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UK updates Tier 5 visa information

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The United Kingdom has released updated information about Tier 5, the last tier in its five-tier points based system covering all employment, student, and training based immigration into the country. Tier 5 is expected to go live during the third quarter of 2008.

Tier 5 visas cover so-called "youth-mobility workers" -- young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who can come to Britain and work for up to two years. They are available for citizens of nations with which the UK has Working Holiday agreements or other, similar arrangements. It is also available to citizens of British territories and Commonwealth countries.

Youth mobility workers coming to the UK under a Tier 5 visa are not expected to be able to switch to another visa category, such as a Tier 1 visa, without first leaving the UK. In additon, the visa is not renewable.

Once implemented, a number of previous immigration categories will be discontinued, including the au pair scheme, the Japan: Youth Exchange, and the Working Holidaymaker scheme.

Transitional arrangements will be provided for individuals in discontinued immigration categories residing in the UK when Tier 5 goes live.