canadian passport, uk youth mobility visa, work in the UK
Photo courtesy of James Nord

About This Guide

This is a step-by-step guide to applying for a Tier 5 YMS visa for the UK, while located outside the UK.

If you’re reading this post, I suspect you’re considering or are in the process of applying for your Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa for the United Kingdom. Welcome! Before we get started, please have a look at my Disclaimer page.

Last Updated: 7 Jan 2020

The Essential Youth Mobility Visa Handbook
 Why waste time sifting through 10 different resources when you can get it all in one place? The Essential Youth Mobility Visa Handbook: Everything Canadians Need to Know about Getting the Visa and Moving to the UK contains 56 pages of useful information that will help you make your dream of moving abroad a reality!

Get it now!


  • Canadian Citizen
  • Age 18-30 (you can apply at 17, but you must be 18 on or before the visa start date; you can move to UK at 31, as long as you were 30 on the date of the application)
  • No dependents (children under 18 either living with you or for whom you are financially responsible)
  • A minimum of the equivalent £1890 (~ $3220 as of January 2020) in your bank account
  • Not currently in the UK

You can apply for this visa if you are not in Canada, as long as you are legally allowed to stay in that country for more than six months and there is a UK Border Agency where you can have a biometric appointment. For example, you are in Australia on the working holiday scheme for one year, then you may apply from Australia and attend your biometric appointment in Sydney.

British High Commission in Ottawa
British High Commission in Ottawa | Photo courtesy of ukincanada

How to Apply for the UK Youth Mobility Visa in Canada

This Official Guidance Document will give you information on all of the requirements for your documents as well as the limitations on the work you may do. Read it twice, if not three times.

Once you’ve done that, Apply Online Here.

What You Need:

  • Current passport and all previous passports (if you have them)
  • Dates of all international travel, including travel to the UK
  • Birth dates and birthplaces of your parents
  • Accurate UK postcode to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (your permanent work/residence permit)
  • Credit card to process payment for Visa Fee, Immigration Health Surcharge, and User Pay office (if applicable)
  • Your proof of funds (do it now and you won’t have to worry later! 🙂 )


1.  Gather the information needed and fill out the application. If you run into information you don’t have – don’t lie! Save the form and get it, or tell the truth (e.g. you lost it, you don’t know, etc.). Make sure your name is filled out exactly as it appears on your passport. I failed to put my middle names on the application, which I was able to amend at my appointment.

2.  Fill out the intended date of arrival as accurately as possible. The vignette you receive in your passport is only an entry visa, so you must enter the UK within 30 days of that date or apply for a transfer of visa. See the FAQ for details on the Biometric Residence Permit and the temporary vignette.

3.  For the international trips – visiting the USA counts even though there may be no stamps in your passport if you went by car. Put the trips you remember and explain in the comments section at the end of the application. If you forget a trip, don’t sweat! Just mention it in your appointment.

4.  Make the payment. The fee for this visa is £244. It is charged in USD because the visa processing office is in New York.

5.  You will be directed to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £300. You must complete the payment and return to the application page within 30 minutes. This link has all of the documents you will need to hand to make the payment.

6.  Print out your completed application. Confirm all the information is correct and sign and date where necessary. Write your IHS number on the front page.

7.  You will be directed to the VFS Global website to book an appointment at their office in Toronto. Choose the date and time that is convenient for you. If you are not in Toronto, other offices include User Pay Offices in Edmonton, St John’s, Vancouver, Halifax and Ottawa.* There is a $100 USD fee to use these Offices. Print out the appointment confirmation notice.

** Halifax and St John’s User Pay Offices are only open one or two days a month. Be sure to take this into account when applying. **

The Visa Appointment

I should point out that this is officially what is required – I do not have experience with the VFS Global application service, as I used a Worldbridge office when I applied. Please refer to the comments if you would like to know about other people’s experiences with VFS Global.

What You Need:

When you attend your appointment, you should bring:

Information and Documents 

  • Current passport. It needs to be valid for at least 6 months but your BRP card will be your permanent visa (so you have to keep it on you at all times!).
  • Proof of funds dated within 30 days prior to the date of application. Refer to the Official Guidance Document above for specifics. For this visa, you need to have the minimum maintenance amount on or anytime within the 30 days before the date of application. Here are some examples of what this means:
    • A hard copy bank statement showing the balance received before your application (no older than a month);
    • A letter from your bank on official letterhead stating your balance on the date of your application;
    • A print-out of your bank summary from the date of your application showing your balance with an official stamp from your bank.
This is the same kind of Account Summary I had printed a few days BEFORE I applied for the YMS visa. Note the stamp and signature from the bank.
  • The date of application is the date you paid the fee to the UKBA. Maintenance funds required is £1890 (Canadian Dollar amount is calculated using the rate of exchange from the date of your application). My accounts were a chequing account and my TFSA. You must have access to these funds in cash, i.e. they cannot be held in stocks, assets, or credit cards. Lines of credit and joint bank accounts are okay as long as your name is on them.
  • Appointment confirmation, visa fee receipt, and VAC (User Pay) service fee receipt.
  • You no longer require a passport photo as VFS global now takes it. Be sure to double check if you are applying outside of Canada.
  • Print out of your application form (should be available when the application is complete), signed and dated.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Number
  • Your hand and your face


1.  Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appoint to check-in. Someone at the desk will verify you have all the required documents. If you don’t they may have them on hand but you can be asked to come back. The person at the desk will put them in a folder and give you a number. If you have any last-minute questions, the manager can advise you on your application.

2.  Sit and wait for your number. Watch the “Visit Britain” video they play on repeat. (I can not confirm that they have these videos at the VFS Global locations 🙂 ) You are not allowed to have any electronics, food or drink. Also, don’t leave your bag unattended – they will treat it as a bomb threat and evacuate the building which almost happened when some guy left his bag on a chair for 20 minutes.

3.  When your number is called, you will go see an agent who will look at your documents and then put them in a DHL bag to be mailed to New York. Yes, it’s silly that Canadians get their British visas processed in America…but you know. Budget cuts

4.  You have the option of picking up your visa in the office in Toronto or having it delivered to you for US $37. I decided to have it mailed. You can also have someone else pick it up for you with an authorization letter.

5.  Sit and wait again. Become British by osmosis. Your number will the called by the person at the desk and your photograph and biometric data will be taken. They scan your fingerprints and take a picture.

You are now free to go!

7 Days Later…

UK Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa
UK Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa!

From applying online to receiving my passport with the vignette, it took a total of 15 days. I applied on a Tuesday, had my appointment the following Wednesday, and had my passports returned to me the week after that on Thursday. I thought this was a pretty fast turn-around, though once I got to the visa stage for my French work permits, it took about a week as well.

The visa processing office in New York sends you an e-mail when they receive your documents and then once the visa has been issued (and presumably if you are rejected).


If you found this post helpful, imagine what the whole book could do for you!

1,017 thoughts on “Getting a UK Youth Mobility Visa for Canadians”

  1. Hi, I have finished my Visa application and my appointment is this week, I just realized I misunderstood the question about if you are a national in the country you are applying (I thought it meant in which you are applying for) I need to amend the form is my best option to just write on my application and then explain on the additional details page that it was a misunderstanding?

    Thank you!

  2. I just wanted to mention that one of your statements is incorrect. I am an Australian on a working permit in Canada and I’ve been here only for 5 months and I am elegible to apply. You don’t need to be on a visa for 6 months or more to apply. You just need to be present legally in the country or territory you’re applying from.

    Please see from the website –


    ECB05: where to apply, the policy

    Updated 10 April 2018

    Applications for short-term visas and EEA family permits and Tier 5

    You can make applications for a visit visa, a short-term study visa, an EEA family permit or Tier 5 entry clearance in any visa application centre, British diplomatic mission or consular post overseas where entry present legally in the country or territory you’re applying from.
    clearance applications are accepted.

    You should be present legally in the country or territory you’re applying from.

    1. The Policy Guidance states that you must have “permission to stay in that country or territory for a period
      of more than 6 months.” I can see how my wording is confusing, but it’s not something you can do with just a tourist visa — it has to be a visa that provides long-term residence.

  3. Hi Alyssa

    The application is asking for a national identity card. Is that my social insurance number? Or an Ontario Photo Card?

      1. After asking for my passport there’s a section titled Personal Information.

        “National identity card

        Do you have a national identity card?(Required)
        This is the identity card issued by your national government. Please select ‘No’ if your country does not issue national identity cards or you do not have your card.”

        1. “This is the identity card issued by your national government. Please select ‘No’ if your country does not issue national identity cards or you do not have your card.”

          1. I’m still slightly confused by your answer, Alyssa. Do you mean that Canada does not have a national ID card and to answer No for this question? I guess Birth Certificates aren’t considered a National ID card?

  4. Hi Alyssa

    If I were to apply July 1st 2018 my travel date would have to be January 1st 2019, correct? Or can I move there sooner than 6 months after applying?

  5. Hey! I just recently read your blog and I’m also Canadian, applying from Switzerland. I just have a quick few questions -when you give your proof of statement (the 1,890 British Pound) in your savings account, do you have to show it in British currency or was Canadian currency fine for you? Since I’m studying in Switzerland right now, I’m not sure if it’s okay to show proof in CHF.

  6. Hi Alyssa,
    Thanks so much for your blog and book, both have been incredibly helpful! Submitted my application online Friday (May 25th) and had my appointment yesterday (May 29th) in Edmonton. So I was wondering if anyone else had this experience. While the VFS ladies took all my documents and scanned them, they didn’t actually put my original letter from the bank in their envelope of documents to be mailed. They handed it back to me instead. Did they do this for anyone else? Hoping my visa still goes through! She checked the sheet as saying I had included proof of funds, so I’m a bit confused.

    1. They did this for me also my appointment (June 4 2018) VFS office in Toronto . He checked the Check list sheet for proof of funds on mine as well. I asked the VFS man and they stated that they just send the scanned copy off now so it might just be a new thing.

      1. Thanks Alex, that is reassuring to hear! Just got the email on Tuesday to say my documents had arrived for processing in New York (a week from my appointment). Hopefully I’ll get another email in a week or two.

        1. No problem! And I had my appointment on the 4th of June and still no email about whether my documents arrived in New York. Hopefully next week. They seemed pretty busy at the Toronto office location. Took almost 3 hours for me to talk to an agent because of the amount of people applying for visas. So may take a bit longer

          1. Just got an email today to say my passport will arrive tomorrow (exactly 14 business days after my online application) but no email to say if I have the visa or not.

        2. Allison, was your visa granted? I too got an email about the arrival of my passport in 2 days but no email to say if I have the visa or not.

  7. First of all awesome blog super informative and makes everything concise and clear. Your outline of the whole process is very much appreciated. My question is if they take visa debit or if you can only pay by credit card as my credit card limit won’t be sufficient enough to cover the entire costs of fees, when paying all the fees. Thanks in advance.

  8. Hey Alyssa and thank you so much for this helpful guide. I am a Canadian but applying from the UAE. It is all a very similar process except for the VFS part I guess (but haven’t reached there yet)

    I am facing a few things though. I first filled in my application on their application but realised that everyone was linking the application to Visa4UK. So I did that, and now my issues are :

    1- It won’t let me add more than 20 recent trips to (other countries) the ‘add’ button just disappears after 20 – is that normal?
    2- Do they care where the money from my bank is from? Wether its given to me from my family or my own savings? I plan to get the ”Account Summary” but was wondering if they want to know where the money is from.
    3- Do I need to have ties back to my residence country (a job to come back to) so they can make sure I don’t over stay my 2 years?
    5- Do I need to mention that I have a british boyfriend living in the UK? There is nowhere to mention it and in legal terms I am considered single, but I don’t want them to think that I am hiding that fact. I did write his address down though where that is required.

    Thank you so much in advance! I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed with this and I am hoping it all goes well!

      1. Thanks so much for your quick response. I figured I will just print out a list of the rest of the countries on a separate paper and attach it to the application.

        Thank you 🙂

  9. Hello Alyssa!

    This is such a helpful resource for the application process. I would have definitely been more reassured (and way less stressed) had I found this while I was applying. Thank you!

    My question has to do with what the successful Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa application implies: (hopefully somebody might have some insight on this situation).

    I have my vignette, posted to my intended travel date in November, 2017. Essentially, the job I had lined up in the UK fell through, and 2 months later I am still in Canada working another job. I have missed my 30-day window that my vignette is valid for, as well as failed to collect my BRP in-country.
    I have recently been contacted for an incredible opportunity in London. Now the question remains: Do I simply need to request a new vignette and specify a new intended date of travel? Unsure if my Visa has now been voided now that I have missed my window to arrive in the UK. Also in the case that everything is fine, would my 2 years begin upon my arrival in the UK, or has the clock been ticking since November?

    In short – Do I have to re-apply all-together or is this a simple thing to amend?

  10. I’m just wondering if I forgot a previous travel date in my application will they DQ because of that? Or if it is from a permitted location will it be okay?

    Another question is about times coming from the western side of Canada… I see good turn around times for many people in the Ontario but that is obviously closer to New York than Edmonton or Vancouver.. Does anyone know if it is about the same or longer?

  11. Hey, this has helped me too. I did have two questions though. 1) I was sent an email after my payment entitled “Visa4UK – Confirmation Of Your Visa Application Payment”. Is this my “Visa Fee Receipt”? Because if not, then I don’t know where to get it. Also, do you HAVE to make a VAC payment/have the VAC receipt?

      1. Yes
      2. Yes, or they won’t process your application. Probably, if it’s on the list of required documents of in official guidance document amirite
  12. Hey everyone!

    First of all thanks to Alyssa, this website is such a great resource. I am happy to say I just got my email that my Tier 5 Youth Mobility application was successful and my documents should be on their way back to me soon. Hopefully everything will be in order. My date of intended travel is not until August 16th so I applied about 4.5 months ahead of time, just to let you know that part. This site helped a lot and I also bought Alyssa’s book which I will be using to help me with other tasks like getting a bank account, etc.

    I wanted to post my experience because I had a lot of anxiety over some things. Firstly, I have traveled a lot and my passport had work and visitor visas from both Taiwan and Uzbekistan in it, as well as passport stamps from various non English speaking countries like Thailand and Japan. The Uzbek one was only in Russian, but showed dates in numerals. I was worried about these because I hadn’t provided any translations. Given that I was successful it seems that only supporting documents like bank statements, etc, need to be translated, so there is most likely NO NEED to worry about previous work visas or passport stamps having to be translated – as Alyssa said in one of the comments, there is nowhere in the UK Visa official guidance where it says they must be, so don’t agonize over it like I did. Seriously, I was mega worried about that. I will note that I have never been refused a visa in any country, nor have I ever violated any countries entry or exit requirements or the terms of my visas.

    Secondly, like everyone else here, I forgot a few places I had traveled to in the past 10 years. I remembered the morning of my appointment at VFS Global in Toronto, so I quickly wrote a letter on Word with the current date, the places I’d traveled that I left out of my application and the month I’d gone there (I couldn’t remember the exact days at all), and then I signed it and submitted it with my other documents. I’m still not 100% sure that I remembered all my trips, and you certainly only need the ones within 10 years. As a kid I traveled to Europe and Mexico, Aruba, etc on cruises, and I didn’t include any of that because it was over 10 years ago.

    Thirdly, the VFS Office in Toronto no longer needs passport pictures. They also don’t need your old passports, apparently. Also to anyone wondering – I included my old (2) passport numbers in my application but VFS didn’t even look at the actual physical old passports, so the UKVI people can obviously can look those up based on your application.

    I came home from Toronto after submitting Biometrics and discovered I had an old passport from 2000-2005 that I hadn’t included any mention of in my application, because I totally forgot it existed. I figured it would be okay because it was over 10 years old, it seems I was right about that.

    The last thing I was worried about was my home address, specifically the follow up where it asks how long you’ve lived there. My parents moved to a new house in 2014, but I had only lived there intermittently since finishing grad school and going abroad to Taiwan and Uzbekistan. I wrote that I have lived there for three years, which really was three years very on and off, I guess they aren’t too strict about that stuff.

    As others have noted, there is no chance to go back and add your IHS number into your application. I just hand wrote it at the top of my printed off application.

    As I said before, my intended date of travel to the UK is August 16th 2018.

    Here’s my timeline:
    Thursday, March 1st 2018: submitted application and paid online
    Monday, March 26th: Biometrics appointment in Toronto VFS Office…I had to fly here from the east coast because there were no appointments available in St. Johns or Halifax.
    Tuesday, March 27th: UKVI New York email to confirm my documents were received
    Friday, April 13th: “Your UK Visa has been printed” Application successful confirmed by email from UKVI

    Still waiting to get the email about my documents, not sure if I’ll get one. I paid for the return courier fee online and showed it to VFS sooo hopefully someone will get in touch soon about when DHL will get my passport back to me. In my email from UKVI it says “If you elected to purchase a return waybill as part of your application, your package will be delivered directly to you…The package containing your documents will be dispatched from New York either this afternoon or the afternoon of the next business day. ”

    The waiting was agony but considering there was an Easter holiday in the midst of all that, the turnaround was pretty good, about 11 or 12 business days.

    Hope this helps to sets someones mind at ease 🙂 Obviously I am not an immigration official and this is just my experience, but I think some might find it useful!

    1. Hi Katherine,

      Thank you so much for this! I’m sure you have calmed the nerves of at least 10 people. Congratulations and enjoy the UK! Feel free to email me with any questions as well 🙂

    2. Thank you so much Katherine! I have been super stressed out because of how far away I live from the visa office. I too will be submitting my application just over a month before I will be in the city to attend the biometrics appointment, and I have been searching and searching for someone that had to do the same thing. Super happy to have found your comment!

  13. Hi, Iv already received my email from New York saying my visa has been approved and this was 7 days ago and my passport still isn’t in Toronto? They said it would be sent out that day or the next. I don’t understand how it takes one day to get to New York yet more than 7 business days to get back To Toronto? Starting to freak out as it’s my passport!

  14. My apologies if this is a reiterated question… I completed my application and the travel history was the most difficult. I studied in the United States for 5 years and made many trips home to Canada via car, so my passport was not stamped with every trip. When I did my application, I only included the trips I received stamps for. In hindsight, I feel like my travel history is incomplete (after I maxed out the space they provided, I moved on with the application).

    Is this going to be an issue… or is there a way to update/detail them with more of my travel history? (is it even necessary?)

  15. Hello!
    I have had the dream of living abroad in the UK after I graduated for quite some time now!
    I currently have student debt (was formerly a line of credit, now 1 year after graduation my bank officially changed it to a “personal time plan loan” instead of my “student line of credit”) – in the requirements, it states I must have £1500 to apply for this visa – does this mean I cannot have any debt and must have £1500 to my name? Or is it acceptable to simply have saved up that amount to have readily available even though I also have my loan?
    Thank you so much for any feedback!

      1. That is wonderful news! Thank you so much! And thank you for compiling this wonderful PDF and sharing it.

  16. so i understand the process is fairly quick once started in getting the visa but im a little confused on the timeline as to when you can actually date it for. like if i do my application next month (march) and have it all completed and received, can i have it dated to start the next month (april) to move then?

  17. Hi Alyssa,

    Did you experience the application asking for a certificate of sponsorship even though that’s only required for citizens of certain countries? I got to that section of the application and now I’m stuck as to what to do. I though that for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa the whole idea was that you do not need a sponsorship as long as you have a valid passport from certain countries?

    1. Hello,

      I am having the same problem. I emailed the UK Visa office but have not received an answer except for read the guidelines.

    2. I’m having the same problem… thought it wouldn’t be an issue because I am Canadian. Maybe it is a recent problem because I see you only commented one day ago! If you figure it out, I would really, really appreciate it if you could comment how you did it 🙂

      1. If anybody has an insight about how to circumvent this issue, please let me know! I am experiencing the same hiccup, even though I am Canadian.

      1. I just had the same problem and emailed the UK visa office too (with a fee of almost 10 CAD!) – no answer there. It seems like there is a bug with their “current” website.
        Try applying via I think it’s a beta version of the new website and it works well for me! 🙂

  18. Hi there,

    Thank you so much for all the great information. It’s helped me so much!

    I’m just curious if anyone can answer my question: I turn 31 in June- do I have to submit/pay for the application online AND go for my appointment before my 31st birthday or just submit/pay before and have my appointment after my 31st birthday?

    thanks for everyone’s time.

  19. I thought I’d write a comment on her in case anyone has come to the issue that I had.

    I made a mistake on my application form (I was applying through their website – visa4uk) and only realised after I had completed it and signed the declaration. I’m currently living in New Zealand on a working holiday visa and when it asked for my resident address I (stupidly) thought it meant my address in the country I am a resident in (Canada) and not where I’m currently living (New Zealand). Because I did this, when it came to the time to book my biometrics it only gave me locations in Canada which I definitely couldn’t attend. So after I emailed them and trying to fix my address somehow they told me that it was my fault and that I must attend the appointment and there was no way of fixing it since I completed it and signed my declaration. My application went as far as booking the biometric appointment – I hadn’t paid for anything yet at this point so it hadn’t actually been sent in.

    I then saw on their FAQ page that you’re able to submit a different application, but only with a different email address. My current application would then disappear after 120 days. So problem solved, if you make a mistake on the application, and before you book a biometric appointment and pay for anything, like I did – just start another application with a different email address and you’re good to go!

    Hope that helps someone! Also, thanks Alyssa for writing this all out, its fantastic.

  20. Hi,
    I was about to make an appointment and I wasn’t sure if I need to submit my passport on the day of the appointment.
    I will be away next weekend and I will need to use my passport. Am I right that I need to submit my passport and pick it up later?


  21. Hello

    I have applied with my appointment in Ottawa next week – I have the funds in my bank account currently- I applied online and paid and then went two days after to get a statement printed off and stamped etc – will that suffice for the appointment as proof of funds?


  22. Hi, I have recently finished school in the UK and will be returning home in December, but my student visa won’t expire until end of January. Now you mentioned earlier you must not reside in the UK in order to apply, will the expiration of my student visa affect my new application for the YMV which I will apply for in December in Toronto?

  23. Hi – Loving these blogs and comments. Thank you for all the guidance in the past.

    I was wondering if anyone applied as a couple/married person? There were a question about if you were travelling with someone and if the other person had a valid visa. Well… we are applying together and I hope she will get a visa too (we are both under 31) so I’m not sure how to answer it…

    As well, was there only a limit of 10 places you could enter where you traveled? I can’t seem to add past 10 locations but want to make sure they got my complete history. Did anyone have this problem?

    Any advice or comments much appreciated. Thank you again!

    1. Hey Wilson. I had much more travelling than 10 spaces in 10 years so i filled the most recent in the section provided and in the back of the application at the ‘additional comments’ I entered the rest. This is a few months late reply but maybe someone else might be asking the same question!

  24. Hello!

    Super helpful post, the government sites are very tricky to understand.

    I’m still having some confusion about the timeframe for applications. How much time does there need to be between the application submission and the intended travel date? I was under the impression that you need to apply 3 months ahead of your travel date – is that true?


  25. First of all, thank-you soooo much for the amazing blog posts. They are 100% more helpful than the contact and info sites and it avoids hundreds of poeple from having to spend ridiculous amounts of money for nothing.

    I have a super URGENT question: I am a PBS Tier 4 (General) Student Visa applicant and I need to use both the Super Priority Visa Service and Walk-In UPS services at the Toronto VAC together to receive my visa on time for school. Is that doable? I really need an answer ASAP, thanks !!

  26. Hi – Curious to ask if any Canadians out there found it hard or difficult to find full-time/permanent employment in the business industry post brexit. I can’t tell if Brexit is making it unfavourable to move to London.

    Any thoughts or comments much appreciated.



  27. Hi folks,

    I just have a quick question about the process, sorry if I missed it being discussed elsewhere.

    The phrasing on the page says ‘The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you travel’. I think i’m just being a bit stupid and misreading it. If today is the 30th August and I want to leave on 30th November I can right? It just means I can’t declare the date I want to leave as something beyond the next 6 months.

    I’m correct with this aren’t I? Ha. Thanks in advance for your help!

  28. Hey Alyssa!

    I am currently applying for my VISA and wracking my brain for the exact places I have travelled over the last 10 years, and what exact years they were. While applying are they asking what trips I have taken in 2007/2008/2009 etc? or just in general over the last 10 years? And do they want specific cities/locations or would county (USA/England/France) be what they are looking for?

    thanks so much!! youre so helpful 🙂

    1. Do you have your passports handy?

      I had to document about 30 places I had been to; I used my previous passport stamps and current to piece it together, and wrote it down on a separate paper to use when it came to filling out the online form.

      I believe it’s just a drop down menu for dates/year and place. it’s pretty easy, I recall using cities as that’s what’s on my stamps.

      They will ask for UK travel and all other travel in separate sections.

      Just put what you can remember . I think they are really only looking for suspicious travel, don’t fret just write down what you can. You hand in your passports anyways if you have all them.

  29. Hey last Wednesday I had my bio-metric appointment and got and email Thursday saying my documents had reached New York, Today is Tuesday of the following week and DHL sent me a text saying my package will arrive tomorrow by the end of the day..I didn’t get an email saying the status of my application or that is was coming back to me, only the DHL courier text.

    I’m nervous, I hope its approved..fingers crossed!!!

  30. So, I applied for my visa, got approved and moved to London and stayed for 3 months because I just wasn’t happy there. Do I need to inform the HMRC about my move? What about taxes? Help?

  31. Hi Alyssa!
    Thank you so much for all of this info! I’m just hoping to confirm – the application date is considered the day you pay the fee and submit online, NOT the date of your appointment – correct?
    I’m getting real close to 31 and am making the last minute decision of applying. I’m worried that I will not have my appointment in time before my birthday, but I can definitely complete the application online and submit the payment in time.
    Thanks in advance!

  32. Hi all,

    First of all thank you so much Alyssa for this post! It really helped me understand a lot more about the procedure of the process!

    However, I was wondering whether there is a ballot system for the application..? And if so when is the opening dates? As I was trying to look for it in the website, and even tried calling the UKBA…and still couldn’t really find an answer to it.

    I am hoping to apply for tier 5 visa in 3 weeks from Hong Kong, and would really hope to get it.. 🙁

    Thank you so much again and congrats to all who managed to get it!!!!

    Norine xxx

    p.s. sorry if the message was duplicated as I was trying to post this earlier and I guess it didn’t go through 🙂

  33. Hi all,
    Thank you so much alyssa for the post!But i was wondering whether there is a ballot system for Canadians to apply or is there any date constraints for the application?
    Can’t seem to find it anywhere on the website and I am so worried that the quota would be used up:(

    Many thanks !!! And congrats to everyone who got the tier 5!:)

    Norine xxx

  34. Hi! I just submitted my application for the Youth Mobility Visa (I’m from Canada), and I misread the bank statement thing saying it needs to be dated before or on your application date. I was going to go to the bank on Monday (when it opens) to get this statement, and does anybody know if the bank will print off a statement dated for the Saturday (July 15) if its a Monday (July 17)???? S.O.S.


  35. Hey everyone!
    First off, I just want to thank you, Alyssa, for taking the time to not only compose a blog about your experience with this, but for also keeping it updated years later and still responding to people’s questions! It has honestly been so helpful, and made the whole process very easy. 🙂

    Secondly, I thought I would share my experience, or at least add one thing that may have not been mentioned. As Alyssa did, I applied in Toronto (Last month. Whole process for me took exactly one week, from going to Toronto for my appointment, having my passport sent off to New York, and having my passport sent back to me 🙂 )

    The one thing I was really freaking out about though were my documents! Omg did I have bad anxiety, worrying if the ones I provided were “legit enough”. XD I had these doubts because my bank refused to print me off a bank statement and stamp it for me (no idea really why, tbh). I’m with TD Canada Trust, and they stopped sending me paper statements in the mail and recently moved all of my statements to “online only” . I was freaking out because everywhere in the documents provided part of the application, they tell you to provide ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS ONLY. My only option was to print off my bank statements from home. I thought ” I can’t submit these! They are print offs. Surely I need them to be stamped and signed by my bank!” When my bank refused, they said the best they could do was print off a summary of my account, and stamp and sign that. So I took that summary along with me to my appointment, and explained my situation to the officer. To my relief, she told me that as long as I have one original document stamped by the bank, any print offs accompanying it would be considered valid. I just thought I would mention that in case any one else has gone paperless and were worrying about having “original” bank statements! 🙂 Also! The bank stamp on my account summary was also dated about a week after I had submitted my application, so you don’t necessarily have to go before you apply (though in hindsight, I would do it before just to be safe)

    Anyway, thats just my two cents to add! Hope it was helpful! I am off to the UK on August 15th! 😀

  36. I’ve been reading the blog since last autumn and it has not only helped me through the very confusing application process, but it has also been a source of encouragement when I was tired of working 60+ hours a week to save. Just got approved and leaving Toronto for the UK in September, something I have been dreaming about for years. Thank you so much!

  37. Do you know if I can be screened out because I don’t have my old passport or the information from it, form when I was a kid?

    1. Hi Trish,
      I was in the same boat, submitted two weeks ago, approved on Thursday. I was missing my passport with my former UK student visa and a lot of travel stamps in it. I just made sure to list all of my travel dates, locations, etc. as it asks on the application. Best of luck!

    1. Nope! I brought 2 passport photos just in case when I went (May 3rd) and I didn’t need them.

      1. Awesome Thank you 😀 !! My biometrics appointment is tomorrow and I just wanted to confirm 🙂 Thanks again!!!

  38. This is a great blog. Thank you for all the information.

    Curious to ask if there were any people who are applying/applied at Age 30 and the experience they had moving to London. I haven’t seen too much people going for the youth visa at this age and just wanted to hear any insights/dilemma,struggles of leaving an established career to move to London.

    Any experiences and tips shared would be much appreciated for the later age individuals :).


    1. Hey Will! I’m in the same position, I’m planning to apply while 30 before my 31st birthday. Obviously this visa is geared towards the younger age since you most likely wouldn’t have much commitment yet and could pick up and move more easily. But I’m finding, now that I’m about to turn 30, that this is a great age to go on this kind of adventure as well m, and still don’t have those major commitments (I also didn’t find out about the visa until I was 29 so there’s that haha.)

      I studied abroad in my youth and now look back and want to go back to all those places and do it “the nicer and less cheap way” at this age so I think this is the perfect opportunity. I’m lucky to have landed a remote work job recently that I’m taking over so that relieves pressure in that respect, but I think it will be an eye opening and memorable experience nevertheless! Before landing that job, I was going to leave my established career working in a university and was looking at this opportunity to do something off beat for work: thinking coffee barista, working in little shops, dog walking! It was going to be great to land something related to my career, but was willing to forego that if it didn’t come through.

      Don’t know how helpful that is but those are just my thoughts; been stewing on this visa for a few months now and will be pulling the trigger in a couple months here. Best of luck!

      1. Hey Lauren – thank you so much for sharing. Sounds like we are in the same stage in life and it’s great to hear that there are other people embarking on this journey while they are 30. I was beginning to think I was the only one. I’m about to turn 30 as well and was thinking that if I don’t do this now – the opportunity probably won’t ever come again.

        Congratulations on landing a remote job! I was thinking of the worst case scenario about working at something unrelated to my field but London rent seems ridiculous… and I live in Vancouver already. I guess this might be hindsight but did you think about the housing situation in this sense?

        Thank you again for sharing your experiences/thoughts. I’ve been thinking about the visa process for a while but thinking I will probably pull the trigger later this fall. Good luck!

        1. You’re definitely not alone and I absolutely agree that this is a rare opportunity for an adventure that will simply expire if you don’t seize it. There’s a lot of unknowns, but it’s a calculated risk.

          Thank you! Before landing this job, I had a contingency plan for saving as big of a budget cushion as I could with my previous job in the event that I don’t land a job quickly enough/a job that isn’t as lucrative as I needed it to be that I could simply burn through/use to buy more time. I imagined that it would give me some buffer time while looking for something more livable, but it was definitely not an ideal situation. I was also planning to look for work a couple months ahead of my actual leave date so that I could potentially have some/an opportunity cooking or even secured (with full disclosure that I was providing my own visa hopefully as leverage for that employer). This remote job literally landed in my lap through a previous colleague and seemed to be a stars aligning situation, but that was my initial plan before landing it!

          I definitely understand the cost-of-living issue: I’m in Southern California (not easy itself) and my Canadian family is in Vancouver so the crazy housing market is top of mind! I’m lucky in the sense that my sister is living in London at the moment and I am considering crashing with her for the first few weeks to get my bearings, but I’ve been encouraged doing some initial flat searches/open room in house shares on rightmove and spareroom for what rent is going for in a decent area of decent quality (my standard of living is modest (I can do without brand new appliances, for example), but I’m also not going to risk life and limb for a really good rent) I’m finding that what I would consider a good option is on par or even a cost savings compared to my rent in Orange County. Ideally I would afford my own place, but I also don’t want to burn through all my earnings. I trying to look at having housemates as a good way to have natural socialization too, meet new people more easily etc etc. I’m sorry, this has turned rambly! Just a lot of train of thought of my strategy.

  39. Hello, It has been 14 business days and i have not heard back yet about my visa…. Is this normal? I have applied in Ireland ( since i am traveling here) and my visa for here expires in one week…. and I still do not have my passport back or a answer on my UK visa, Any thoughts on what to do?

    1. Hey Shayna!
      I am in the same boat. I live in Madrid and had my visa appointment on May 12th. It has been a full 15 business days and I am getting worried! Maybe because we are applying from abroad it takes a bit longer for them to confirm our permission to be here? Have you got your visa now? I hope to hear back this week!

  40. Hello,
    I just want to say it’s so nice to know there’s someone here to walks us through it. I’m currently looking into moving to the uk so this is so helpful.

    If I could know roughly how much the whole process is that would be great. Also what kind of bank account do you need? Do you need to register a certain kind of account? And are you not allowed to touch those funds at all or what’s the purpose of those funds.

    Thanks so much,

    1. Hey Vanessa, I applied on April 22nd and had to pay $390 USD for the IHS surcharge (so that’s about 300£) and $370 USD for the visa fee itself including the service fees for using the VFS Global visa application centre in Ottawa. So that came to $1063 CAD. As for bank accounts I have a regular personnal chequing account and a savings account. I had more than the amount they require (1890£) in each account so I knew I was ok. I went to my bank on April 29th and had them print me a statement showing both accounts as of that date. I brought that to my appointment on May 3rd and this morning I got an email saying my visa application was successful and they were sending my passport back to me.

      From what I understand you can touch those funds after you apply, they just wanna make sure you have enough money to support yourself when you get to the UK until you find a job there. Might be a good idea to still have enough money until you actually get over there though, just in case they check when you enter the country. Hope that helps! 🙂

      1. Hello Sara! I have a quick question for you because I also apply in the Ottawa office. My visa has been approved yesterday!! I’m feel super relief ahaha! I was wondering how long it looks you to get back your passport after they sent you the email saying your visa has been printed? 🙂
        My flight is planed for monday so I’m crossing my finger that I’ll be able to make it!!
        Thank you for your help ! 🙂

    1. Prime time appointments are appointments that are usually before work – most people work at 9 am kinda deal so you’re paying for convenience of getting in before a work day or after. The meaning Is literally just that- prime time. Best times lol. I went at 1:30 in the afternoon. Was in and out in 30 mins if that

      And yea you have to pay extra.

  41. Hi Alyssa,

    Your blog post is amazing. my question is concerning the maintenance funds.
    are they looking at the balance on that day only (date of application)
    or are they looking to see if you had the funds in your account for a particular time?

    thank you !

    1. Hello,

      Has to just be dated in you’re bank account the day you apply. Time is not an issue.

      What I did was went to my bank- had them print off my statement and stamp it, then I applied right after.

      1. Quick question! I completed my application before having the chance to go to the bank… am I stuck?

  42. Hi Alyssa and everyone else,
    Thanks so much for this blog, it truly has been a life safer for me!! I’ve got the visa letter and 30 day vignette but I’m afraid I cant make it to the UK in those 30 days. I’ve read on your site that you then must apply for a visa transfer on the visa4uk website. I’ve gone there and im a bit confused, it takes you right into the full visa application form again and I can’t find anywhere to navigate to request a visa transfer. Help please if anyone has had this experience before?

    One other quick question, so you don’t get an actual visa in a passport correct? There is just the vignette and then a BRP card that you get in the UK?
    Thank you soooo much!!!

  43. Hi Alyssa!

    I am wondering if you have to drop off your passport. I travel for my current job and we are on the road 250 days a year and travel outside of Canada often. I had scheduled my original appointment for this Thursday, but will be traveling on Monday. Do you know if they make any exceptions.

    Also, most of my savings are in mu RRSP, do you know if that is ok? I can take that money out if I need it, but will pay taxes on it.

    Thank you,


    1. If you’re referring to the self assessment form- nope. They archived that a while ago! 🙂

  44. I am officially going to the UK! Thanks for all the helpful tips Alyssa! Your blog was a life saver!

    1. Hi freshyellow, congratulations! I am wondering if you can share your turnover time with me. I applied around the same time as you and still have not heard back on the decision yet

      1. I submitted on march 13th. visa appointment in Toronto was march 16th. I got a text that it was in New York the next day. I got my acceptance email on March 28th. It was available for pick up on March 29. So two weeks after I submitted online. Hope that helps!

        1. Thanks Yellowfresh! I received an email on the 21st that it arrived in New York and it’s been 9 business days already but I still haven’t heard anything back so I am starting to get worried. Most comment/blogs say that they get a notice back within 1 week even thought the website says 15 days…. I am very anxious right now >.<

          1. Give it 10 🙂 I also stressed myself out comparing my timeline to someone who got theirs in 5 days.

            The UKVI website says 100% of applications are processed in 10 days, they tell you anywhere from 3-4 weeks ( 10-15 business days)

            Let us know if you hear anything tomorrow 🙂 sending out good vibes !

          2. Haha I was feeling the same way! Don’t worry. It will come. I’m betting on this week for sure!

          3. Thanks for the good vibe Amanda and freshyellow! I got the email today that the are sending my passport back!

          4. Hi Amanda! Yup! After I received the email, they mailed it to my house the next day!

  45. Hello,

    I applied for the visa after reading the guidelines and your blog (which is really helpful!) and came to a dead end.

    I have booked an appointment etc got an interview date in Toronto and paid all the fees for the health surcharge, however the last part of the checklist page on the UK visa website is asking me to go to their commercial partner page, which takes me to VFS global.

    I have booked a date and time, and paid the fees, what needs to be done on this website please?

      1. I havent booked anything on the VFS website though, only on the UK immigration website, I.e book appointment and paying fees?

        1. That’s the only place you need to book your appointment (UK immigration website). I thought I needed to go more on the VFS page but I got my appointment date/time and already paid. So, nothing else. I do HIGHLY recommend downloading the checklist from the VFS page , filling that out and bring it with you. I wasn’t aware they needed this until I got to my appointment. The security guard asked me if I had it and I assumed he meant the confirmation email where it lists everything I needed to bring but learned that wasn’t the right check list. They need it in order to ship out your supporting documents. This is the checklist they needed:

          1. Me tooooooooo! I leave may 1st! Congrats you us both and thank you Alyssa for This blog! I will continue to use it further for all the NI and bank stuff 🙂 xx

      2. Can someone please tell me how you choose the Accurate UK postcode to collect your Biometric Residence Permit?

        Thank you

        1. Did someone help you with this? You need to provide the address in which you plan to stay in the UK. You can simply use the hotel/hostel (if that’s where you’re staying). The site will generate the closest post office to send your biometrics to. Hope that helps!

          1. Hey there, quick question! From the time you submitted your biometrics > receiving your visa how long did that take? Did you apply with priority processing?

        2. Do you have an address of where you are staying? The post code for your UK address will be then used to determine the closest post office to send your documents to.

      3. Hey Freshyellow, I’m helping someone out with the research for this Visa (this blog is incredible), and I was just wondering something about the finance aspect of it. Besides the fees we have to pay (health surcharge etc), it says here that we must have GBP 1890.00 in the account for a month or more. My question is, what is the real price of the Visa? does it come out only to the total of the fees, and this amount that stays in the bank is just to prove that you have enough funds to maintain yourself? Or at some point do they charge you GBP 1890.00 on top of the fees paid before application?

        many thanks for the help!

    1. hello ! I am in the same situation. It says register to a commercial partner. What Happened ?

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