What is a Youth Mobility Visa?
The Youth Mobility Scheme can be used by people between the ages of 18 and 30, who wish to live and work in the UK for a two year period. It is a form of Temporary Visa (Tier 5 Visa category).
To apply, a person must be a national of an eligible country. Included are nationals of Canada, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, as well as several others. When a person comes to the UK with this kind of visa, they can only be sponsored by a researcher or representative from an educational facility, not an employer or business.
Our team of Birmingham-based immigration lawyers is at hand to assist you if you want to find out more about the Youth Mobility Scheme. They can assess your eligibility, advise you on your next steps, and support you through an application. Call us on 0121 667 6530 to find out more about this visa route and how our team can help you.
General requirements for the scheme
For an application to be granted under this scheme, you must be a national from a specified country. See our section on ‘nationality requirements’ for a full list of the countries whose citizens are eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme.
As well as satisfying the nationality requirements, applicants must also meet the following requirements:
- They must be between the ages of 18 and 30
- They must have enough money to support themselves in the UK (without including any salary they earn)
- They must be able to demonstrate the above by showing that they have at least £1,809 held in their bank account (that they held at least 90 days before they made their application)
- They do not have anyone who is financially dependent on them (such as children or a financially dependent partner)
- They have not had a Youth Mobility Visa or Working Holiday Visa in the past
Which Nationals are Eligible?
You can only apply to come to the UK through this scheme if you are a national of one of the following countries:
– New Zealand
– Hong Kong
– The Republic of Korea
British overseas nationals and citizens of overseas British territories are also eligible for the Youth Mobility route.
There are several Youth Mobility Visa restrictions. The first, and most obvious, is that you must be a ‘youth’. To be classed as a youth you must be between the ages of 18 and 30. You must also be from one of the specified countries which are eligible for the scheme.
As well as these restrictions, you are also prohibited from the following:
- Bringing children or a spouse with you to the UK
- Extending your visa
- Using the time as part of the qualifying period for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
- Taking on work as a dentist or doctor in training
- Training as a professional sportsperson
As well as the restrictions that are placed on holders, the government also caps the number of Youth Mobility Visas that is assigned to people every year. It does this on a country-by-country basis.
It is important to note that you cannot extend this type of visa. If you come to the UK through the Youth Mobility Scheme, you can live and work in the UK for up to two years.
After this, if you want to live in Britain for a longer period you need to make a fresh visa application. You can apply for one of the following options if you wish to continue working as either an employee or in your own business after your visa expires:
- Tier 2 Work Visa
- Start-up Visa (formerly called the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa)
- Innovator Visa (formerly called the Entrepreneur Visa)
There are other options available for those to make a fresh visa application. However, these are the most common options.
It usually takes approximately three weeks to hear back after you make an application for a Youth Mobility Visa.
However, it could take longer depending on where you are applying from. For example, applications from Hong Kong can sometimes take longer to process are more evidence is needed at the submission stage.
You may be able to have your application processed faster by opting for a premium service.
The Youth Mobility Scheme costs are as follows:
- £244 Home Office application fee
- £400 per year for the Immigration Health Surcharge (total of £800 for the two years’ stay)
- £19.20 for biometric information to be processed
There may be extra costs involved with your application, such as lawyer fees if you instruct the help of an immigration caseworker, and extra fees for services like document sourcing or translation.
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Yes. You are permitted study in a British institution as either a full or part time student while in the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme.
You can do this for up to two years.
You cannot apply for this type of visa twice. However, if you wish to stay in your current role in the UK after your visa expires, your employer may be able to sponsor you to take on a Work Visa – such as the Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa. This will allow you to stay in the UK more permanently and can also allow you to settle in the UK and become a British citizen, if this is a path you wish to proceed with.
You can marry under this visa category. If you wish to stay in the UK with a British spouse or civil partner you should consider marrying them well in time for the expiry of your visa. This will give you time to apply for a UK Spouse Visa. This is a permanent form of Family Visa that can also lead to settled status and British citizenship if this is a route you are interested in pursuing.