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2024 India Young Professionals Scheme ballot dates announced – how to apply

London and UK parliament through London Eye

13 February 2024

The next India Young Professionals Scheme ballot has been announced today. Eligible Indian nationals aged 18 to 30 have the chance to enter a ballot to live, work and study in the UK for up to two years. As part of the UK and India’s post-Brexit trade deal negotiations, it was announced that 3,000 applicants from India will be able to come to the UK on a Young Professionals Scheme – though they will be subject to extra “country-specific eligibility requirements” that other Youth Mobility Scheme bilateral agreements don’t entail. You can read about the requirements and countries participating in other Youth Mobility Scheme visa agreements here.

When is the ballot for Indians to apply to the Young Professionals Scheme?

The ballot will open at 2:30pm India Standard Time on 20 February 2024. It will close at 2:30pm India Standard Time on 22 February 2024. There will be 3,000 places available for the India Young Professionals Scheme visa in 2024. Most places will be made available in the February ballot that has just been announced.

The remaining places will be made available in a further ballot in July. Those unsuccessful in the February ballot will be able to enter the July ballot too.

How to enter the Young Professionals Scheme

The link to enter the scheme will appear on the UK Home Office website here for the 48 hours from 20 – 22 February. There were problems entering last year due to the volume of people entering, so be sure to enter in good time.

Who is eligible to apply for the India Young Professionals Scheme visa?

You must first apply to and be selected in the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot before you can apply to the scheme.

To be eligible for an India Young Professionals Scheme visa you must:

•        be an Indian national or citizen between 18 and 30 years old
•        be at least 18 years old on the date you plan to travel to the UK
•        have a qualification at bachelor’s degree level or above (Regulated Qualifications Framework level 6, 7 or 8)
•        have £2,530 in savings to support yourself in the UK
•        not have any children under the age of 18 who live with you or who you’re financially responsible for
•        you can’t apply if you’ve already been in the UK under this scheme or the Youth Mobility Scheme.

What happens if you are picked in the Young Professionals Scheme visa?

Successful entries will be invited to apply for a visa and will have a deadline usually 30 days from the date of their invite to apply online and pay the visa application fee and immigration health surcharge.

You will need to prove your identity by either having your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to get a biometric residence permit, or by using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document.
Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you should receive a decision on your visa application within around three weeks. You must travel to the UK within six months of applying for your visa.

How much does the Young Professionals Scheme application cost?

The ballot is free to enter. If successful in the ballot you do not need to tell the UK Home Office if you choose not to apply for a visa. If picked in the ballot, the visa application fee is £298, plus there is a £1,552 healthcare surcharge which is compulsory to be able to use the UK’s health service over the two years of the visa. Visa applicants will need to demonstrate £2,530 in personal savings.

What does a Young Professionals Scheme visa allow you to do in the UK?

Successful applicants will be given a visa for 24 months. People on the scheme can enter, leave and re-enter the UK any time during the period.

You will be able to study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate) and work in most roles, be self-employed, even set up a company so long as premises are rented, equipment is not worth more than £5,000 and there are no employees. You may not work as a professional sportsperson, extend your stay, receive public funds or bring any family members to the UK on your visa.

How do UK nationals apply for a visa for India under the Young Professionals Scheme?

The scheme is a reciprocal agreement with eligible UK graduates aged 18 to 30 able to travel and work in India for two years through the scheme. There is no ballot for British graduates applying to the scheme. The fee is £720 and details can be found on the High Commission of India website here.