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Working Holidays

Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guidance has been given to entry clearance officers about the funds required for a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a working holidaymaker. [125337]

All new Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) undergo an intensive course of training provided by UKvisas. As part of an ECO's training, specific instruction is given concerning those seeking entry clearance for employment in the United Kingdom, part of which covers working holidaymakers.Guidance about applications from working holidaymakers is contained in the Diplomatic Service Procedures, Entry Clearance, Volume 1, Chapter 18.4. The Diplomatic Service Procedures are available to ECOs both during their training and while at post, and are available to the public online through UKvisas website www.ukvisas.gov.uk.Applicants are not expected to have a specific amount of money in order to qualify for entry to the United Kingdom as a working holidaymaker. However, working holidaymakers must be able to demonstrate that that they have enough money to pay for their return journey and also to pay for accommodation and living expenses for at least the first two months after arrival without recourse to public funds, or at least one month if they have a job arranged in advance.

Those wishing to visit the United Kingdom as working holidaymakers are advised to establish how much money they will need by researching their trip before they apply. ECOs are not required to make decisions based on a prescribed level of funding that a working holidaymaker must have, but instead are required to consider each application on its own merits against the relevant requirements of the Immigration Rules.

Changes to the Working Holidaymaker Scheme (WHMS) were announced on 20 June 2003, Official Report, column 21WS, by my hon. Friend the Minister of State (Beverly Hughes). Ukvisas sent entry clearance staff worldwide guidance on the changes to the WHMS on 18 June. Although no changes were made to the Immigration Rules concerning the funding required by working holidaymakers, entry clearance staff were reminded of these requirements in the guidance of 18 June.