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What is the Working Holidaymaker Scheme?
The Working Holidaymaker Scheme is an arrangement where a Commonwealth citizen aged between 17 and 30 can come to the UK for an extended holiday of up to two years. You can work but only if this is not the main reason for your stay. The holiday should be the main reason for your stay.

How do I qualify as a working holidaymaker?
You must be able to show that you:
•are a citizen of a country listed here
•are aged between 17 and 30
•want to come to the UK for an extended holiday, and intend to take employment as part of your holiday for no more than 12 months during your stay
•do not intend to set yourself up in or run a business, or work as a professional sportsperson during your stay
•are single, or that you are married to, or the civil partner of someone who also qualifies as a working holidaymaker and you plan to take the working holiday together
•do not have any dependent children aged five or over, or who will be five before your holiday ends
•can support yourself and live in the UK without needing any help from public funds
•have not spent time in the UK on a previous working holidaymaker visa, and
•intend to leave the UK at the end of your holiday.
You must get a visa before you travel to the UK as a working holidaymaker.

How long can you stay?
You can stay in the UK for up to two years from the date you were first given permission to enter as a working holidaymaker. They will count any time you spend outside the UK during that period as part of the two years.

How much and what work can I do?
Work in the UK must not be the main reason for your holiday, so you must spend no more than 12 months working.You can take most types of work, including voluntary work, but you cannot set yourself up in or run a business, or work as a professional sportsperson. You can choose when to work and when to take your holiday breaks, but you must not work for more than a total of 12 months or you will be breaking the conditions of your stay.

When you arrive in the UK an Immigration Officer may ask you questions, so take all relevant documents in your hand luggage.

How do I apply for a visa?
This website gives details of where to go in South Africa

What will I need to make my application?
You will need the following.
•which you have filled in correctly.
•Your passport or travel document.
•A recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of yourself.
•The visa fee. This cannot be refunded and you must normally pay it in the local currency of the country where you are applying.
You may also need to provide evidence of:
•how much money you have, and
•any travel plans you have made, such as a provisional travel booking.
How much money will you need to qualify as a working holidaymaker?
You must be able to:
•support yourself and live without needing help from public funds
•show that you have enough money to pay the cost of at least your journey to the UK, and
•show that you have enough money for your accommodation and living expenses for the first two months after you arrive, or for at least one month if you can show that you have arranged a job in advance, and that this job will pay you enough to cover your accommodation and living expenses.

What will happen when you make your application?
The Entry Clearance Officer will try to make a decision using your application form and the supporting documents you have provided. If this is not possible, they will need to interview you.
Your two years as a working holidaymaker begins from the ‘Valid from’ date on your visa. You should tell the Entry Clearance Officer when you plan to arrive in the UK so that your visa can start from that date.
Please check your visa when you get it. You should make sure that:
•your personal details are correct
•it correctly states the purpose for which you want to come to the UK, and
•it is valid for the date on which you want to travel to the UK. (You can ask for your visa to be post-dated for up to three months if you do not want to travel immediately.)
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Can you apply to extend your stay once you are in the UK?
You cannot extend your stay as a working holidaymaker. However, you may be eligible to switch into work permit employment after 12 months in the UK if your occupation is on the list of ‘shortage occupations’. Working holidaymakers can also apply to stay in the UK as ‘Innovators’ and in the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP).

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