The UK and New Zealand extend Youth Mobility and Working Holiday schemes
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have signed an agreement to expand their shared visa schemes on 1 July 2022.
The authorities met at 10 Downing Street in London, where the official residence and the executive office of the British Prime Minister are located.
The changes concern the age limit to apply for the United Kingdom’s Youth Mobility Scheme and New Zealand’s Working Holiday scheme and the maximum length of time British or Kiwi applicants can spend in each country.
Before the agreement, the Youth Mobility scheme and the Working Holidays scheme allowed British citizens and New Zealanders aged 18-30 to study, work and live in each other’s country for two years. Now, applicants can be between 18 and 35 years old and stay in each other’s country for up to three years if their application is successful.
This reciprocal visa scheme aims at giving young Brits and New Zealanders the opportunity to travel, work, and experience everyday life in each country, allowing them to better understand the country’s culture and society.
“Travelling, living, and working overseas can be a wonderfully enriching experience. The UK loves to welcome Kiwis on their travels here while thousands of Brits have made the similarly life-changing journey to the southern hemisphere”, said UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. “Today’s improvements to our visa schemes will give even more young Brits and New Zealanders the opportunity to develop their skills, make life-long connections and contribute to their host country.”
“Kiwis have long advocated for improvements to working holiday visas. We are so pleased to have reached this agreement today”, added New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has lived in London and worked in the Cabinet Office at Whitehall as a senior policy advisor before she became the New Zealand Labour Party leader. “I was one of many Kiwis to enjoy living and working in the UK, and we look forward to offering Brits the same wonderful experience in New Zealand.”
In the United Kingdom, the Youth Mobility Scheme visa is also available for young people from Australia, Monaco, San Marino, Canada, and Iceland. Upon selection in the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot, young people from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan can also apply for the program. There is a different ballot for Indian citizens.
Apart from the applicant’s nationality, the main requirement to enter the Youth Mobility Scheme in the United Kingdom is having at least £2,530 in a bank account in order to show that the applicant has money to support himself or herself.
Working Holiday visas in New Zealand are open to applications on a rolling basis for several countries apart from the UK, such as Peru, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, USA, Canada, Israel, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, most countries in the European Union, and Turkey.