The UK government introduced the India Young Professionals Scheme on 28 February 2023, a reciprocal cultural exchange program that offers Indian citizens between 18 and 30 the opportunity to live and work in the UK for up to two years. Unlike the existing Youth Mobility Scheme, this program requires applicants to hold a qualification at a bachelor’s degree level or higher or an equivalent overseas degree.
To be eligible, applicants must meet the Youth Mobility Scheme visa requirements, including being an Indian national or citizen between the ages of 18 and 30, having a qualification at bachelor’s degree level or above, having at least £2,530 in savings to support themselves in the UK, and not having any dependent children under the age of 18.
The program will be administered through a ballot system, with the first ballot for the 2023 India Young Professionals Scheme opening on February 28, 2023, and closing on March 2, 2023. Eligible applicants can enter the ballot by providing their personal information and passport details, and if successful, they will receive an invitation to apply for the visa. If you are unsuccessful in the February ballot, you can enter future ballots if you meet the requirements. The next ballot is likely to be held in late July.
If you’re successful in the ballot, you’ll need to apply online for your visa by the deadline given in your invitation to apply. This is usually 30 days after you get the invitation. You must travel to the UK within 6 months of applying for your visa.
The visa application process involves providing identity documents, proof of qualifications, bank statements, and tuberculosis test results if applicable and paying a fee of £259 for the visa application and a £940 Immigration Health Surcharge. Successful applicants will be permitted to live and work in the UK for up to two years and may study, work in most jobs, and be self-employed if they meet certain requirements.
While on the India Young Professionals Scheme visa, applicants cannot extend their stay, apply for most public funds, include family members on their application, or work as a professional sportsperson.