Learn about the requirements for a youth mobility scheme visa and how to apply easily. Discover eligibility criteria and application process

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

Are you a young person who is assertive and is aspiring to explore new frontiers of the UK? The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa offers a two-year adventure around the world. The given article will teach you how to make your expectations of living and working in the UK possible. 

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

The YMS Visa is an opportunity for youths from selected countries to stay in the UK for up to 2 years and come into the new and interesting culture of the UK. It’s not only a means to travel, but a golden opportunity to work, study, and find yourself in one of the most fascinating countries on Earth in the process.

Unlocking Opportunities

The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa offers numerous possibilities:

Study: Enroll in courses and explore academic opportunities, though some studies may require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for certain subjects.

Work: Enjoy the freedom to work in most jobs across various industries, gaining international work experience.

Self-Employment: If entrepreneurship is your calling, set up your own business under certain conditions, including renting premises, limited equipment value, and no employees.

Your Stay In the UK

This visa offers flexibility during your stay in the UK: 

Freedom to Travel: You can come and go as you please, exploring the UK and returning home at your convenience throughout your two-year stay.

Limitations to Consider:

No Extensions: This visa cannot be extended, so make the most of your two-year adventure.

No Dependents: Unfortunately, family members, including dependents, cannot accompany you to the UK on this visa; each applicant must apply separately.


To qualify for this visa, you must meet specific criteria:

Age Requirement:

You must be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application, except for citizens of New Zealand and Australia, who can apply up to the age of 35 starting from January 31, 2024.


You can apply if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:





Hong Kong



New Zealand

San Marino

South Korea


Financial Requirements:

You must have at least £2,530 in your bank account, maintained for 28 consecutive days within the 31 days preceding your application.

Grounds for Refusal:

Ensure you do not fall under the UK government’s grounds for refusal policies, which could impact your application negatively.

Special Cases:

Some special cases may still be eligible, including:

British overseas citizen

A British overseas territories citizen

British national (overseas)

 Country Specific Requirement 

Australia, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand: Citizens from these countries have no additional eligibility criteria to fulfill.

Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan: Applicants from these countries need to be selected in the Youth Mobility Scheme Ballot.

Applicants from San Marino must provide a letter confirming suitability from the Directorate of Political and Diplomatic Affairs of the Republic of San Marino Department of Foreign Affairs.

Icelandic applicants must submit a Criminal Certificate for Private Use issued no more than 6 months before the application date.

Indian applicants must:

Be invited to apply to the scheme and submit their application within the specified time.

Provide the unique application number for the invitation.

Present a local police certificate or police clearance certificate issued no more than 6 months before the date of application.

Either have a minimum of 3 years of work experience in a professional role equivalent to an eligible occupation listed in the Skilled Occupations list or qualify equal to or above RQF level 6.

The Youth Mobility Scheme Ballot

If you’re applying from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan, you must take part in the Youth Mobility Scheme Ballot. It happens twice a year, in January and July. Most applicants are chosen in the January ballot, and any leftover spots are filled in July. During the 48 hours, applicants need to email their entry, following specific rules

Successful Ballot Applicants

If you’re lucky enough to be chosen, you’ll receive an email notification. From there, you have 30 days to submit your application and pay the required fees. Once you’ve paid, you’ll have 90 days to book an appointment at the nearest visa application center. At the appointment, you’ll provide biometric information like fingerprints and a photograph. You will receive a decision on your visa within 30 days after your appointment. If approved, you’ll have 90 days to enter the UK.

Unsuccessful Ballot Applicants

If you’re not selected on the ballot. You can try again in the next round, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.

Application Process

Online Application: Complete the online application form, upload the necessary documents, and pay the visa application fee.

Document Checklist: Ensure you have the following documents ready:

A valid passport

A bank statement demonstrating at least £2,530 in savings

Tuberculosis test results if applicable (for applicants from Hong Kong, India, and South Korea)

Identity Verification: You must verify your identity by either visiting a visa application center to provide fingerprints and a photograph (for a biometric residence permit) or by using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan your identity document.

Fees and Processing

Getting a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa includes fees. The visa fee is £259, and you’ll need to pay an annual National Health Service surcharge, about £470 per year. You also need at least £2,530 in personal savings to meet financial requirements.

The processing time for these visa applications is usually within three weeks, making it a fairly quick process.

The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa offers exciting opportunities in the UK for young individuals globally. Whether you want to study, work, or discover yourself, this visa opens doors for a good experience. It’s your chance to embrace your youth, expand your horizons, and build lasting memories in a diverse and culturally rich nation. Embark on your UK adventure confidently, armed with the knowledge of the visa’s requirements and application process.

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