and https://www.visitbritain.com/ ) introduces popular destinations, things to do and offers trip-planning assistance.
Know your work rights
Employment Rights Act 1996 - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/18/contents
UK legal rights for workers - https://www.gov.uk/browse/working
RailUK's trains and rail network are modern and efficient. The network covers all the main cities as well as smaller regional towns. It is made up of a few large companies that run routes from London to stations all over the country, and smaller companies running routes in regional areas.
Public bus and coach
London UndergroundThe London Underground rail network, or "the Tube" as it is best known, is the oldest underground train system in the world. The Tube plays a big part in the lives of Londoners, connecting people and places across the capital. With more than 270 stations and the network keep expanding all the time, it is convenient to tour around the city in all directions.
- May or June is the best arrival time as the weather gets warm, but flight tickets are more expensive
- When you leave your job, request for a P45 for tax rebate. Two months before you leave the UK you should download P80 online to claim tax relief or tax refund you're owed
- The transportation network in the UK is well-developed. They have underground and trains, but the network is quite complicated
- After 6pm, most shops and cafes are closed, leaving only cinemas, restaurants, convenience stores and clubs open. Hong Kongers may not be used to it, but it is good to experience lives of another world
- Security is a criterion you must consider when picking an accommodation. Go online to check how safe the neighbourhood is beforehand, and live near areas with good accessibility
- Leave home early and keep track of the traffic condition, especially in London, as there are frequent delay, construction and strikes in the underground
- Major brands offer cheap deals in their end of season sales and around Christmas
- Cook yourself – some supermarkets sell discounted food items after 6pm
- Opt for jobs which offer free/discounted accommodation, e.g. hostel workers and babysitters
Note: The useful tips provided in this webpage are the authors' own opinions and for reference only. Working holidaymakers are advised to research thoroughly and check up for updated and verified information before departure.
Emergency Hotline in the United Kingdom
Global Emergency Call Center for Consular Protection and Services
24-hour Hotline: (8610) 12308
Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit
24-hour Hotline: (852) 1868
General Enquiries - Working Holiday Scheme
2 July 2019
Guidance Notes on Applying a Visa under
the Youth Mobility Scheme of the United Kingdom
- From 1 January 2014, Hong Kong has become one of the participants of the Youth Mobility Scheme ¹ (YMS) of the United Kingdom (UK).
To be eligible for YMS, an applicant must:
- be aged between 18 and 30 on the day the visa application is lodged;
- not be accompanied by any dependents during the journey;
- be ordinarily resident in the HKSAR and hold a valid HKSAR passport or British National (Overseas) passport (BNO passport);
- hold a departure ticket, or have sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket; and
- be able to produce financial proof of available funds (currently set at £1,890) to support himself/herself.
- 1,000 places will be available for Hong Kong youths who possess a valid HKSAR passport to travel to the UK every year. Applicants are required to obtain a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) before submitting their visa applications to the UK Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong. There is no annual quota for holders of BNO passport and they are not required to possess a CoS.
- Successful applicants under YMS will be granted an entry visa to the UK. They are allowed to enter and stay in the UK for a period of up to 24 months. During their stay, they can engage in work, privately-funded studies and/or voluntary work of choice ².
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) (for HKSAR passport holders only) - General Information
- Apart from meeting the eligibility criteria in Paragraph 2 above, holders of HKSAR passport must also possess a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) when applying for an entry visa to the UK under YMS.
- The CoS requirement does NOT apply to holders of BNO passport. Holders of BNO passport can submit their applications for entry visa under YMS direct to the UK Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong.
- The Labour Department of the HKSAR Government administers the allocation of CoS in Hong Kong.
To be eligible for registering for a CoS, a registrant must:
- be aged between 18 and 30 on the day the visa application is made;
- be a holder of a valid HKSAR passport; and
- not have previously spent time in the UK as a 'Working Holidaymaker' or a YMS temporary migrant.
- The quota for HKSAR passport holders under YMS is 1,000 every year.
- Registrants can obtain a registration form at Paragraph 31 and should submit the completed registration form together with the required supporting documents (see Paragraph 11 below) to the Labour Department within the registration period. Applications received outside the registration period will not be processed.
To facilitate the registration for CoS, registrants should provide the following supporting documents together with the registration form:
- a photocopy of their Hong Kong identity card; AND
- a photocopy of their HKSAR passport, showing their personal particulars and passport number.
- The Labour Department will consider if a registrant could meet the eligibility criteria set out in Paragraphs 8(a) and 8(b) above (i.e. aged between 18 and 30 and holds a valid HKSAR passport) based on the information and supporting documents provided in the registration. If a registrant is considered eligible, he/she will receive a confirmation email with a registration number. Registrants will need the registration number for result checking.
- For registrants who do not meet the eligibility criteria set out in Paragraphs 8(a) and 8(b) above, OR if their registrations are incomplete (e.g. there is missing information on the registration forms and/or the registrants fail to provide the supporting documents set out in Paragraph 11 above), their registrations will be refused.
- All eligible registrants will obtain a CoS if the number of eligible registrations received during the registration period is equal to or less than the available quota (i.e. 1,000 for the main round registration).
- In the event that there are more eligible registrants than the available quota (i.e. 1,000 for the main round registration), a computer ballot will be drawn to randomly select successful registrants. The registrations will NOT be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.
- The result will be published on the Labour Department's website for Working Holiday Scheme on the result announcement date.
- Successful registrants will be notified by email with instructions on how they can make their visa applications.
- A CoS is valid for the original registrant only and is non-transferable. Any request for change of the registrant's name and Hong Kong identity card number will NOT be accepted.
- Any visa application lodged by a person other than the holder of the CoS will NOT be processed by the UK Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong.
- The computer ballot programme will randomly assign a priority number to each unsuccessful registrant (i.e. all unsuccessful registrants will be put on a waitlist).
To fully utilise the annual quota, waitlisted registrants may be granted a CoS according to their balloted priority should there be any unused quota after expiry of the allocated CoS in each round of registration (e.g. as a result of some successful registrants failing to use their CoS within the validity period or they are not being granted a visa by the UK Government – see
Paragraphs 24 and
25 below). The registrant concerned will be notified by email, and he/she will be required to confirm in writing –
- if he/she remains interested in applying for a visa under YMS; and
- if he/she can still meet the eligibility criteria set out in Paragraphs 8(a) and 8(b) above by providing a photocopy of his/her valid HKSAR passport showing his/her personal particulars.
- If the registrant at the top of the waitlist no longer meets the eligibility criteria or gives up his/her place, the next waitlisted registrant will be considered for issuance of a CoS.
- If there are less than 1,000 eligible registrants in the main round registration, or if there is unused quota after running through the waitlist, we may invite another round of registration to fill up the remaining quota. The procedures of registration submission and selection of successful registrants will be the same as those specified for the main round registration in Paragraphs 9 to 22. Details of the registration schedule are provided in Paragraph 30 below.
- The CoS is valid for three months from the date of issuance. Once issued, the CoS cannot be withdrawn or nullified.
- Registrants allocated a CoS should apply for a Tier 5 (YMS) visa with the UK within the validity period of their CoS. Unused CoS will be deemed invalid automatically upon expiry without further notice / reminder from the Labour Department or the UK Government. The unused quota will be allocated to the waitlisted registrants.
- Registrants allocated a CoS who do not submit their visa applications within the CoS' validity period shall not be eligible to register for CoS again within 12 months following the expiry of their allocated CoS. Details are provided in Paragraph 30.
Eligibility for CoS Registration
Submitting a Registration for CoS
Selection of Registration
Further rounds of Registration
Validity Period of CoS
Submitting Visa Applications to the UK Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong
- HKSAR passport holders can submit their visa applications after obtaining an email from the Labour Department confirming their CoS allocation.
- Applicants must be in Hong Kong when applying for the visa and should follow the instructions at https://www.gov.uk/tier-5-youth-mobility. Applicants should be aware that the UK Visa Application Centre is operated by VFS Global, UK Visa and Immigration's commercial partner in the region. Further details are available at http://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/hongkong/. General visa advice is also available on the UK Home Office website https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration.
- In addition to possessing a valid CoS (for HKSAR passport holders only), applicants have to meet the requirements of the UK Government for an entry visa under YMS. The success of any visa application is entirely subject to the decision of the UK Government. The HKSAR Government does not guarantee that applicants allocated a CoS must be successful in their applications for the entry visa.
Registration Schedule for CoS
The main round registrations in 2019 was completed in April 2019, and the result was announced on 9 April 2019.
Main round 2019 (Registration Completed)
Registration period 18 February 2019 to 1 March 2019
(both dates inclusive)
Dates of birth of registrants
must fall between
11 April 1988 and 9 July 2001
(both dates inclusive)
Date of ballot drawing 4 April 2019 Date of result announcement 9 April 2019 Validity period 10 April 2019 to 9 July 2019
(both dates inclusive)
Registrants granted a CoS
but fail to apply for their visa
are ineligible to apply
for CoS again during
10 July 2019 to 9 July 2020
(both dates inclusive)
Submitting Registrations for the 2019 Main Round Registration (Registration Completed)
Registrants who are interested in submitting a registration for the 2019 main round registration are required to complete and sign on the registration form (
). The completed registration form in original copy must be submitted with the following supporting documents:
- a photocopy of their Hong Kong identity card (HKIC); AND
- a photocopy of their valid HKSAR passport, showing their personal particulars and passport number. The name appearing on the HKIC and the passport should be the same as that in the registration form.
Registrations can be submitted within the above registration period either by post or by using the drop-in box at the Labour Department's office:
- By post: Completed registration forms with all supporting documents enclosed can be posted to "GPO Box No. 10678, Central, Hong Kong". Please specify "2019 Main Round CoS Registration" on the envelope, and the registrant's correspondence address at the back of the envelope. The date indicated on the chop of the post office will be taken as the date of receipt of the registration.
- Drop-in: Completed registration forms with all supporting documents enclosed can be submitted by putting them in the drop-in box at the Labour Department during office hours (i.e. Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.). The drop-in box is located at the reception counter of the Labour Department at 16/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central. Please specify "2019 Main Round CoS Registration" on the envelope, and the registrant's correspondence address at the back of the envelope.
- Only registrations received within the registration period specified in Paragraph 30 above will be accepted. Registrations submitted or received before or after the registration period will NOT be processed.
- Forms submitted or received by fax or email will NOT be processed. Incomplete forms (e.g. without signature), forms without all the required supporting documents and/or forms submitted by post but with insufficient postage will NOT be processed.
- Registrants who are interested in submitting a registration for the 2019 main round registration are required to complete and sign on the registration form ( http://www.whs.gov.hk/res/pdf/UK_regform.pdf Text Alternative ). The completed registration form in original copy must be submitted with the following supporting documents:
Announcement of Result
- The registration result will be published here. Successful registrants will be notified by email from the Labour Department with instructions on how to make their visa applications.
Provision and Handling of Personal Data
- It is the responsibility of registrants to complete the registration form fully and truthfully and provide a photocopy of all supporting documents. The provision of personal data to the Labour Department is voluntary. Incomplete or insufficient information may result in deferral or refusal of registration. Knowing or wilful making of false statement, misrepresentation, concealment of information or intentional obstruction to the staff of the Labour Department during verification, by any person in order to be allocated a CoS, will render him/her ineligible for the CoS. Registrants may also be prosecuted for contravening the Theft Ordinance (Cap. 210) and be liable on conviction to imprisonment.
- Registrants who wish to amend the information on the registration form submitted (e.g. change of correspondence email address) should notify the Labour Department in writing. He/she should sign the notification specifying his/her Hong Kong identity card number, together with details of the change and provide copies of relevant supporting documents.
Personal data provided for the registration will be used by the Labour Department and its authorised bodies for the following purposes:
- processing of the registration for CoS;
- matching of personal data of registrants with the database of other divisions of the Labour Department, relevant Government bureaux/departments (e.g. Immigration Department), and other concerned persons and organisations, including consulate generals in Hong Kong, as appropriate, in association with the processing and authentication of the registration for CoS and/or application for entry visa under YMS;
- other administrative, analytical and statistical purposes relating to the Working Holiday Scheme; and
- any other legitimate purposes as may be required, authorised or permitted by law.
- Personal data of registrants and related information provided for the registration may be disclosed to other divisions of the Labour Department, relevant Government bureaux/departments (e.g. Immigration Department) and other concerned persons and organisations, including consulate generals in Hong Kong, as appropriate, for the purposes stated in Paragraph 38 above; or where the registrants concerned have given consent to such disclosure; or where such disclosure is authorised or required by law. The Labour Department may also contact the aforesaid persons and organisations to obtain and authenticate information for the purposes stated in Paragraph 38 above.
- All documents submitted for the registration will not be returned. In accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486), registrants have the right to obtain access and make correction to the personal data provided in the registration form. Requests for access and correction of personal data should be made in writing and mailed to "GPO Box No. 10678, Central, Hong Kong". Registrants should sign the request and specify their Hong Kong identity card number in the submission.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Labour Department does not have a mechanism for acknowledging receipt in place. Eligible registrants will receive an email from the Labour Department with their registration number, while registrants deemed ineligible will be notified by mail. As an overwhelming number of registration forms are expected to be received for each round of registration, the confirmation emails will be issued once the processing of the forms is complete.Registrants allocated a CoS are required to apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa with the UK Visa Application Centre within the validity period (i.e. 3 months after its issuance) of their CoS. Registrants will not be deemed ineligible to register for the CoS again if they have applied for the visa within the validity period of their CoS.If registrants who have submitted their registration forms wish to withdraw from the registration, they are required to make such request in writing (by post or email) before the end of the relevant registration period. However, whether such request is accepted is entirely subject to the decision of the Labour Department. Once issued, a CoS cannot be withdrawn or nullified.Successful applicants are issued a visa by the UK valid for 24 months, during which they may enter, leave and re-enter the UK. Applicants may wish to consult the UK Visa Application Centre at the time of their application to ascertain when they should leave for the UK.There is no fixed number of rounds of registration each year. Further round(s) of registration will be conducted after the main round if circumstances so require.
- Will the Labour Department confirm receipt of a registrant's registration form for the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)? When will the confirmation email be issued to eligible registrants?
- Having been allocated a CoS, I applied for the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa with the UK Visa Application Centre within the validity period of my CoS but was subsequently rejected. Can I register for the CoS in the following round of registration so that I can apply for the visa again?
- Can registrants withdraw their CoS registration?
- When do successful visa applicants have to leave for the UK after their visa applications have been approved?
- How many rounds of registration are there each year?
- The United Kingdom grants working holiday visas to Hong Kong youths under the Youth Mobility Scheme while Hong Kong administers a reciprocal Working Holiday Scheme for British youths.
- For detailed eligibility criteria of YMS, please refer to the relevant website and updates from the UK Government, the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, and the UK Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong. The eligibility criteria, and terms and conditions of YMS are subject to review and change by the UK Government without prior notice.
Registration for the Certificate of Sponsorship
Announcement of Result
2018 Second Round Registration for the Certificate of Sponsorship
Announcement of Result
2018 Main Round Registration for the Certificate of Sponsorship
Announcement of Result
2019 Main Round Registration for the Certificate of Sponsorship
Announcement of Result
2017 Second Round Registration for the Certificate of Sponsorship
Announcement of Result