I'm an Australian who has been living in the UK for just over a year on a tier 5 youth mobility work visa. My plan is to work up until December which is when my visa expires then travel around Europe for about three months. Would I be able to re-enter the country to just visit some friends before I go home? or would I not be able to enter. should I leave before it expires or on the day? I've heard some people saying I can't go back to the UK for a whole year after my visa expires, or I can leave and then come back and stay three months. I'm just generally confused about the whole legality of the thing and confused about what I can and can't do. I would like to leave via a London airport but also don't know if I'll be allowed in?? if anyone knows anything about this visa or has a number or email I can talk to someone about it, that would be great!!
You can enter visa-free for up to 6 months, but the challenge on arrival at the UK border may be demonstrating that you are a genuine visitor, having presumably spent the past year building a life / working in the UK. The standard advice is that you should bring the same documents you’d need to apply for a visa, to show to officers at the UK border. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/549692/Visitor_Supporting_Documents_Guide_-_English_version.pdf Having an onward ticket would be advisable (or at the very least, proof you have funds to buy one), and it would be even better if you could show a compelling reason to leave IMHO.
Not having any of the documents listed on gov.uk may not be a problem, or you may get a lengthy landing interview but be admitted. Worst case you’d be denied entry.