UK Youth Mobility Visas

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UK Youth Mobility Visas

The UK Youth Mobility scheme visa gives young people from certain countries around the world the opportunity to work and spend up to two years in the UK.

Individuals aged between 18 and 30 from a list of eleven countries, as well as those from British overseas territories, can take part in this cultural exchange programme, provided they have the required level of savings. Whilst in the country, Youth Mobility visa holders can study, work as employees, be self-employed or set up a company.

The visa application process can be complicated and errors will generally mean that your application is rejected. At IBB Law, our expert immigration lawyers understand how important a visa is to you, allowing you the opportunity to experience life in the UK.

We can put together your Youth Mobility visa application on your behalf together with the documents that need to accompany it to ensure that you have the best possible chance of securing a visa and taking up the opportunity to spend time in the UK.

Our team represents individuals from all of the eligible countries and territories and have a strong track record of success in obtaining Youth Mobility visas. If you ask us to represent you, we will start by checking that this is the best immigration route to the UK for you, taking into account your circumstances and what you would like to be able to do in the future. We will go through any other available UK visas with you where appropriate.

We can also advise you of your options in the event that your application for a Youth Mobility visa has been rejected or refused.

Our immigration solicitors also represent businesses who are looking to take on overseas workers, in particular where sponsorship licences are required.

Complete support for Youth Mobility visa UK applications

Our team of immigration experts acts for clients from all eligible countries and territories in securing UK Youth Mobility visas. Our services include the following:

  • Checking whether you are eligible to apply for a Youth Mobility visa and advising you of any alternatives, to include which option will be the most suitable for your situation
  • Putting together a Youth Mobility visa application on your behalf
  • Ensuring that all of the necessary documents to accompany your visa application are in order
  • Advising you in the event that your application for a Youth Mobility scheme visa is rejected or refused
  • Advising you of your options if you want to obtain another visa in a different category towards the end of your two-year stay under a Youth Mobility visa

For more information regarding our services, see UK business immigration lawyers.

Why choose IBB Law for help with applying for a UK Youth Mobility visa?

Our UK immigration experts at IBB Law can offer you:

  • In-depth knowledge of UK Immigration laws, policies and procedures.
  • Hands on support from experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the law so that you always receive practical and accurate advice.
  • A cost-effective and timely service with great attention to detail.
  • Independently accredited immigration expertise with our team being ranked by leading client guide the Legal 500 for Immigration Law.

Looking for immediate help with a UK Youth Mobility visa application?

If you want to come to the UK to live and work under a UK Youth Mobility visa, our team can provide assistance, advising you of your options and answering any questions you may have.

To discuss your situation with our industry-leading business immigration solicitors, you can call us on 03456 381381 or email

How to apply for a Youth Mobility visa for the UK

In the guide below you can find out more information about securing a Youth Mobility visa, sometimes referred to as a Tier 5 visa Youth Mobility, including the following key points:

Making a Youth Mobility visa application

Application for the UK Youth Mobility visa should be made online from outside of the UK and you must be in receipt of consent to enter the country before you arrive.

The government issues a set number of youth mobility visas for each country or territory every year. No limits apply in respect of British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas).

Quotas in respect of other countries and territories are as follows:

  • Australia – 30,000 places
  • New Zealand – 13,000 places
  • Canada – 6,000 places
  • Japan – 1,500 places
  • Monaco – 1,000 places
  • Taiwan – 1,000 places
  • Hong Kong – 1,000 places
  • South Korea – 1,000 places
  • San Marino – 1,000 places
  • Iceland – 1,000 places
  • India – 3,000 places

Deemed sponsorship Status has been given to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. This means that applicants can provide their passport from these countries to comply with the Youth Mobility visa requirements.

Applicants from San Marino, Iceland and India, where there is no Deemed Sponsorship, will need to provide evidence of sponsorship from that country in the six months prior to making their application as well as their passport or other identity document.

A ballot system is in place for applicants from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and India and you will need to be successful in a ballot before applying for a visa.

Youth Mobility visa refusals and rejections

If your Youth Mobility visa application has been refused or rejected because it contained errors, you may be able to apply again. You will need to set out the reasons why mistakes were made and explain that they were not intentional.

If you believe that an error was made in processing your visa application, you may be entitled to ask for an administrative review. It is recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure that you follow the correct process, giving you the best chance of the right outcome.

Renewing a Youth Mobility visa

The UK Youth Mobility visa cannot be renewed, however it may be possible for you to successfully apply for a visa in a different category. Other options include:

Student visa – for those wishing to study on a higher or further education course.

Skilled worker visa – for those who have been offered a job in the UK by a licensed employer who is able to issue a valid certificate of sponsorship.

UK Start-up visa – for individuals who wish to start a business in the UK.

If you hold a current Youth Mobility visa, we can advise you of your options if you wish to secure another visa to carry on your time in the UK.

Youth Mobility visa fees

The application fee for a Youth Mobility visa is £244.

You will also be required to pay a healthcare surcharge, usually £470 per year.

What rights does a Youth Mobility visa give you?

A Youth Mobility visa gives you the right to stay in the UK for up to 24 months. You can also leave and return to the UK at any time while your visa is valid.

If you turn 31 after your visa has been issued, you can still stay in the UK, provided that your visa remains valid.

You can study, although you may require an approval certificate if your area of study is at a graduate level and in certain sensitive areas, such as weapons technology. This requirement is waived for individuals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or South Korea.

You will also be able to work in most jobs as well as working in a self-employed capacity if you wish to do so.

You can set up a company provided it does not have employees and the equipment is not worth more than £5,000. Any premises must be rented and not purchased by you.

You will not be able to work as a professional sportsperson, to include working as a coach.

The Youth Mobility visa cannot be extended, you cannot bring family members, although they can apply separately for their own visa as appropriate, and you will not be entitled to claim any benefits.

Youth Mobility visa requirements

The following requirements exist for a UK Youth Mobility visa:

  • You must be aged between 18 and 30 as at the date of your visa application
  • You must be a citizen of one of the following countries or territories:
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Monaco
    • New Zealand
    • San Marino
    • Iceland
    • Hong Kong
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Taiwan
    • India
  • You can also apply if you are a:
    • British overseas citizen
    • British overseas territories citizen
    • British national (overseas)
  • You will need at least £2,530 in funds to show that you will be able to support yourself while you are in the UK and you will need to provide evidence of this. The money will need to have been held by you for at least 28 days and this must be within 31 days of applying for the visa.

If you are from the following countries, you will need to successfully enter the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before applying for the visa:

  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • India

Ballots are generally opened in January and July of each year and can be entered once by each person. Most of the applicants are selected in January, with the remaining places available in July.

The ballots open for 48 hours and entry is by email. You will need to send your name, date of birth, passport details and a mobile number. There is a set format for the subject line of your email, which should contain your last name, your first name, your date of birth (DD/MM/YYYY) and your passport number.

Once your email has been received, you will be given an automated reply. If you are successful, you will receive a further email confirming this. Your visa application should be made within 30 days of receipt of this.

You cannot apply for the Youth Mobility visa if you have children under the age of 18 who live with you or if you have children for whom you are financially responsible.

You cannot apply if you have already been in the UK under this visa.

Your application must be made online from outside of the UK.

Supporting documents for a Youth Mobility visa application

When you make your application, you will need to provide a number of documents in support, to include the following:

  • A valid passport or other identity document showing your identity and nationality
  • A bank statement showing that you hold at least £2,530 in savings
  • A tuberculosis test if you are from an affected country

Your passport or other identity document will need to have a blank page available for the visa.

You will also need to have provided biometric information to verify your identity. This can either be done at a visa application centre or via the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. If you visit a visa application centre, you will need to take your passport or other identification documents and these may be retained while your application is processed.

How long does it take to get a Youth Mobility visa?

After you have submitted your visa application and your biometric identity information has been verified and processed, you should receive a response within three weeks. You can pay extra to have your case dealt with more quickly if necessary.

Some visa application centres also have the option to fast-track the processing of your identity documents. There is an additional cost for this.

Get immediate expert advice on applying for a UK Youth Mobility visa

If you need expert advice and support with a UK Youth Mobility visa application, our highly experienced business immigration team will be happy to assist.

To discuss your situation with our industry-leading business immigration solicitors, you can call us on 03456 381381 or email