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United Kingdom and New Zealand agree to enhance their Youth Mobility Scheme and Working Holiday Scheme 5 July 2022

The United Kingdom and New Zealand have agreed to enhance their existing Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) and Working Holiday Scheme (WHS).

What is changing?

The United Kingdom and New Zealand have agreed to the following reciprocal improvements:

  • Extending the eligible age range for the visa from 18 - 30, to 18 - 35 years.
  • Extending the length of stay allowed to three years (it is currently two years for New Zealand YMS visa holders in the United Kingdom, and 23 months for UK WHS visa holders in New Zealand).
  • An extension to the length of time visa holders can work to three years (i.e. visa holders can work for the full duration of the visa).
  • New Zealand will introduce an annual cap of 15,000 places for UK nationals applying under the WHS (there is currently no cap for the UK WHS).

These changes will only apply to applications made after implementation.

Officials are working to implement the changes, which require legislative and system change, as soon as practicable.

Both sides are committed to the improved scheme being in place no later than 2024. An update on progress will be provided next year.