) for an extended holiday for up to two years and enter into employment that is incidental to their holiday. The recent changes mean that you can only work for 12 months in total. Work must not be the main reason for your visit. If you require assistance and representation in gaining your Working Holiday Visa then contact us.

How do I qualify as a working holidaymaker?

You qualify as a working holidaymaker if:

How long can I stay?

You can only stay in the UK for two years as a working holidaymaker, from the date you first enter the UK in this category. We will count any time you spend outside the UK during that period as part of the two years.

What type of work can I do?

You can take most types of work, including voluntary work, but you cannot set yourself up in or run a business, or work as a professional sportsperson. You can choose when to work and when to take your holiday breaks, but you must not work for more than a total of 12 months or you will be breaking the conditions of your stay. Note: if you were issued with a working holidaymaker visa before 8 February 2005, there are no restrictions on the amount or type of work that you are allowed to do.

Do I need a visa as a working holidaymaker?

You must get a visa as a working holidaymaker before you travel to the UK.

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