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by Ross Kennedy

More ballots this month to apply for the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme visa

5 July 2022

When is the next Youth Mobility Scheme ballot?

This year’s second ballot to apply for the 2022 Youth Mobility Scheme will be open from Monday 25 July to Wednesday 27 July 2022.

This visa programme for people aged 18 to 30 is largely oversubscribed so there will be a 48-hour ballot for applicants from some of the eligible countries this month.

Who can enter the Youth Mobility Scheme visa ballot?

Before applying for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa you must be first selected in a ballot if you’re from:

  • Hong Kong (with an SAR passport)
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

There will also be an India Young Professionals Scheme with a later ballot – details to be confirmed (see below).

Who is eligible for the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme visa without a ballot?

You can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa without a ballot if you’re aged 18 to 30 and you’re from:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • Iceland

You can also apply if you’re 18 to 30 and a:

What are the eligibility requirements for the Youth Mobility Scheme?

You must be aged under 30 on the date you apply for your visa and at least 18 on the date that the visa would become valid.

You cannot apply if you have children under the age of 18 who live with you or children that you are financially responsible for. People cannot apply if they have already been in the UK under the scheme.

The financial requirements for the Youth Mobility Scheme are demonstrating savings of £2,530 held for a 28-day period.

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 (see below.)

How much does the Youth Mobility Scheme cost?

The application fee for a Youth Mobility visa is £259, which must be paid on top of the Immigration Health Charge of £470 per year (£940 for the two-year visa).

How to apply to the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot

There are generally ballots in January and July every year. Most applicants are usually chosen during the January ballot and the remaining places are allocated in the July ballot. Unsuccessful applicants can apply again.

To enter, if you meet the above eligibility requirements, send one email during the 48 hour ballot to the addresses 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: Singh Claire – 31/03/2000 – 123456789)

The body of the email must include your

  • name
  • 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.

Applicants from Hong Kong

Email HongKong.YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 25 July and midday Wednesday 27 July 2022 (Hong Kong time) to enter the ballot.

Applicants from Japan

Email Japan.YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 25 July and midday Wednesday 27 July 2022 (Tokyo time) to enter the ballot.

Applicants from South Korea

Email SouthKorea.YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 25 July and midday Wednesday 27 July 2022 (Seoul time) to enter the ballot.

Applicants from Taiwan

Email Taiwan.YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 25 July and midday Wednesday 27 July 2022 (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 29 July. Remember to check your email’s junk inbox!

You have 30 days to submit and pay for an application once you’ve received your email. 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. However, UKVI is experiencing delays processing work visas at the moment due to focusing resources on Ukrainian applications, so applications are likely to take longer.

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 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.

What does the Youth Mobility Scheme visa allow?

Successful applicants will be given a visa for 24 months and they can enter, leave and re-enter the UK any time in the period. If they turn 31 during this period they can still stay in the country as long as the visa is valid.

They 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 they do not have any employees. They may not work as a professional sportsperson, extend their stay, get public funds or bring any family members to the UK on their visa.

While this is not a route to settlement, time spent on the Youth Mobility visa can count towards 10 years of continuous lawful residence for settlement.

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme allocation for each country?

The amount of places for different participating countries you will notice bears little relation to the size of population of those countries. India for instance, has 3,000 places for the 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 for 2022 for each country participating in the scheme is as follows:

  • Australia – 30,000 places
  • Canada – 6,000 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

How will the Young Professionals Scheme from India work?

As part of the UK and India’s post-Brexit trade deal, 3,000 applicants from India will be able to come to the UK on a “Young Professionals Scheme”- though they are subject to “country-specific eligibility requirements.”

Indian applicants must either be educated to RQF level 6 or above, or evidence three years’ work experience in a skilled role equivalent to those on the UK Government’s Appendix Skilled Occupations list. They must also provide a local police certificate or a police clearance certificate that has been issued no more than six months before the date of application.

There will be a ballot to apply but more details are yet to be announced.

What is the good news for Youth Mobility Scheme applicants from New Zealand and Australia?

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have signed an agreement this month 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 not been written into the Immigration Rules yet, so full details are yet to be announced.

This is also the case with Australians arriving under the Youth Mobility Scheme. 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. (up to age 35, up to three years). We do not know when this change will commence either. The side letter to the Australia FTA indicated that those changes would come within two years.

We can help with all stages of such applications and identify the best options for those seeking to work in the UK and employers looking for a trouble free route to bring a candidate to Britain. For more details on the Youth Mobility Scheme and other immigration options, contact us on +44 (0) 207 033 9527 or enquiries@vanessaganguin.com.