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Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa (previously called the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa) is for nationals of qualifying countries aged between 18 and 30 who wish to live and work in the UK.

Contact our immigration solicitors for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

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What is the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa?

The Youth Mobility Scheme UK visa (previously called the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa) is for nationals of qualifying countries aged between 18 and 30 who wish to live and work in the UK.

The application process is very straightforward, and those who are successful can stay in the UK for up to 2 years. For those who want to stay longer in the UK, it is then possible to apply for a different type of visa (e.g. student visa, skilled worker visa, or UK start-up visa).

The benefits of the Youth Mobility Scheme UK visa are that you can:

  • Live in the UK for up to 2 years
  • Leave and re-enter the UK at any time during your stay
  • Work (there are few restrictions on the types of work you can undertake on this visa)
  • Study
  • Be self-employed and establish a company in the UK (the rules state that you cannot have employees, your premises must be rented, and you cannot have equipment worth more than £5,000).

It is important to note that if you turn 31 while in the UK on a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you will still be able to stay for the remaining duration of your visa.

Countries on the UK Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

The qualifying countries which are part of the UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa are:

  • Australia (30,000 places)
  • Canada (6,000 places)
  • Monaco (1,000 places)
  • New Zealand (13,000 places)
  • San Marino (1,000 places)
  • Iceland (1,000 places)

There are some other qualifying countries. Nationals of these countries need to register their interest and be selected from a ballot1 before applying. The Youth Mobility Scheme ballot countries are

  • Hong Kong (1,000 places)
  • Japan (1,500 places)
  • South Korea (1,000 places)
  • Taiwan (1,000 places)

And finally, there are a number of types of overseas British citizens who can apply. You will be able to apply for a UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you are a British overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen, or British national (overseas).

The immigration rules also state that a person who is between 18 and 30 and from a qualifying country (or have a qualifying citizenship status) cannot apply if they have:

  • children under the age of 18 living with them
  • children they are financially responsible for
  • have already used the scheme in the past

Youth Mobility Scheme visa for Indian nationals

Nationals of India will be able to apply for a new India Young Professionals Scheme, which is due to be made available later in 2022 2. Applicants under this scheme will need to prove they have additional skills or qualifications. This is expected to include:

  • a qualification equal to or above RQF level 6 (this is degree level), or
  • at least three years’ work experience in an eligible skilled occupation

More details on the India Young Professionals Scheme will be made available by the Home Office in due course.

Requirements for Youth Mobility Scheme visa

You can apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you:

  • are aged between 18 and 30
  • are from a qualifying country (or have a qualifying British overseas citizenship status)
  • have at least £2,530 in your bank to support yourself while in the UK. Your funds must have been in your account for at least 28 days within the last 31 days before you apply.
  • do not have any children under 18 living with you or who are financially dependent on you
  • have not used the scheme before
  • have a clear TB test (this will depend on which country you are from)
  • have paid the application fee of £244
  • have paid the healthcare surcharge of £470 per year
  • do not pose a risk to the UK

Supporting documents required

When applying for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you will need to provide a small number of documents and items of evidence. You will be told which documents to provide. You may be asked to provide some or all of the following:

  • your current passport as proof of your identity and nationality (your passport must have at least one blank page)
  • a bank statement – this must show you have a minimum of £2,530 in savings, and these have been held in your account for at least 28 days within the last 31 days before you apply.
  • a clear tuberculosis (TB) test result – this depends on which country you are from3.

Any documents not written in English or Welsh will need to be translated.

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may be asked to provide other documents. Again, this will be explained to you when you apply.

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa Application Fees

Applicants for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa will need to pay an application fee of £244 and a healthcare surcharge of £470 per year. There is also a charge of £19.20 for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa Process

Once you have applied for your Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you can expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks.

To apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you will need to:

  • Complete the online application form4
  • Pay the application fee and healthcare surcharge
  • Arrange an appointment at your nearest visa application centre to have your fingerprints and photo taken for your biometric residence permit (you may also be able to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ mobile phone app. You will be advised which biometric options you have when you apply

If you are applying from a ballot country, you will need to follow a different process. Ballots are opened twice a year (in January and July). You will need to:

  • Email the home office providing your name, date of birth, passport number, and mobile phone number
  • If you receive an email advising you have been selected, you can then apply using the process above

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa Application Timeline

Day 1: Submit application, upload documents, book appointment, and pay fees

Day 2 - 14: Attend biometric appointment (if required)

Day 14 - 21: Receive a decision from Home Office

Day 22 and onwards: Collect passport and travel to the UK

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa Conditions

With a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you will be able to:

  • Live in the UK for up to 2 years
  • Leave and re-enter the UK at any time during your stay
  • Work (there are few restrictions on the types of work you can undertake on this visa)
  • Study
  • Be self-employed and establish a company in the UK (the rules state that you cannot have employees, your premises must be rented, and you cannot have equipment worth more than £5,000).

With a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you will not be able to:

  • Extend your visa (but you can apply for a different type of visa)
  • Work as a professional sportsperson such as a sports coach
  • Receive public funds/benefits
  • Bring your dependant family members with you on the same application – there is nothing to stop them from applying separately.

Switching from a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

While you will not be able to extend your Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you can apply to switch to a different visa. You will need to ensure you meet the criteria for the type of visa you are applying for. Each year, many Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders decide to stay and apply for a student visa, skilled worker visa, UK start-up visa, or family visa. Remember, you will need to apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

If you need help to decide which visa options are available to you, speak to one of our immigration solicitors who will be glad to assist you, on 020 3744 2797. We can also apply for your visa on your behalf and deal with the Home Office throughout the process.

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa application refused

If your Youth Mobility Scheme Visa application is refused, you may be able to submit an application for an administrative review if you believe a mistake has been made by the Home Office. It may also be possible to apply for a judicial review in rare circumstances, where the decision made was unlawful. There are several reasons for refusal, including:

  • There are concerns about the applicant’s conduct, character, associations or other reasons, which mean it would not be conducive to the public good to give them permission
  • If the applicant has a criminal record (this depends on the type and duration of the sentence and how long ago this was)
  • If the applicant has provided false information on their application
  • If the applicant has breached the immigration rules in the past
  • Where an applicant has used the Youth Mobility Scheme in the past
  • If the applicant has dependant children under the age of 18
  • If the applicant is already in the UK.

If you are considering applying for an administrative review, this must be done within 28 days of the refusal decision. An application form must be completed online5, and a fee of £80 paid. You will need to explain what errors you believe have been made by the Home Office, which led to your visa refusal. You can expect to receive a decision on your administrative review within 3 – 6 months.

Alternatively, you may consider submitting a fresh visa application or applying for a different type of visa.

We understand how disappointing it can be if you receive a refusal of your Youth Mobility Scheme visa. Our team can review your refusal and advise on the options available to you and the best way forward. Speak to one of our friendly immigration solicitors today on 020 3744 2797.


References

1 GOV.UK: Ballot System

2 GOV.UK: Ballot System

3 GOV.UK: TB Test

4 GOV.UK: Online Application Form

5 GOV.UK: Visa Administrative Review

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