Major overhaul of working holidaymaker visa planned

The UK government is planning a major overhaul of the UK immigration rules which could see a reduction in the number of Commonwealth citizens coming to the UK on working holidaymaker visas and the length of those visas halved.

The review, due out next year, is understood to be considering:

  • the reduction of the two year working holiday maker permit to one year
  • a more lenient approach to issuing work permits in niche industries and a focus on areas of the economy needing imported labour
  • the possible introduction of additional fees in applying for working holiday visas.

Immigration Services Union national officer John Tincey said the changes could benefit young travelers in the long term.

"As the system is tightened up on the one hand it will be loosened up on the other. People might find there are changes that make it easier to go from a working holiday visa to a proper work visa."

Tincey said that the rule forbidding working holidaymakers from furthering their career was likely to be overhauled.