Youth Mobility Visa: Opening Doors for Young Travellers

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For many young people, living and working abroad is an aspiration. If you’d like to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years, then the Youth Mobility visa provides the perfect opportunity.

But what are the eligibility requirements and fees? How do you complete the application? Applying for a visa can be complicated. Aside from seeking legal advice from UK immigration solicitors, it helps to understand the process. Here’s what to expect with the Youth Mobility Scheme visa…

What is the Youth Mobility Visa?

With the Youth Mobility Scheme visa, young people between the ages of 18 to 30/35 can work in the UK for up to 2 years. There’s also no requirement for a specific job offer from a sponsoring organisation. Here’s what you can do with the visa…

What can you do with a Youth Mobility visa?

With the Youth Mobility visa, you can:

  • Work in most job roles
  • Be self-employed. You can set up a company, but your equipment must be less than £5,000, you must have no employees, and your premises must be rented.
  • Study, but some courses will require you to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate.

What you cannot do with a Youth Mobility visa

However, there are some limitations. On this visa, you cannot:

  • Work as professional sportsperson or sports coach
  • Access public funds, such as benefits
  • Automatically bring over your family members – they would require a separate application
  • Extend your stay (unless you’re from New Zealand, Canada or Australia)

Who is eligible for the Youth Mobility Visa UK?

Your eligibility ultimately depends on your age and which country you’re from.

If you’re from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or South Korea, then you can apply for this visa if you’re aged between 18 to 35 (when the visa starts).

If you’re from Andorra, Iceland, Japan, Monaco, San Marino or Uruguay, you can apply if you’re aged between 18 and 30 (when the visa starts). You can also apply if you’re recognised as a British overseas citizen, British overseas territories citizen, or a British national (overseas).

If you’re from Taiwan or Hong Kong (with an SAR passport), then you’ll need to be selected in the Youth Mobility visa ballot before you make an application.

There is a separate scheme available for Indian nationals, known as the India Young Professionals Scheme visa.

You’ll also need to show you have the money to support yourself. Specifically, you should be able to prove you have at least £2,530 in your bank account when you apply for the visa. This money must have been available to you for at least 28 days in a row. You should have applied for the visa no more than 31 days after day 28.

If you’re uncertain about whether you meet the eligibility criteria, you may wish to seek advice from experienced immigration solicitors.

Who can’t apply for the Youth Mobility visa?

You won’t be eligible to apply for the Youth Mobility visa if you:

  • Have children under the age of 18 who reside with you
  • Are financially responsible for any children
  • Have already travelled to the UK through this scheme

How much is the UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa fee?

There are several costs you’ll need to pay as part of the UK Youth Mobility visa. These are the application fee (£298) and the healthcare surcharge (£776).

How to apply to the Youth Mobility visa

You’ll need to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa online.

Proving your identity

To complete your application, you must prove your identity. The method you use to do this will depend on your nationality and passport type. You’ll be told which you need to do as you apply. You’ll either be required to:

  • Attend a visa application centre to get your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (for a biometric residence permit)
  • Scan in your identity documentation via the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app. You must also create or log in to your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account.

In some cases, an appointment will be required. You may need to travel to the nearest visa application centre, which is sometimes in another country. The centre may hold on to your passport and other documents as they process the application.

Required documentation

There are certain documents you’ll need to submit as part of your application. These include:

  • A valid passport or another document that proves your identity and nationality. Your passport must have at least one blank page for your visa.
  • A bank statement evidencing you have £2,530 or over in savings
  • Tuberculosis test results, if you reside in a country that requires you to take it

If any documents are not in English or Welsh, a certified translation will be required. You may need to provide further documents, depending on your circumstances and nationality. For example, if you’re from Andorra, you’ll need to submit an Andorran certificate of criminal records. You can read the full list on the website.

Applying for a Youth Mobility visa

It’s important to note that this blog post is for informational purposes only. Applying for your Youth Mobility Scheme visa can be confusing. Fortunately, Osbourne Pinner Solicitors is on hand to help you through every step. Our experienced UK immigration solicitors can advise you through the application process, from determining your eligibility to gathering your documentation.

If you’d like to discuss your application, we offer a free 30-minute consultation. Simply get in touch through our online application form below. You can also call us on 0203 983 5080 or email us at [email protected].

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