Back to top
***navigation.shtml*** ***pubwork_head_pic.shtml***

uk Working holiday for US Citizens

UK Working Holiday Authorisation
*** Important changes***
Introduction of Youth Mobility Scheme

If you're a US or South African citizen looking to start a UK working holiday, I've got some bad news for you.

South Africans click here

-copied from-

When the Tier 5 - youth mobility scheme is introduced, the following immigration categories will close to new applications:

  • British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) scheme

This scheme, called the Blue Card Program was the only way for Americans to work and holiday in the UK for a period of up to 6 months. Applicants must be either full time university students or recent graduates.

The introduction of the new Youth Mobility Scheme has closed the BUNAC system. There is now no longer an option for US youth/university students to work and holiday in the UK.

I found this interesting post on a Brits_Americans forum 29th-Oct-2008

Looks like Americans are officially excluded from the new Youth Mobility Scheme (Tier 5 visa).  :(
For those who didn't know, BUNAC UK closed last month due to the implementation of Tier 5.
EDIT:  I should add that an offer of inclusion to the YMS was extended to Americans, but only on the condition that the US offers nothing less than the same opportunity for British Youth.  US Department of Homeland Security decided against reciprocation, therefore the offer was retracted.  So basically, the UK didn't exclude the US from the scheme - the US excluded itself.

bunac blue card

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.”

Frank A. Clark



Hopefully the US government comes to it's senses and plans on changing it's policy on a reciprocal youth work exchange program and will be included in the YMV in the future. However until then it seems you US students looking to work and holiday in the UK will now miss out on a UK working holiday, definitely one of the most incredible experiences of your lives.

A Facebook group has been created to garner interest in the Youth Mobility Scheme being available to United States citizens. Click to join the group - UK Working Holiday for US Citizens

There is also an online petition. If you feel strongly about this issue, please add you signature to the list. It's quick and doesn't cost you a penny.

However not all is lost...

Irish - US working holiday agreement

As of September 2008 US students can now apply for a 12 month working holiday visa to travel and work in the Republic of Ireland.

For the information check out the Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs

It's as close to working in the United Kingdom that US citizens can get. Why the US government is prepared to offer a reciprocal working holiday arrangement with Ireland and not the UK remains a mystery to me.


Page updated 27-Dec-09.