Youth Mobility Visa UK 2024 [Updated]

car driving through Scottish highlands

The Youth Mobility visa UK is a working holiday scheme that allows young people to work in the UK without job sponsorship. This visa is a popular one as it allows you to travel around the UK whilst gaining work experience for two years. You do not have to be sponsored by an employer, meet salary thresholds or have a degree. For most nationalities you must be aged between 18 and 30 years old. In this article, we will detail what the scheme can offer, the advantages of this visa over others and the recent changes made in 2024.

Youth Mobility Visa UK Changes 2024

On the 31st of January 2024, there were a few changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme increasing the visa to more applicants around the world. More countries were added to the scheme whilst some existing countries had their age limit or visa duration increased.

Countries added to the scheme for 2024

  • Andorra
  • Uruguay

Age limit increased to 18-35 for 2024

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand

Visa duration increased to three years for 2024

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand

Why apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme UK?

What is the Youth Mobility visa UK?

The United Kingdom has long been a popular tourist destination and in 2022 attracted over 30.7 million international tourists. This made the UK the seventh most visited country in that year. Depending on your style, you can visit historical landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle and Stonehenge. Others visit the UK to see the scenery of the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall or the Lake District. Most young people also like to attend British Festivals in the warmer months, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to music festivals such as Glastonbury.

Most people will apply for the Youth Mobility visa UK to have a career in a country that has long been popular with companies around the globe. Career opportunities are plentiful in the UK, particularly in the big cities such as London, Manchester and Edinburgh. The UK offers a wide ranging job market and is a popular career destination for finance, technology, healthcare and supply chain. The visa is also popular for applicants looking to improve their English skills, this will help them in the business world in many other countries.

Youth Mobility visa UK Eligibility

Who is eligible for the Youth Mobility visa UK?

Many countries are able to participate in the scheme but the requirements differ depending on the nation.

Eligible Countries

  • Andorra – 100 places
  • Australia – 35,000 places
  • Canada – 8,000 places
  • Hong Kong – 1,000 places
  • Iceland – 1,000 places
  • Japan – 6,000 places
  • Monaco – 1,000 places
  • New Zealand – 13,000 places
  • San Marino – 1,000 places
  • South Korea – 5,000 places
  • Taiwan – 1,000 places
  • Uruguay – 500 places
  • * British Overseas Territories Citizentypes of British nationality citizens
  • * India – You must apply through the India Young Professionals Scheme

How many times can you apply for the Youth Mobility visa UK?

You must be a first time applicant and can only have been accepted for this visa once. Although, applicants from Australia, Canada and New Zealand can now stay for up to three years with an extension.

Age Limit

If you are from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or South Korea. You can apply for the scheme if you are aged between 18 and 35. You must be over 18 years old when the visa starts or under 35 when you apply for it.

If you are from Andorra, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Monaco, San Marino, Taiwan, Uruguay or a British overseas citizen. You can apply for this visa if you aged between 18 and 30 years old.

Is there a ballot for the Youth Mobility visa UK?

If you are from Hong Kong and own a SAR passport, or Taiwan. You will need to enter a ballot in order to qualify for the Youth Mobility Scheme. Applicants are picked at random from two ballots per year, normally held in January and July with around 1000 places being made available.

young people standing at a music festival

How much money do you need for the Youth Mobility visa UK?

You must have sufficient funds when applying for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa, the total minimum costs will vary depending on your circumstances.

Application Fee

£259

Healthcare

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) entitles you to use the NHS if you become unwell or have an accident while in the UK.

You have to pay the IHS even if you do not use the NHS or even if you have your own private health insurance, the cost is £470 per year.

If you are applying for a 2-year visa you will have to pay £470 each year, therefore you will have to pay a total of £940.

Sufficient Funds

You must have at least £2,530 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK, a bank statement will suffice.

The financial requirement is to show you have enough money for your living costs.

Can you switch from the Youth Mobility visa UK to another skilled visa?

Not directly, but being in the UK and potentially working for an employer that is willing to sponsor you will greatly increase your chances. This is because employers are most likely to offer job sponsorship if you have already been working for them or in the UK before. This gives you an advantage over other applicants who are applying from another country, who employers may perceive as more of a risk.

If you are a healthcare professional such as a nurse, doctor or care worker and looking to work in the NHS. This visa can be a great way to get your foot in the door, the NHS is well known for offering job sponsorship on a Health and Care Worker visa, once the Youth Mobility ends.

Required Documents for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

You must bring relevant documentation that will require some preparation before arriving in the UK. Although, This will vary depending on your occupation, nationality and length of stay.

  • A valid passport for the entirety of the visa
  • Bank statement proving sufficient funds, currently £2,530
  • Tuberculosis test (from certain countries)

Criminal Record Certificate

If you are applying for certain jobs mostly in the public sector such as healthcare, welfare and education sectors. You will need to provide a criminal record certificate for any country in which, since the age of 18, you have been present for 12 months or more in the 10 years before the date of your application.

Identity

For most applicants you must prove your identity by booking an appointment at a Visa Application Centre in your current country. The appointment will include collecting your fingerprints, facial photograph and signature. The UK government website has a list of addresses for each eligible country.

Can I bring my family?

This visa does not allow any family members to join directly, they would have to apply for their own individual visa.

Can this lead to British citizenship?

This visa does not count towards becoming a British citizen, only work visas will contribute towards this. The Youth Mobility Scheme however does allow you to work and build relationships with employers who will sponsor you after the visa ends. This is an advantage over applicants who have never worked in the UK and are applying abroad.

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