UK Youth Mobility Visa – The Reckoning

UK Youth Mobility Visa – The Reckoning

In my last post on Applying for a UK Youth Mobility Visa I went through what it was and how to apply for one.

After you’ve handed over the money, picked your appointment date for your biometric data to be taken and printed off everything in triplicate (hey I was taught to always be prepared, thank you Scouts) your next step is to wait till your appointment date. The appointment is just a really fancy way of saying hey we want your finger prints just in case we want to implicate you in a crime while your here. I kid honest… oh god I’m so getting strip searched on arrival.

The appointment is a breeze. They make you drive to “insert nearest capital city here” for what is a 2 minute process. That is unless you’ve worn your finger prints away like I had on my left hand pinkie finger. My appointment was in Melbourne which for the rest of you is about a 1.5 hour drive away.

Entering the consulate office you take a seat opposite the glass wall and wait to be called. Don’t try and talk to the staff behind the glass wall because your getting no love there trust me, the guy that walked in after me sure found that out.

Using the press here to talk method of PA systems your name is called and you front up to the counter and pass over the following:

  • Printed visa application form (Attach your passport photo to it)
  • Booking confirmation form
  • Valid passport

You then get told to stick your fingers on the miniature scanner so they can scan your digits. Right hand, left hand and then the thumbs. Apparently I work too hard because as I said one of my fingers wouldn’t scan. We tried pressing on it, breathing on it and even doing the look away to be all sneaky and fool the scanner trick. Eventually they got the scans and that was it. I got back my form with a stamp on it and a half A4 size piece of paper detailing my next step.

That next step will require the following important pieces of documentation:

  • Signed application form with accompanying biometric stamp of approval
  • Passport sized photo (hopefully still attached to your application form)
  • Current passport
  • Completed self-assessment form and accompanying documents (Appendix 7 Self-Assessment Form)

The first three items are easy you have those. The fourth item as mentioned in the first post is to print off the Appendix 7 document and fill it in. They ask the obvious stuff like your name (don’t get that wrong please), age etc. The important bit is Part 4.

This section requires you to prove you have 1600 quid in the bank before you get there. The easiest way to do this is send in your latest bank statement. Just make sure its current, they require one dated within 30 days of your application. Most banks are willing to issue you a current statement but be careful there is probably going to be a fee attached to it. I suggest applying for it as soon as you apply if not sooner, banks can be a bit slow and if your pressed for time applying well.. you don’t want to know the answer to that.

Set with all my documents I purchased two express post parcels. One to send the documents down in and one for them to post it back to me, the cheap buggers won’t even foot the bill for postage back. Express post also allows you to track the parcel just in case someone looses it because after all it will contain your passport.

Then you play the waiting game. Estimated processing times can be found at this web page . Only get nervous if after 10 days you still haven’t heard anything because according to that page 98% of claims are completed in that time frame.

You will receive an email when they receive your documents and then one at the end detailing if you have been approved or not. I can tell you when I received these words in an email today I was ecstatic.

Your application has been approved and your documents will be dispatched within 2 working days.

Overall when you have the right information this process really is a breeze. The daunting task is finding out what you need. I hope that both my articles on the topic can help to serve other future applicants in Applying for the Youth Mobility Visa.

UPDATE: Please click here to see the updated article on applying for a Working Holiday Visa/Youth Mobility Visa. It details the entire process and includes a detailed frequently asked questions section.

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631 Responses to UK Youth Mobility Visa – The Reckoning

  1. NICOLA April 27, 2012 at 4:17 AM #

    @Deemarti, my bank statment hadnt arrivied in time so I posted all the documents I had and a letter from the bank and 2 days later my statement arrived of course, i e mailed and they said post it but couldnt confirm that they hadnt already looked at all my forms etc and way i got my visa in the end, hope yours all makes it, good luck!

  2. LISS May 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM #

    Hi! Just a really quick question (my biometric appt is this wednesday!)

    Online I said that yes I do have an old childs passport and gave the document number ( i rang up for it) and expiry dates etc but I can’t find it to send along with my offical application is this going to be an issue now that online i’ve said its expired but didn’t also tick the ‘lost’ box?

    On my hard copy of the Pointes based system Form VAF9 form ive put “expired” and also written details – document number and expiry dates etc and written expired and lost. Is this going to be a big issue that my online form didn’t specify that it was lost??

    please help thankyou :))

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM #

      Hi Liss, I had a child passport but couldn’t find it in time for my application so had put it down as lost. Given you have all the information about the passport I don’t think you will have any drama not sending them off with your forms but perhaps you could ask when you go in for the biometric appointment as they don’t require them then. They may be able to amend your form on the day before it gets sent off.

      • LISS May 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM #

        We posted it off today yay 🙂 fingers crossed it gets approved! Thanks for your help!

  3. KRISTI May 8, 2012 at 6:31 PM #

    Hi everyone,

    Wow – well I’ve been in the UK for two weeks now and starting to find my feet…a little… kinda…in a way… ok so I’m not quite there yet 😉 Hopefully things will get easier!!

    My to do list is looking better…
    Find somewhere to live – check, Meet the teaching agency – check
    Find work – EEEEEK! lol I hope this works out!!

    I’ve been stressing out a bit coz the agency is trying to send me like an hour away for work. pfft! How is everyone finding it over here? Is anyone living North England?
    I’m in Yorkshire so obviously less Aussies than London! 😛

    Nomad – oh wise one – how is the good ol’ l-o-n-d-o-n treating you these days??
    Spoke to you way back when I was getting my paperwork together, but now I’m actually here it’s a bit of a spin out. I literally stood at my window looking out at the English country side and said out loud ‘Bloody hell – what the hell was I thinking?’ LOL

    P.s – Liss – I did the same thing with my child passport. Said it was expired and then lost on the other form. It went through fine! Good luck 🙂

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 10, 2012 at 9:20 PM #

      Hey Kristi, glad to hear your here and getting things worked out. I’ve heard from a few people that agencies have tried to send them a bit of a way out to fill positions so guess you just have to keep at it. I was lucky and had a job soon as I arrived, hate looking for work.

      London is good but it’s almost time for me to leave as my visa is almost up. The first few weeks are a bit of an adjustment but once your working and getting on with things its all good.

      • KRISTI August 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM #

        Wow – had totally forgotten to check on here for some time now.
        Been flat out organising everything. So how goes it Nomad?? Are you back in Aussie land now then?? Organising to get back to the UK or content to be back home??

        Hope all is well 🙂

  4. LISS May 9, 2012 at 12:06 AM #

    Hey thanks 🙂 my biometric is today flew into Melbourne last night for it!! Bit nervous ha. Yeah thanks I actually rang the consulate a few days ago to double check (they take your credit card details before answering any questions!!$12 later..) she confirmed that yes you can make changes on online printout application in BLACK pen only and you need to write correct answer and initial after it. Also I was confused as I wrote my mothers maiden name on the online application she said that that’s ok just write the surname next to it and initial after it… So I assume that ‘family name’ means hereby family name not maiden name as thought.. Confusing!

  5. LISS May 9, 2012 at 12:08 AM #

    *’current’ not ‘hereby’ stupid autospell 😉 yes she also confirmed child passport thing ok to write lost on printout in black pen yay 🙂

  6. STEPH May 14, 2012 at 10:01 AM #

    hey just wandering where you send your application too in sydney? i lost the form from the embassy in melbourne which said where to send it, oops haha

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM #

      Sorry Steph I don’t actually know. I’d image its the same as everyone else right across the country. Anybody able to help with that who applied recently? Otherwise best to call the UK Embassy to get a copy sent to you.

  7. HARRY May 15, 2012 at 7:26 AM #

    Hey guys,
    Received my email last Wednesday saying it had been processed and will be dispatched. It’s now Tuesday and I’m yet to receive it back. I’ve been checking the aust post tracking service on a pretty regular basis. Already had to push my flight once, need to get over there.

    Anyone experienced longer than the 2-3 days to receive it once getting the email from them?

  8. RACHEL May 18, 2012 at 5:31 PM #

    Hey! So my documents arrived on May 9th (Wednesday) but it took a whole week (Wednesday May 16th) for them to email me saying my documents had been opened and organised in preparation for an Entry Clearance Officer. It’s now Friday and I still haven’t heard anything else. Monday coming up is a holiday in the US so will be closed surely. I have the date on my visa for June 1st, do you think it would be processed in time?? I’m freaking out, I’m 20, Canadian, provided all the banking requirements, have NO criminal record but I did spend 6 months in the UK recently as a visitor (arrived back April 23rd 2012) would that be an issue??? I’m freaking out like crazy 🙁

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM #

      Hi Rachel. Don’t have any idea on the processing times for Canadians I’m sorry but I know the process in Australia is normally 2-3 weeks for most people. In saying that I don’t think we get told the paperwork is waiting for an officer to evaluate it though.

      As long as this is your first and only YMV I’d say you will be fine and they are just taking their sweet time to process you. Who knows you might not get any more notifications and all of a sudden see your passport delivered back at home like I did for mine. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  9. LOUISA May 21, 2012 at 1:58 AM #

    I have absolutely adored this site. You have made me feel so at ease, as have all the comments below your posts.
    I had a quick question for everyone (including you nomad).
    I used an agency and they told me to send off my biometrics appointment confirmation. They actually took this from me at my appointment and I didn’t end up including it. The woman at the counter said the biometrics stamp on my application was all that was required.
    I told my visa agency this, and they assure me that my application will most likely be rejected without the inclusion of this appointment confirmation.
    Do you think my visa company are wrong on this one, or do you think I needed to include it?
    Either way I am hoping to send it off separately today and hope for the best….
    Your thoughts would be very much appreciated 🙂

  10. ANNALISE May 22, 2012 at 5:39 AM #

    Ok so im freaking out because i was never told anything about the appendix 7 form, i have already gone to my biometrics but i havent sent my visa of yet.

    – Do i need to fill in an appendix 7 form?
    – My bank statement is from october2011 to march2012, but i have it stamped from a few days ago is this acceptable or do i need a more recent bank statement?
    – Do I need to send copies aswell as my original application and bank statement?
    – Do i need the bank to stamp ever page of my statement or is the first page enough?

    many thanks in advance

    • LOUISA May 22, 2012 at 7:02 AM #

      Hi Annalise,

      You need to include the following in your application, I would suggest getting a more recent bank statement:

      You also need to send it all off within 14 days of your biometrics appointment. Hope this doesn’t freak you out, just hope it help you 🙂

      1. Attach a Passport sized photo to the APPLICATION FOR UNITED KINGDOM ENTRY CLEARANCE (which you downloaded and printed at the time of payment). Remember to sign and date the declaration page.

      2. VISA4UK BIOMETRICS APPOINTMENT BOOKING CONFIRMATION (which you downloaded and printed at the time of payment). NOTE: If the Consulate staff did not return this to you please reprint a new copy to send.

      3. The UK BORDER AGENCY APPENDIX 7 QUESTIONNAIRE with all mandatory sections completed (original form).

      4. Original CURRENT PASSPORT and any previous expired passports that you have stated are in your possession. NOTE: Your Visa will be placed inside your current Passport when issued.


      6. 1 x Package Pre-Paid Post Envelope for the return of your documents (make sure this is signed and that you have noted the tracking number). Put your delivery address on this return envelope for the documents to be sent back to.

      7. Travel history document or just on your application

      • LOUISA May 22, 2012 at 7:05 AM #

        Also, don’t take this as bible, this is simply what I submitted but I am awaiting my visa.

  11. CRAIG May 25, 2012 at 8:51 PM #

    hi there, i recently got refused a visa to the U.K i mistakenly applied for a overseas domestic worker visa in stead of the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa, i have now sent off all the correct documents required and applied for the YMS visa as is should have in the first place, im concerned il get refused again now but really shouldnt im Australian of course, im 27 and showed them ive got more than enough money in the bank, surely i will get it granted ?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM #

      Craig I’d imagine you will be fine. The only concern is if they think you were trying to do something suspicious by applying for the other visa first. Given you meet all the requirements I’d say there shouldn’t be a problem.

      • CRAIG May 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM #

        i hope so mate, i hope they realise it was just human error and nothing suspicious what so ever, cheers for replying

        • CRAIG June 13, 2012 at 6:43 AM #

          got the email last thursday and my Passport with the Visa inside it turned up today, very happy will be seeing my English girlfriend next week now. if anyone in the future reads this and did the same thing as me by stuffing up there first application, just dont panic and get it right the next time

  12. HAYLEE June 14, 2012 at 5:24 AM #

    Hi! This is a really useful site. No where else have I been able to find a step by step process. Question for anyone that will listen….I have applied for our Youth Mobility Visa. I filled out the questionaire from the points based calculator and it ends with a summary PDF so I printed that off and signed that. I didn’t realise this self-assessment form existed! I have already sent my visa for processing. Do you think they will not grant my visa because of this? I really hope not!! Thanks in advance for any replies.

  13. NICOLA June 20, 2012 at 4:22 AM #

    Does anybody know if there any extra forms that need to be shown at customs?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD June 21, 2012 at 3:43 PM #

      Nicola, when you arrive in the UK you just have to show them your passport as it will have a page pasted in there showing your visa for the UK. No extra paperwork at all.

  14. NICOLA June 21, 2012 at 11:26 PM #

    Awesome! Thanks, only asking as I had to have like 2 more forms with me getting into USA. And I’m leaving in 2 weeks and freaking out! Haha thanks again..

  15. STEPHANIE July 9, 2012 at 11:13 PM #

    Hi! This post was really useful but I was wondering what people did when it says “include any previous passports” for the supporting documentation?

    When I was filling in the online application form it only asked about my last passport (the one before the one I have now), I still have it and I will be sending it off. BUT I also had a passport in 2000 (when I was 12/13 – if that makes a difference) which I wasn’t asked about in the form, I don’t know any of it’s details (number, date etc) and I have no idea where it is.

    Do I need to rummage around and try and find it to send too? Should I write a note on my application mentioning it? Or am I ok sending my current passport and my previous one?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • JANE E July 10, 2012 at 3:26 AM #

      Hi Stephanie,

      you need to note that it existed, in your application, as I had a childrens one previous to my current one as well. I also couldn’t find it when I did my application so I just wrote that I had had one, that it was a childrens passport, when it was issued (because I remembered that), but not its number because I couldn’t remember and that it was lost. They were OK with that and didn’t ask me to send it. People lose things as they grow up, if you don’t have it, you don’t have it. They don’t mind as long as you tell them what happened to it. With that information I was approved the visa.

      I hope this helps and best of luck with your application,

    • BEC July 13, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

      hey stephanie.
      I was just going through all the blogs and noticed you are fairly recent in applying for your visa. I am considering applying for one myself as i will be heading there late august (i left it a little late i know). I was hoping you wouldnt mind letting me know on how long your passport takes to be returned and how you go with it all. I really hope all went well or is going well and your having too much fun planning your trip to respond but any response would be greatly appreciated

  16. BEC July 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM #

    hello all.
    I was wandering if anyone had recently applied for a youth mobility visa and how long it took all up after sending the documents off. I know in previous months they all seem to be going through pretty quickly. But heard there was a delay this month (july) and I kind of left myslef a little short.
    Like the others i must agree this is def the best site going for information.
    Appreciate any response

    • JANE E July 15, 2012 at 4:43 AM #

      Hi Bec,

      I applied on the 7th June, had my Biometrics on the 12th and posted all my stuff off that day, it was receipted in sydney on the 13th received the “your visa has been despatched” email on the 19th and my visa arrived on the 22nd. So I guess that makes it a 10 day turn around.

      Hope this helps,

  17. KELLY BROWN July 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM #

    i just did my online application… accidentally wrote i was submitting it in person with return postage, however i am actually posting it :S does anyone know if this is a massive deal? Also WTF about appendix 7? the links don’t work on this website for it!


    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 24, 2012 at 1:27 PM #

      Hi Kelly,

      Congrats on the application. I don’t think it will be a problem but just let them know when you do your biometric appointment just in case.

      As for the Appendix 7 form, I’ve just tested the link in the post above and all working ok for me at the moment.

  18. KELLY BROWN July 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM #

    also.. is it supposed to be sent to the sydney address? i thought they get processed in canberra?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM #

      After your biometric appointment they give you an address to post everything off too. It actually get sent off to Manilla now.

    • KRISTI August 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM #

      Yep – Sydney it was for me im sure…and then they forwarded it on to Manilla.

  19. GEORGI August 2, 2012 at 6:12 AM #

    May I just say that this is the only info I have found online that explains the Tier 5 youth mobility visa application process in it’s entirety, so thank you!

    I have just sent my documents off and have all all ready had my biometric data taken.
    The only comments I would add is that form the 30th of June 2012 the amount required to be in your account is now 1800 punds and it has to have been there for a time…at the application centres discretion though i guess as no guidelines have been given.

    What I did find out though is that if you use a printed statement from your internet banking it needs to be stamped by your bank on all pages. My bank refused to do this, so try and get a paper statement sent to you ahead of time.

  20. KELLY BROWN August 5, 2012 at 11:55 AM #

    how did everyone attach their photo to the application? like literally attach it with glue or paperclip?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 11, 2012 at 7:42 AM #

      Kelly from memory my form had a spot where you have to stick it on but believe I just attached with a paperclip until after the biometric application.

  21. ECE August 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM #

    Heya! Wow if I didnt have this blog I would have no idea what to do… The Visa sight is so hard to make sense of!

    Quick Question for anyone that will listen…

    One of the points on the “what to do next” sheet that you are given from the biometrics asks to include “a certificate issued by the traffic authority” if you have any traffic offenses. I have a few infringment fines that i pay off monthly so I called the traffic authority and after speaking with 3 people, NOONE knows what im talking about@#$% Can anyone help??


    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 11, 2012 at 7:43 AM #

      Ece can’t help you I’m afraid as never had to go up against that. I’d image they just need some official document showing your record so I guess you could go to the local police station and get a print out of your offences etc maybe…

    • ACE August 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM #

      Its a driving record from the Roads and traffic authority if your from NSW, about 20 bucks!

  22. KEL August 9, 2012 at 10:48 AM #

    I have a drink driving charge and I just got a national police clearance and included my court papers… Don’t think you need to show if ou just have speeding fines etc. don’t quote me though… Im still waiting to be approved haha

  23. TONY September 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM #

    When you completed the application form online, could you choose when your biometrics appointment was or did they just give you a few options? How soon was the earliest you could get an appointment?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD September 6, 2012 at 12:37 PM #

      Hi Tony, you get to pick the appointment time for your biometrics time. From memory you could get one fairly quickly but just depends on how many other people are booked inI guess.

  24. LEIGH SPRING September 9, 2012 at 5:17 AM #

    HI mate,

    Just going through the same process now and was wondering if you got an answer to your question.. Do you have to both send in your documents and pesonally take them into your interview.. or just one or the other??

    Cheer Springie.

  25. DONNA September 9, 2012 at 3:20 PM #

    I’m SO happy to find your blog. As a massive stress-head, I’ve been panicking and procrastinating and I feel slightly closer to getting through it all. I would prefer if it were laid out in complete and informative and chronological dot points and colour-coded, with links to the appropriate sites and a checklist with a timeline and reward points for getting through each stage, but maybe I’ll make one of those myself. 😉

    but, did you submit everything while you were at the biometrics or how long after? post? i have to go interstate and stressing about getting everything done there while i can.

  26. DONNA September 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM #

    oh, and how soon between applying and booking your biometrics? and i suppose you don’t need all your paperwork when you do the online application…

    you must feel like a visa guru.

  27. STACEY October 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM #

    Thanks for the helpful tips… I just applied, paid and booked a date to have my fingerprints taken for my UK visa and I am so confused by the email back. Saying I have to send the required documents in… I am assuming this is like what you say, AFTER the appointment. They don’t need anything now?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD October 22, 2012 at 1:46 PM #

      Hi Stacey, you don’t send anything away until after the appointment. Just take it with you on the day to be stamped and approved when they do the fingerprints. Takes all of about 5 minutes when I had mine done.

  28. STACEY October 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM #

    Thank you! You’re the best!

  29. MICHAEL C October 23, 2012 at 5:01 AM #

    Thank you so much, mate! You made the process so much easier. I sent all my paperwork off about a week ago and still haven’t heard anything back but would not have been able to get this far as easily without your detailed and friendly sharing of your experience. Thanks again

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD October 24, 2012 at 5:16 AM #

      Not a problem at all Michael. Some people hear back about the progress and others have just had their passport return to them ready to go so I’d say you’ll be just fine. Good luck and enjoy the UK.

  30. DONNA October 24, 2012 at 5:39 AM #

    I got my visa email on Monday!! which was 2 weeks to the day that I posted it. Your blog was my go-to whenever I started freaking out. I didn’t get an email that they’d received the visa. THANK YOU!

    JIC anyone’s stressing like I was:
    I had to fly to Brisbane from Adelaide for the biometrics. Needed my passport and printed out app form and took my booking confirmation just in case but they didn’t look at it. The photo wasn’t necessary, but I had it. Actually, I had everything there.

    I was an hour early (panicked about being on time) and they did it then and there. Took 5 minutes and I barely sat down (my brother-in-law had dropped me off and i snuck in a message while going into the interview room for him to come back. it’s not really an interview.) For posting after, I painstakingly went through everying and checked it against your blog, the UKBA list, the list given at the biometrics, and then made my sis and husband go through it too. Didn’t have my expired kid’s passport. Said only that it was expired. Clearly fine. Made copies of everything so there was double. Didn’t have a cover letter. Had Commbank write a letter of finances. Made a copy of passport page. Had photo stuck to app form and another with my name on the back just in case.

    Platinum express post (keep copies of both sending numbers! you’ll want those so you can direct your obsession towards something) to address given to you at biometrics. Biometrics ladies were nice, but they can’t tell you much about what to do; they only know what’s on the checklist.

    I leave in 6 weeks! so excited!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD October 24, 2012 at 5:49 AM #

      That’s awesome news Donna and thanks for posting your feedback for others. So jealous of you heading off. My Visa expired in June of this year and so when I return to Europe on Saturday i’ll just be a normal tourist.

      I’ve got a few posts on moving to London and find all the necessary info as well so be sure to check that out if you need.

    • DONNA November 1, 2012 at 11:32 AM #

      Just a tip, on the return package, sign the “no dangerous goods” declaration. I didn’t, figuring it should be signed by the sender, and they didn’t and it was marked as unusual and couldn’t go on a plane. VERY long wait from email to receiving visa.

  31. ELISE November 5, 2012 at 12:22 AM #

    just wanted to say a huge thanks for this blog!! have just gone through the visa application process and it was so confusing, and trying to find all the right info was impossible. Your blog spelled it all out and provided all the links I needed. thank you so much!! hope your travels have been amazing!

  32. MIKALA November 5, 2012 at 1:08 AM #

    I’ve just realised that I wrote my mothers maiden name instead of her new surname. Do you think this will effect my approval? It’s already in the mail! I only sent it Wed 31st but I’m worried it won’t be approved now 🙁

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD November 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM #

      Mikala I don’t think you’ll have a problem there its only a minor mistake but if you are really worried give them a call and see if you can send an amendment to your application.

  33. JAIMI November 18, 2012 at 9:43 PM #

    Hey, im in the process of applying for my visa, have my biometrics appt tomorrow 🙂
    just wandering for the appointment it says you have to show evidence of the payment made. How should i show this? is there something i can print off the website, or a printed statement from my bank is what i need? thankssssss 🙂

  34. DONNA November 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM #

    If you see my comment just above, I just went through the process recently. I don’t remember a proof of payment, just my booking confirmation, my printed app form and passport. the booking confirmation implies payment, since you can’t book without paying.

  35. JIMMY November 26, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

    Firstly a massive thank you for all this information! I recently went through the process and it occurred exactly as you have described. My timeframe experience was one of a quick turnaround..which was lucky as I had made a rushed last minute decision (very typical of me) to apply for a working visa before flying out to South America on the 23rs November. I honestly didn’t expect for the visa to come back in time but decided to take the risk as the price to change my flight a few weeks out and at the last minute was quite similar. So here was how my massive gamble went:

    Went for biometrics appointment on 5th November and posted all my documents on that day.
    Got an email on the 15th November saying my visa would be dispatched from Manilla within 3 working days. Note: I did not receive an email saying that my visa had arrived at Manilla, only one when it was being dispatched.
    My item became trackable on the 20th November and was delivered to my house on the 21st November. Note: on the first day it became trackable it was listed as “non compliant” under the status heading. This made me a bit worried but apparently it’s normal for this occur at the very beginning of the tracking process.
    I flew to south America on the 23rd November. Yeeewwww.

    Something worth noting is that I requested for my visa to start on the 1st June (worth a shot) but they gave me the 1st February. I was too relieved that it was back in time to really care much about this.

  36. MDP December 13, 2012 at 12:15 AM #

    Thanks for your guidence on this. As with many of the other comments above, your blog posts have been my bible when preparing my application. And it really helps to see recent comments confirming delivery times and successes.

    I went for my biometric interview on 28th November, and submitted my documents on the 29th. I started getting concerned when I hadn’t received a confirmation of receipt, or any news, after about 10 days. But on a whim I checked my tracking number on Monday 10th December, and was pleased to learn it was already on the truck for delivery.

    So the lesson for anyone applying is that they don’t always send an e-mail to confirm your applicationhas been approved.

    Thanks again!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM #

      MDP thanks for the details on your visa process. This post truly lives on thanks to so many people commenting and helping each other out as well as updating me on any changes to the process.

  37. JESS G January 5, 2013 at 4:01 PM #

    Hi there,

    thank you for keeping us all informed about the processes, as it can be extremely daunting!!

    I just have question regarding the itinerary – will I need to provide this when applying? I’m guessing it means my flight details but I havent booked my flight yet, Im travelling to the states first and intend on booking my flight to the UK from there (I know I need to obtain the visa before I leave Aus)

    Thanks for your time I really appreciate it


    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM #

      Hi Jess, no need to provide any form of itinerary at all. You don’t provide flight details or anything that relates to your intended travel plans except for setting a visa start date that must be within 3 months on when you apply.

      • JESS G January 8, 2013 at 1:22 AM #

        Hey thanks for the quick response! And the detailed information

        So I probably wont get there until early May, I stated on the form May 5 but im lodging my application on Jan 10 so am i to then change the intended date of arrival to April 10?? Do you know what will happen if I just leave it (its already been processed online) I dont know how I would change it anyways

        Also, I’m in Sydney i have an app. to get my biometrics there in thursday, so I do that and then where do I send everything, to the same place?? Or to the british high commision in canberra, it doesnt really make it clear anywhere where I am to send everything

        Thanks again for your time! Youre awesome


        • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 10, 2013 at 8:16 PM #

          You can leave the application as is and based on some other people who’ve commented they just make the the max 3 months from your application date.

          After the biometric appointment they will give you all the details on where to send it and what to send off. the processing center is now in manilla from others reports.

  38. SIMON January 29, 2013 at 3:01 AM #

    Hey there,

    All this information has been very useful thank you, like everyone else I have been stressing a lot about the visa but it all seems to be very easy. I am waiting for money to transfer into my bank which should only take a few days, should I wait for this to start the application or is it ok to do it now along as I have the proof of money for when I send the application off? And when I do the online application, is it usually pretty easy to get an appointment for the biometrics? I will have to fly for brisbane for it and am hoping I can do it on a Friday so I can ask work for the day off.


    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 29, 2013 at 12:31 PM #

      Simon, glad you found it useful for your visa process. You should be fine to start the application process while waiting for the funds to arrive in your account. You just need to be careful to get a statement or letter from the bank showing the money is in there. One concern is that you will be depositing the money right before the application so the visa folks may look at it as if you just dumped the money in their to pass a requirement.

      • SIMON January 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM #

        Thank you for your quick reply. I had wondered about this, problem is that I had half my savings in my everyday account and had to transfer it to my savings to do my application. Am planning on writting a cover letter explaining this to make sure they dont think I am dumping money in there and maybe show evidence of me withdrawing the money from my other account. Have my interview next Friday, will let you know how I get on.

      • SIMON February 1, 2013 at 2:30 AM #

        Sorry to bother you again, just read some comments from people who like me have only just had the money in their account and not for 30 days prior, most of them have got a letter from the bank with the account balance rather then sending a statement, would you suggest doing this rather then sending a statement along with a cover letter explaining why the money has only just gone into my account now?


        • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM #

          Hi Simon, the letter option would be better in my opinion but also could you have not got a statement from the other account you had the money in originally? I wouldn’t worry so much about the cover letter but you could do that as well.

          • SIMON February 1, 2013 at 10:53 PM #

            Bit of a weird situation where I had $2000 in each account, not too sure why, just never transfered the money over until now for some reason. I’ve got a letter from my bank to the specifactions that the UK boarder webpage gives so will send that and see how I go. Will let you know how I get on.

  39. DLV February 15, 2013 at 4:36 AM #

    Loved reading this blog and everyones post. Definitely has been my go to reference while applying for the visa. It even helped my bf with his application. He got his first and went over first while I stayed back and worked a few more months.

    Anyways did all that was required sent my application last Tues 05/02/13 and received an email from them on 14/02/13 saying “Your visa will be despatched shortly”. I am to assume that this means I have been granted my Visa to enter the UK?

    I also had a previous passport and put that it expired and the number was unknown. I also had a drink driving conviction (very much regret and have learnt my lesson, being a little over is still very irresponsible and I’m glad I was booked because it definitely scared me going to court) so I provided my traffic history with this detail.

    Just wanting to know in regards to the people with the drink driving offence, did you get your visa? This was a first time offence for me with no prior offences or record and was.01 over the legal limit so still a crime but the judge was very lenient with me. 1 month suspension and $200 fine but that was over 2 yrs ago. I’m a bit nervous coz I read that this can ruin your chances doesn’t matter how high or low but receiving that email gave me hope and I’m hoping and want it confirmed that I got my visa. I know I should wait 2-3 working days but it’s friday which means I have to wait all weekend and then monday or tuesday till i recive my documents back.

    Definitely one of the most anxious processes to go through. You can never be to thorough.

  40. TIMMO February 19, 2013 at 2:21 AM #

    Just out of curiosity DLV, what time during the day did you get your email saying the visa had been dispatched? I am not sure what hours they work over there so don’t know what time during the night I should give up on hearing that day lol.

  41. CATHY February 19, 2013 at 10:49 PM #

    Hi Aussie Nomad, i’ve just picked up my approved visa/passport from the post office and wanted to say thanks for putting up these posts and to everyone who commented and responded to comments because luckily, all the concerns i had, someone else had already posted them and reading thorught the comments definitely made the process easier (and slightly less stressful)!

    Few things I was stressed about in case anyone is worried about the same thing:
    – Documents for available funds. I walked into a bank, they printed (black and white) the available funds i had in my savings account, they stamped it, the bank manager signed it, and i stapled her business card to it. btw, it didnt cost me anything (reason i did it was i didnt want to show my home loan).
    – My passport photo didn’t align to the online PDF requirements (although it was done at an Australian Post Office)- white background (the PDF says cream or grey background and actually spedifies no white background, although the website says white background – see, this is why people get stressed out!!), my head was bigger than the measurements in the PDF

    Anyway, even though i was stressing about the above, i posted everything and my visa was approved! It took exactly 2 weeks from posting it, to when it was delivered back to me. The visa start date is the date i said i was going in the application.

    so now i leave in 6 weeks!!! 🙂

  42. SIMON February 21, 2013 at 12:49 AM #

    Hey mate,

    Just letting you know that I got the email saying my visa is dispatched today, sent the application off on the 8th and heard back today (21st) so pretty good turn around time. Ended up just sending the letter from the bank. Thanks again for your blog and all the people who have left comments it has been really helpful and made the process so much easier and less stressful.

    One last question, I have put down that I will be travelling to England on the 2nd of April but can actually get a flight for $200 cheaper 1 week earlier, does anyone know if you can enter the UK before your visa start date, and what the whole deal is if you do that? Ive read places that you have to enter on a tourist visa, then leave and come back on the work visa, and some people said you just enter and your visa will start on the date you out, then other places say you can’t enter till your visa start date. If anyone could shed some light on this that would be great.

    Thanks, Simon.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 21, 2013 at 1:10 AM #

      Hi Simon, congrats on the visa. Going to be one awesome experience heading over to the UK.

      As for arriving before your visa starts, you’ll need to leave the country and come back in on it from my knowledge. Customs tracks your entry and departure dates so if you stayed over on the tourist visa it might be a problem and its best not to give them cause to give you trouble.

      The tourist visa runs for 3 months (from memory) so I’m guessing you’ll be out of the UK within a month of being there anyway so you should be fine.

  43. SIMON February 21, 2013 at 3:53 AM #

    Yeah the plan will be to go to Portugal for 4 days in April and return on the work visa then, not sure if its a problem that I was on a tourist visa back in September last year, just trying to work out who would be best to contact to make sure before I book a flight. Thanks for your help.

  44. DLV February 27, 2013 at 5:32 AM #

    Hi Timmo,

    Received the email back on Feb 14 at 1.14pm (Melbourne time). Picked up my passport with Visa approved on Tuesday 19th after checking the tracking number of the return envelope. I leave 7th April and cannot wait!! Now to get the little things sorted like bank account, NI number, job etc..but for now gonna concentrate on packing up and prepare for an awesome adventure!

  45. SQUID March 1, 2013 at 10:07 AM #

    Hey all,

    I got the “visa will be despatched” e-mail 9 days after posting everything off and it should be back with me tomorrow. But I’m wondering, given that there is no “accepted” and “refused” notification like Canberra used to do, what do they at Manila say when the visa hasn’t been issued?

    Thanks for this blog Aussie Nomad!

  46. ALEX March 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM #

    Hey guys, I dispatched my documents from Melbourne on the 1st March, via express post platinum and on the Australia post website it still says äwaiting collection in GPO box Sydney”. Is this normal, does the tracking not update once it has been collected? I’m a little concerned that the passport/documents, have been potentially sitting in a post office box, for a week now.

  47. SQUID March 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM #


    mine updated within 2 days and said it had been delivered, but tracking isn’t 100% reliable or systematic in a way that works. but hopefully your visa has been delivered back to you now

  48. HOLLY May 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM #


    First of all thanks so much for putting this blog up! Its the most useful thing i’ve found so far!

    Just a quick question…
    I applied online yesterday and booked my biometrics appointment for the 10th of May. I have all the documents ready to go except for my bank statement. I went into the bank today and they flat out refused to give me a statement or a letter there and then, I now have to wait for them to send me a letter and statement which will take 7-10 business days.
    Can anyone tell me if I have to send off my information right after the biometrics appointment or is there a certain amount of time I can wait? I’m freaking out a little bit, dont want to fall at the last hurdle of this process!

    Oh and also, I got photos printed today according to Aus standards, will that be alright to send off or are they different?


  49. MEL May 22, 2013 at 1:20 AM #


    I’ve successfully got my visa (found your blog very helpful in this process!).

    I’m now looking up conditions of the Visa, and came across this statement – “must register with the police if this is required by paragraph 326 in Part 10 of the Immigration Rules”
    I don’t know if I need to or not? Don’t understand! Any advice?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 22, 2013 at 9:54 AM #

      Hi Mel,

      Congrats on the visa. I’ll be honest and say I’ve never heard of that condition. I’d imagine you’ve no reason that requires to you register with the police so you can safely skip it. Nobody I know has ever done it.

  50. TOM SAXON June 3, 2013 at 8:51 AM #

    Hey guys, just wondering how long it took everybody to have their passport and documents returned to them?
    I am sending off my documents tomorrow and i leave on june 24, i am really worried i wont get it back in time!!! 🙁

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD June 3, 2013 at 8:59 AM #

      Hi Tom, the average turn around time for most people I’ve seen leave comments is 1-2 weeks. There has been the odd one take slightly longer but none that stretch out to 3 weeks so believe you should be fine. Good luck with the trip, Europe is still a bit cold at wet at the moment but hopefully it’s warmed up by the time you get here.

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