What is the UK youth mobility visa scheme?
The UK Youth Mobility Visa Scheme is a cultural exchange program aimed at workers of certain nationalities aged between 18 and 30 who come to the UK to live and work for up to two years.
Under the extended arrangements, those with a New Zealand passport can come to the UK for up to three years if they are aged between 18 and 35, while the scheme will be extended for Canadian citizens aged between 18 and 35 years old in 2024.
Who is entitled to the youth mobility program?
You can apply for the youth mobility program if:
- You are between the ages of 18 and 30 and are from one of the eligible countries.
- You have sufficient financial means to support yourself. You must have at least £2,530 in your bank account. You must have the money available for 28 consecutive days of applying for a youth mobility program.
- You applied for and gained entry under the Youth Mobility Scheme Route before you arrived in the UK.
- You must not have been to the UK before on the Youth Mobility Scheme.
You cannot apply if you have:
- Children under 18 living with you.
- Children who rely on you financially.
- I have already been to the UK under this program.
Documents required for the Youth Mobility Program visa
You need to prepare the following documents to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa:
- A valid and original passport or any other document proving your identity and nationality. Your passport must have a blank visa page.
- A bank statement showing you have savings of £2,530.
- A tuberculosis test if you are from one of the countries listed.
Please note: You must provide certified translations of documents that are not in Welsh or English. Additional documents may be required depending on your country of residence and/or specific circumstances.
Documents required for specific countries
- If you are from Hong Kong, Japan, the Republic of Korea or Taiwan, you must send a valid email confirming that you have passed the Youth Mobility Program ballot from the Ministry of the Interior.
- If you are San Marino you must present a letter from the Directorate of Political and Diplomatic Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of San Marino. The letter must confirm that you are eligible for the Youth Mobility Program and that it was issued to you less than six months before applying for the Youth Mobility Program visa.
- If you are from Iceland, you must present an Icelandic criminal certificate for private use (Sakavottorð). The certificate must be issued six months before applying for the visa for the youth mobility program.
How to apply for the youth mobility program visa?
To apply for the Youth Mobility Programme, you need to follow the steps below:
- You must apply online for the Youth Mobility Programme. You must complete the online application form. You must answer in English when filling out the application.
- Upload the documents required for the youth mobility program. You need to upload the documents for the Youth Mobility Scheme. You can scan or photograph documents. Documents must be PNG, JPG or JPEG. Scanned documents can also be PDFs.
- You must pay the required fees. You must pay the health surcharge and application fees for the Youth Mobility Scheme when submitting your online application.
- You must book an appointment at a visa application center. You need to make an appointment while completing the online application form. You can find your nearest VAC based on your biometric data by checking the Find a Visa center on GOV.UK.
- You must submit additional documents. If you are asked to provide supporting documents while applying, you can upload them online or present them at the visa application center when you have your appointment.
How much does it cost to apply for a youth mobility visa?
The cost to apply for a Youth Mobility Visa is £259. There will be an additional cost if you use one of the priority services to get a quicker decision: £500 for the priority service (for a decision within 5 working days of registering of biometric information from the applicant) or £800 for super priority service (for a decision within 24 hours).
The youth mobility visa applicant will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of their application. IHS is set at £470 per year of leave granted, equivalent to £940 for a 2 year visa. This will need to be paid for in advance, but will then allow the visa holder to access the NHS in the UK for the duration of their stay.
Youth Mobility Program visa duration
The youth mobility program is valid for two years. You can leave and return to the UK as long as your visa is valid. If you turn 31 while in the UK, you can stay for as long as your visa is valid.
Is it possible to extend the youth mobility program?
The youth mobility program cannot be extended. You can only stay for two years and cannot apply a second time for this program.
Is it possible to apply for the youth mobility program visa more than once?
You can only apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa once. Your application will be rejected if you have already been part of the youth mobility program previously.
Can you study with the Youth Mobility Program visa?
You can study with the Youth Mobility Scheme visa. For some courses you will need an Academic Technology Approval System certificate. You can do a job on the list of occupations with a shortage of skilled workers.
Frequently asked questions about the youth mobility visa
Does the UK accept youth mobility visas?
The UK Government allocates a certain number of youth mobility visas to each country or territory on an annual basis, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Monaco, San Marino, Iceland, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India.
Who is entitled to the youth mobility program?
An applicant must be aged between 18 and 30, have £2,530 in cash savings to demonstrate they can support themselves and be of a certain type of British nationality, such as a British Overseas Citizen, or from certain countries or territories. New Zealand citizens are eligible if aged between 18 and 35.
What documents are required for the UK youth mobility visa?
The applicant will need a valid passport or other travel document to prove their identity and nationality; a bank statement showing cash savings of at least £2,530 and, where applicable, your tuberculosis test results.
How much does the youth mobility visa cost?
The cost of applying is £259, although an additional fee will be payable for a priority service for a quicker decision. Visa decisions typically take around 3 weeks. The applicant will also have to pay an annual immigration health surcharge.