The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa is for young adults from specific countries who wish to experience life in the UK. In this post, we discuss the frequently asked questions regarding the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa application and process.
Which Nationalities can apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa?
Nationals of the following countries may apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
You can also apply if you are a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas).
What is the age requirement for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa?
Applicants must be aged between 18 and 30 at the date of application. If you turn 31 after your visa is issued, you can stay in the UK for as long as your visa is valid. National of New Zealand must be under the age of 35.
From 31 January 2024, you can apply if you’re from:
- Australia or Canada and aged 18 to 35
- Andorra or Uruguay and aged 18 to 30.
How long is a Youth Mobility visa valid for?
The Youth Mobility Scheme is valid for up to 2 years or 3 years for nationals of New Zealand.
Can I extend my YMS Visa?
New Zealand nationals may apply to extend their stay for one year, bringing the total duration of their stay up to 3 years. If you’re from Australia or Canada, from 31 January 2024 you’ll be able to apply to extend your visa by one year.
Are there different requirements for different countries?
No country-specific requirements apply for nationals of Australia, Canada, Monaco or New Zealand.
You must be selected by the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before you apply for your visa if you are from, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India and Taiwan. The India Young Professionals Scheme is open to apply via ballot.
The country-specific eligibility requirements do not apply where the applicant is a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas).
What is the annual allocation of places for each country?
The maximum total allocation of places available in 2023 is as follows:
- Australia – 35,000 places
- Canada – 8,000 places
- Hong Kong – 1,000 places
- Iceland – 1,000 places
- India – 3,000 places
- Japan – 1,500 places
- Monaco – 1,000 places
- New Zealand – 13,000 places
- Republic of Korea – 1,000 places
- San Marino – 1,000 places
- Taiwan – 1,000 places
What is the financial requirement?
Applicants must have funds of at least £2,530 for a 28 period prior, and not have children aged under the age of 18 who are either living with them or financially dependent on them.
Can I apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme again?
No, you can not apply more than once. However, you may be able to change your immigration status, for example by switching to the Skilled Worker route.
When can I apply for the Youth Mobility visa?
The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you travel to the UK.
Do I need a job before applying for a Youth Mobility visa?
No, you do not need to have a job offer before applying for a Youth Mobility visa.
What are the conditions of work?
Work is permitted subject to the following employment conditions:
- no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)
- no self-employment, except where the following conditions are met:
- the person has no premises which they own, other than their home, from which they carry out their business
- the total value of any equipment used in the business does not exceed £5,000
- the person has no employees
If I lose my job, can I apply for unemployment benefits?
No, you won’t be able to claim unemployment benefits if you lose your job whilst on the Youth Mobility visa.
Does the Youth Mobility visa allow me to study?
Yes, a Youth Mobility visa allows the holder to work and study in the UK – for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate.
How much does UK Youth Mobility visa cost?
The application fee is £298. Additionally, you must pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge, which is usually £470 per year.
What is the application processing time?
Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You may pay extra to receive a quicker decision, depending on where you are applying from.
Can I switch to a different visa category while in the UK on a Youth Mobility visa?
Individuals who wish to continue to stay in the UK may switch to an immigration category that allows them to settle and apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
What happens if I do not enter within the 90 days shown on the visa vignette?
If your 90-day visa vignette expires before you travel to the UK, you will need to replace it by transferring your visa to a new passport online. It costs £154 to replace your vignette. You’ll need to provide your biometric information at a visa application centre to complete your application. You’ll usually get a decision on whether your visa can be transferred within 3 weeks of proving your identity.
How will I prove my Immigration status?
Upon a successful application, you will be issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP Card) to prove your immigration status. You do not have to apply separately for a BRP as you’ll get one automatically if your visa or immigration application is approved.
Does time spent on a Youth Mobility Visa count towards settlement?
No, time spent in the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme does not count towards Indefinite Leave to Remain.
How we can help
To discuss your Youth Mobility Scheme visa application with an experienced adviser, please contact our friendly and professional team on +442087575751 or use our contact form.