YOUTH MOBILITY SCHEME VISA
The Youth Mobility Scheme visa is for young adults from participating countries and territories who wish to experience life in the United Kingdom for a period of up to two years.
Dependants are not eligible to apply on the Youth Mobility Scheme visa route and it is not a route that leads directly to settlement in the UK.
Requirements for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa
In order to qualify for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:
- You are aged between 18 and 30 on the date of the application;
- You are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, or San Marino or are a British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen or British National (Overseas) (nb. from 1 January 2022, Indian and Icelandic nationals will also be eligible to apply – see Youth Mobility Scheme Opening to Citizens of India and Iceland);
- If you are a citizen of India applying after 1 January 2022, you hold an education qualification equal to or above RQF level 6 or have a minimum of three years’ work experience in a professional role equivalent to an eligible occupation listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations;
- You have funds of £2,530 which you have held for a 28 day period within the 31 days before your application;
- You do not have any children under 18 who are living with you or are financially dependent on you;
- You have not previously been in the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme route;
- You have paid the visa application fee and Immigration Health Charge and provided any required biometric information;
- You have taken a tuberculosis test, if required;
- You do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Youth Mobility Scheme Quotas
There are quotas on the number of places available on the Youth Mobility Scheme each year from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, San Marino, Iceland and India. The allocation of places for 2022 is as follows:
- Australia – 30,000 places
- New Zealand – 13,000 places
- Canada – 6,000 places
- Japan – 1,500 places
- Monaco – 1,000 places
- Taiwan – 1,000 places
- Hong Kong – 1,000 places
- Republic of Korea – 1,000 places
- San Marino – 1,000 places
- Iceland – 1,000 places
- India – 3,000 places
There is no quota on the number of British Overseas citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens or British National (Overseas) citizens who may qualify for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
Youth Mobility Scheme Sponsorship Requirement
You must apply for and obtain entry clearance under the Youth Mobility Scheme route before arriving in the UK.
If you are a British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen or British National (Overseas), you will need to provide a passport or other travel document as evidence of your identity and nationality. Youth Mobility Scheme sponsorship requirements do not apply to applicants who are British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen or British National (Overseas).
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea have Deemed Sponsorship Status. Nationals of countries with Deemed Sponsorship Status must provide a passport issued by their country of nationality to meet the Youth Mobility Scheme sponsorship requirement.
San Marino, Iceland and India do not have Deemed Sponsorship Status. Nationals of countries without Deemed Sponsorship Status must provide evidence of sponsorship that has been issued to them no more than six months before the date of the application.
Additional Youth Mobility Scheme Requirements for Indian Citizens
From 1 January 2022, Indian citizens will be able to meet the additional Youth Mobility Scheme requirement imposed on them in one of two ways: through education or work experience.
To meet it through education, an applicant must hold a qualification equal to or above RQF level 6, and provide evidence of that qualification in the form of written confirmation from the issuing institution that they successfully completed their studies and graduated with the required qualification.
To meet it through experience, an applicant must have a minimum of three years’ work experience in a professional role equivalent to an eligible occupation listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations. The evidence of the work experience can be either formal payslips from the applicant’s employer showing the applicant’s job title and employer’s name; or payslips accompanied by a letter from the applicant’s employer, on the employer’s headed paper and signed by a senior official, confirming the payslips are authentic.
Youth Mobility Scheme Ballot Process
If you are a citizen from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong (if you have an SAR passport), the Republic of Korea or India you will need to apply for a ballot before applying for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
Applicants must submit an expression of interest in applying for entry clearance under the Youth Mobility Scheme through the Home Office’s process. The Home Office then selects at random who will be invited to apply for entry clearance from the pool.
Ballots typically open in January and July each year and are open for 48 hours. If you are successful in the ballot you will have 30 days to submit your Youth Mobility Scheme visa application.
To evidence they were successful in the ballot, nationals of the above-mentioned countries must (a) have been issued an invitation to apply; and (b) made their application within the period of time specified in the invitation.
Youth Mobility Scheme Visa Decision
If your application for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa is approved then you will be permitted to enter and remain in the UK for a period of up to 2 years.
During this period you will be able to enter and leave the UK at any time. If you turn 31 while you’re in the UK, you can still stay for as long as your visa is valid.
Conditions of Stay on the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa
As a Youth Mobility Scheme visa holder you will be allowed to work in the UK, other than as a professional sportsperson or sports coach. However, you can only be self-employed where you have no employees, the total value of any equipment used for the business is below £5,000, and you do not own any premises from which you carry out a business (except for your home).
You will also be allowed to study. However, unless you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the Republic of Korea, you will be subject to the conditions of the Academic Technology Approval Scheme. This requires a certificate in order to study certain subjects in the UK at a postgraduate level.
You will not be permitted to access public funds.
What If My Application for a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa Is Refused?
If your application for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa is refused then you may be able to seek an Administrative Review of an error in your decision. You may wish to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert legal advice.
Switching Into Another Immigration Category
Prior to your Youth Mobility Scheme visa expiring you may be able to apply from within the UK to switch into another immigration category, such as the Skilled Worker route or the Start-up route. Our immigration barristers can advise on potential long term immigration routes, including routes which can lead to settlement in the UK.
How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help
Our team of business immigration barristers has experience in assisting with all types of visa applications. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for Youth Mobility Scheme visa applicants and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to Youth Mobility Scheme applicants as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Applications to enter the UK under alternative immigration routes
The UK offers a range of personal and business immigration routes. Details of all the main immigration routes are available on our website. However, some of the most popular routes are as follows:
The Tier 1 Investor visa category is for non-EEA nationals who are able to make a substantial investment in the UK. You will need to have access to £2 million and be willing to invest your funds in UK government bonds or actively trading UK companies.
The Skilled Worker visa is open to individuals of all nationalities (except British and Irish) who have an offer of an eligible skilled job in the UK from a Home Office-approved sponsor.
The Start-up visa is for individuals who are new entrepreneurs and want to establish a business in the UK for the first time.
The Innovator visa category is for individuals who are experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK.
The Student visa category is for individuals who are aged 16 or over and who wish to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.
The Graduate visa route will allow international students who have completed a UK degree to stay in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies.
Applications to switch into other immigration routes from within the UK
Prior to your Youth Mobility Scheme Visa expiring you may be able to apply from within the UK to switch into another immigration category, such as the Skilled Worker route or the Start-up route. Our immigration barristers can advise on potential long term immigration routes, including routes which can lead to settlement in the UK.
Fresh applications, Administrative Reviews and Judicial Review for YMS migrants
If your application for entry clearance or as a Youth Mobility Scheme migrant has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.