YMS Working Holiday Programme

Course Content, Dates and Fees

The Youth Mobility Scheme Working Holiday programme is a great opportunity for Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese nationals, aged 18-30 to spend up to two years in the UK LIVING, LEARNING and WORKING.  This exciting programme gives Working Holiday/Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders the opportunity to improve their English and obtain paid work here in the towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole on the beautiful south coast of England.

When the candidates return home they will have:‐

  • Improved their English skills
  • Obtained paid work
  • Developed their resume
  • Received certificates

How do I qualify?

Age group

The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) Working Holiday is open to Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese nationals, aged 18-30 year olds (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).

Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) Visa Application

All candidates will need to have a YMS Visa to join the YMS Working Holiday programme. Various qualifying rules apply depending from which country the candidate is applying.

You can apply to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for a YMS visa by clicking here:- apply online

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 if all of the following are true:

  • You are coming to the UK for 6 months or more
  • You have lived in any of these listed countries for 6 months or more
  • you were living there (or another listed country) within the last 6 months

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 from which country you are applying and at an extra cost.

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

Costs involved 

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 £2,530 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 £298.
  • There is also an Immigration Health Surcharge payable by you at the time of your YMS visa application of £ 1,552, which will cover you for your two years in the UK. 

English Level

When you reach a B1 / intermediate level we will help you find paid employment.

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

Working – Job Placement

When you reach an intermediate level (B1) and you have completed your free 2 hour and 30 minute orientation course to learn about working life in the UK, we will help you find paid employment in the local area. 

Immigration Surcharge

Please see the following link to further information about the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is payable at the time you apply for your Youth Mobility Scheme visa:-


Frequently asked questions

Q: How old do I need to be, to join the Youth Mobility Scheme Working Holiday Programme?

A: Over 18 years old and under 30 years old, at the time of your application.

Q: Does the Youth Mobility Scheme Working Holiday programme have a time limit when joining?

A: There is no time limit to join the programme after you have received your YMS visa, although the YMS visa only lasts for 2 years, so you would need to join the programme as quickly as possible to get the full benefit from it.

Q: Do I need a National Insurance Number before I start work?

A: No as you can work for up to 9 weeks without one, but you should apply for one as soon as possible after your arrival in the UK.


Q: When I start work, will the employer assist me to open a bank account?

A: Assistance can be provided to you to open a bank account once you are in the UK.


Q: How many hours are the candidates expected to work in a week?

A: Your hours will be set by your employer and will usually be between 35 and 45 hours per week.  However, if you are not offered that many hours, then you can always take another job.

Q: What is the rate of pay?

A: The rate of pay is negotiable with the employer, but it will not be less than the statutory minimum wage.

Hourly rates of pay are contained in the following link: 


However, please note that some employers may be prepared to pay a higher hourly rate.

Q: Is there any paid holiday? 

A:  In relation to holidays, please see the following link to the government website:-


Q: What are the terms of the contract of employment?

A: The contract of employment will be between you and the employers that you are placed with.  The contract of employment will set out your job title, number of hours per week, holiday provision, rate of pay, notice period, etc.

Q: How long is the contract of employment?

A:  As the YMS visa is valid for 2 years your contract of employment cannot be longer.  However, should you wish to finish your employment earlier, you can do so by giving the notice in writing to your employer.

Q: Is it possible for me to go and work in a different town, or city during my YMS visa period?

A: Yes, you can go and work in another city, but of course we hope that you will choose to stay here with us for the whole 2 years.

National Insurance Number

You will need to apply for a National Insurance Number as soon as possible and be in receipt of it within 9 weeks of starting your job.  Please see the following link for further information:-

Apply for a National Insurance Number

Opening a Bank Account

Please see the following link to find details of how to open a bank account in the UK:-


We/your employer may be able to assist you with opening a bank account by providing a letter of reference, if necessary.

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