So you’ve decided to start a working holiday in the UK, awesome! While it’s a huge adventure and very exciting, it can be a little overwhelming making sure you have everything covered.
One of the most confusing processes when venturing to the UK can be obtaining a visa. The two main visas for Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, are the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa and the UK Ancestry Visa.
The Tier 5 Youth Mobility is the most common visa, as anyone under 31 from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Monaco, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or the Republic of Korea can apply.
All you need to supply is:
- Your passport
- Proof of funds to the equivalent of £1,890
On a Tier 5 YMV you can:
- Study - for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
- Work in most jobs
- Be self-employed and set up a company - as long as your premises are rented, your equipment isn’t worth more than £5,000 and you don’t have any employees
- Work as a professional sportsperson (eg as a coach), doctor or dentist in training - unless you can show you qualified in the UK
- Extend your stay
- Get public funds
- Bring in family members on your application - they must apply separately
If you have a grandparent born in the UK and are a Commonwealth citizen, you may be eligible for a UK Ancestry Visa! Not only does this mean you have a whole 5 years to explore everything Europe and the UK offer, if it’s just not enough time, you’ll have the opportunity to extend it!
All you need to supply is:
- Birth certificate
- Parent’s birth certificate*
- Grandparent’s birth certificate*
*If you are using your mother’s or grandmother’s ancestry and they have changed names through marriage then you will also need to supply their marriage certificates to prove lineage.
These must be either originals or certified copies.
On a UK Ancestry Visa you can:
- Bring family members
- Change (‘switch’) into this visa if you’re already in the UK on another visa
- Get public funds
The Ancestry Visa not only gives you 5 years of fantastic UK experiences, but also doesn't enforce any employment restrictions, is extendable, and you can bring your partner of two years or more along for the ride!
Another essential part of the UK working holiday experience is finding a job! Our dedicated Jobs team are always on hand to check over your CV, make sure you’re interview-ready, and find you that perfect position! We also have an extensive online Jobs Board full of a wide variety of roles.
The most sought after roles for those living and working here from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and so on, are the short term contract positions, 1-6 months being the most common contractual period. The appeal of these roles is that they give you a lot more flexibility and enable you to travel a lot more.
With the current economic situation employers favour these short term positions rather than risk taking on permanent employees whilst the market is less stable. This means that our BritBounders not only seek out these roles but are actually ideal for them and employers have long since realised this, so we’ve been able to build a large network of connections and partners willing and excited to hire those on working holidays!
International Money Transfers:
This is something you may not even have thought about yet…how do you get your money from one country to another? How do you ensure that when you get to the UK you have a bank account with funds you can access? Because using ATM cards overseas can be costly, very costly.
Well, the answer is with an International Money Transfer. But transferring money can be an expensive undertaking. Banks usually charge a high fee to carry this out for you; then the receiving bank can charge as well. Ouch! There are lots of options out there but as a one off transaction you really cannot beat the exchange rate of an online money transfer company.
We’ve partnered up with a great transfer company who provide:
• 2 Fee-free Money Transfers
• Extremely Competitive Exchange Rates (better than the banks)
• 24-hour customer support 7 days per week
• 55 Currencies (and counting)- transfer money to 197 countries
• A fully regulated - they’re regulated by ASIC and the parent company is listed on the ASX.
How to Register:
Online registration takes only 5 minutes and slightly differs from country to country. It’s best to register before arrival into the UK, as it’s easier to provide proof of address documents. After supplying documents, you must speak to the transfer company before being activated.
1. Quote: Get a quote with their better-than-bank exchange rates.
2. Lock-in: Enter your UK bank account details and lock-in your transfer.
3. Transfer: Send your funds to them and we’ll complete the transfer to your UK bank account.
UK Phone Number:
All of our packages include a UK Sim Card plus we provide your number straight away so you can give it out to your family, friends and any employers or recruitment agencies even before you leave! Being contactable from the get go is a huge benefit especially when it comes to getting work here and pretty sure your nearest and dearest will be relieved to know they can get hold of you once you’ve arrived and turned your phone on.
Your SIM will be waiting for you to pick up on arrival into the BritBound Base, or you can upgrade and select for it to be posted to you home address before departure.
All of the SIMs are mainstream network providers. There are a whole host of SIM brands that piggy back off the networks – trouble is many brands can look like a great deal but are actually riddled with hidden charges and fees. Since our BritBounders live and work here for an extended period we only offer networks with great coverage and competitive contract offerings.
Clothing for the most part is much cheaper over here – the sheer buying power of the UK consumer market ensures that prices are kept low. Of course there are designer level prices too but on the whole you should find that for the ‘disposable fashion’ end of clothes you get more for your money in terms of quality and quantity. So if you were thinking about going shopping to ‘stock up’ then think again!
London has so many hostels and hotels, it can be difficult to know where to stay when you first arrive. BritBound has several locations around London that we’ve partnered with for years, meaning not only do BritBounders stay there, they also work there! We can make it easy for you to hit the ground running by booking arrival accommodation before you arrive, simply let us know how long you’d like to stay!
We also have plenty of partners to assist you in finding longer term accommodation once you arrive. Whether it’s finding the perfect location or getting discounted rates, we can help!
National Insurance Number:
The NINO is used to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only. Your NINO will need to be quoted to your employer for tax purposes. Your tax contributions to National Insurance go towards social security and the state pension system. Employment is legally acceptable without an NINO for up to 3 months. However, it is best to start the application upon arrival, as tax payments are higher without one.
There are two main options when applying for an NINO. One is to apply yourself, by calling 0345 600 0643. Calls can be expensive and time consuming, currently costing up to 45p per minute, with long waits at the call centre.
Alternatively, your BritBound package has it covered- we’ll do all the hard work for you and provide assistance throughout the entire process!
National Insurance Number FAQs:
1. Do I have to be in the UK to apply?
Yes, you’re required to be in the UK to apply for an NINO.
2. How long does the application process take?
Depending on demand, the process can take anywhere between 2-12 weeks, however the average is around 4-5 weeks.
3. Do I need to complete a Proof of Identity Interview?
Only if you possess a EU passport. If you are a citizen from outside the EU, you’re able to use your Biometric Residence Permit and visa as conclusive identity and the application can be completed via post.
4. Do I need an NINO to start work?
No, you may work up to 3 months without a NINO. Should an employer ask for your NINO, just explain that you are in the process of obtaining one.
5. If I leave the UK and return years later, is my NINO still valid?
Yes, your NI lasts throughout your lifetime and you are only ever assigned one.
Adventure awaits you, and here at BritBound we've put together not only our legendary 365-day event calendar, but also an entire range of epic trips for 18 - 35 year olds!
With access to 365 exclusive BritBound events per year such as cheap price theatre nights, pub quizzes, boat parties, festivals, weekend tours and so much more… The BritBound social events calendar will ensure that your diary is the envy of all!
If you’re looking further afield, join us and other like-minded travelers for Paddy’s Day in Dublin, sail through the beautifully blue waters of Croatia, dance away at music festivals in Eastern Europe, sink beers at Oktoberfest, explore the Scottish Highlands, build snowmen and conquer the slopes of the Alps, wave to Queen Lizzie at the Royal Ascot Races, plus loads more to make sure you're the envy of all your friends!