July ballots for UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme and Young Professionals Scheme: how to enter
+44 (0) 20 4551 4787
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+44 (0) 20 4551 4787
+44 (0) 7855 817714
18 July 2023
The UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme – and its similar reciprocal scheme with India – the Young Professionals Scheme have ballots this month, with dates and details now released for both handy two year visas.
The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) is a handy visa for young people from eligible countries to try life in the UK for up to two years for most countries, as well as for young Brits to try living and working in the countries participating in the reciprocal cultural exchange.
Which nationalities participate in Youth Mobility Schemes and what is the allocation for each country?
The allocation for different participating nationalities does not follow the population size of those countries. India for instance, will have 3,000 places for its Young Professionals Scheme. Far less populous Iceland has 1,000 places, while San Marino, with a population of just 33,000 has 1,000 places on the scheme. The total allocation of places listed for 2023 for each country participating in the scheme was 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
There is no annual limit on places for British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas).
Which nationalities can enter July’s Youth Mobility Scheme visa ballot?
As some nationalities may have more applications than their allocation, they need to apply to a random ballot held twice a year to be accepted to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme.
Before applying for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa you must be first selected in a ballot if you’re a national of:
- Hong Kong (with an SAR passport)
- South Korea
There is also a ballot held for the Young Professionals Scheme which was launched this year as part of the UK’s trade negotiations with India.
When is the next Youth Mobility Scheme ballot?
This year’s second ballot to apply for the 2023 Youth Mobility Scheme opens from 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and closes at 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023.
When is the ballot for the Young Professionals Scheme for Indian nationals?
The next ballot will open at 13.30 (1:30pm) India Standard Time on 25 July 2023, and close at 13.30 (1:30pm) India Standard Time on 27 July 2023.
What are the eligibility requirements of the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme?
Eligible nationals must be aged under 31 on the date they apply for their visa (under 36 for New Zealanders since last month, with the age limit going up similarly for Australians on 31 January 2024, and at some point next year for applicants from Canada) and at least 18 years old on the date that the visa would become valid.
Those living with their children under the age of 18 or financially responsible for children cannot apply. People cannot apply if they have already been in the UK under the scheme.
You must be self-sufficient. The financial requirements for the Youth Mobility Scheme are proven savings of £2,530 held for a 28-day period. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.
Applicants may need to be certified free from tuberculosis depending on where they have been in the past six months. Usual Home Office general grounds of refusal based on applicants’ history (eg: criminality) apply.
There are additional education or professional experience requirements for Indian applicants for the Young Professionals Scheme (see below.)
How to apply to the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot
There are usually ballots in January and July every year. The majority of applicants tend to be chosen during the January ballot and the remaining places allocated in the July ballot. Unsuccessful applicants can apply again if they still meet the eligibility requirements.
To enter, if you will meet the above eligibility requirements, send one email during the 48 hour ballot to the relevant address below. You will get an automated reply confirming your entry.
All emails must be in English.
The subject line of the email must include applicants’ name, date of birth and passport number in the format: Last name First name – DD/MM/YYYY – passport number. (EG: Smith Jane – 31/03/1999 – 123456789)
The body of the email must include your
- date of birth
- passport number
- mobile phone number
Unsuccessful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the ballot closing. If still eligible they can enter the next ballot.
Youth Mobility Scheme applicants from Hong Kong
Email: hongkong.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Hong Kong time) to enter the ballot.
Youth Mobility Scheme applicants from Japan
Email Japan.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Tokyo time) to enter the ballot.
Youth Mobility Scheme applicants from South Korea
Email southkorea.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Seoul time) to enter the ballot.
Youth Mobility Scheme applicants from Taiwan
Email Taiwan.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Taipei time) to enter the ballot.
If you are picked in the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot
Applicants picked to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme should receive an email by Monday 31 July. Remember to check your email’s junk inbox. You then have 30 days to submit and pay for an application. After paying there is usually 90 days to book a biometric appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) to provide fingerprints and a photograph.
You are meant to be notified of the success of your visa within three weeks of your appointment, with 90 days to enter the UK.
What does a Youth Mobility Scheme visa entitle you to?
Successful applicants will be given a visa for 24 months (36 months for New Zealanders now and for Australians from 31 January. Canadians on the YMS will be able to stay for up to three years from some point next year too). People on the YMS can enter, leave and re-enter the UK any time during the period. If you turn 31 (or 36 if from New Zealand – or Australia and Canada from next year) during this period you can still stay in the country as long as the visa is valid.
You will be able to study 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.
What about the Young Professionals Scheme from India?
As part of the UK and India’s post-Brexit trade deal, 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 Youth Mobility Scheme applicants from other eligible nations do not need to worry about.
Who is eligible for the Young Professionals Scheme from India?
To be eligible for a Young Professional Scheme visa you must fulfil the same criteria as the YMS, plus have the educational qualifications below:
- be an Indian national or citizen over 18 and 30 years old
- be at least 18 years old on the date you plan to travel to the UK
- 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
- have a qualification at bachelor’s degree level (or equivalent) or above (Regulated Qualifications Framework level 6, 7 or 8)
- You can’t apply if you’ve already been in the UK under this scheme or the Youth Mobility Scheme.
If eligible you must first apply to and be selected in the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot before you can apply for your visa.
How to enter the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot
The link to enter the ballot will appear on this UK Government web page and will be open from 1:30pm India Standard Time on 25 July 2023 to 1:30pm India Standard Time on 27 July 2023.
You will need to provide your:
- date of birth
- passport details
- a scan or photo of your passport
- phone number
- email address
Successful entries will be invited to apply for a visa and will have 30 days from the date of the email to apply online and pay the visa application fee and immigration health surcharge.
How should applicants that don’t need a ballot apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme?
Those who don’t need a ballot can apply online here for the Youth Mobility Scheme. They will need to provide biometrics as above at a visa application centre. Applicants from Iceland, San Marino and India will need to provide certain country-specific documents.
How much does the Youth Mobility Scheme cost?
The application fee for a Youth Mobility visa (or Young Professionals Scheme visa) is £259. An Immigration Health Charge to cover healthcare by the National Health Service must also be paid with the visa application. This costs £470 per year of staying in the UK under the visa. The UK Government has announced that these fees are set to rise.
What is the good news for Youth Mobility Scheme applicants from New Zealand, Canada and Australia?
In July 2022 then Prime Minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern signed an agreement to extend the Youth Mobility Scheme and Working Holiday scheme to include those aged 30–35 and increase the length of time people can stay in each country to three years. This has now been the case since June of 2023, meaning New Zealanders from 18-35 can stay in the UK for up to three years on the YMS.
This will also be the case with Australians arriving under the Youth Mobility Scheme from 31 January 2024. According to an announcement as part of the Free Trade Agreement, the scheme will be extended up to the age of 35 rather than 30 and for up to three years rather than two.
Those from Canada are also scheduled to have the applicant age increased to 18-35 from 18-30 and the length of the visa extended to 3 years from 2 sometime next year under arrangements recently announced by the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and the UK Minister of State for Immigration.
For more details on the Youth Mobility Scheme, Young Professionals Scheme and other immigration options, contact us on +44 (0) 207 033 9527 or email@example.com.