Passport & Consular Services

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme?

The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS), also known as the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa, is a UK visa category that allows young people from specific countries to live and work in the UK for a limited period of time. It is designed to promote cultural exchange and facilitate travel and work opportunities for young individuals.

Here are key details about the Youth Mobility Scheme:

Eligibility criteria: To be eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme, applicants must be between 18 and 30 years old (or 18 to 35 years old for citizens of certain countries) and hold a passport from one of the participating countries. Each country has a specific quota for YMS visas, and eligibility requirements may vary slightly between countries.

Participating countries: The Youth Mobility Scheme is currently available to nationals of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong (SAR) and Republic of Korea (South Korea). The UK government periodically reviews the participating countries, and new countries may be added or removed from the scheme.

Length of stay: The Youth Mobility Scheme visa allows individuals to live and work in the UK for a maximum period of two years. This period cannot be extended, and individuals cannot switch to another visa category from within the UK.

Work and study permissions: Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders have the freedom to work and study in the UK. They can take up any employment, engage in self-employment, and pursue educational opportunities during their stay.

No sponsorship requirement: Unlike some other visa categories, the Youth Mobility Scheme does not require sponsorship from an employer or educational institution. Applicants do not need to have a job offer in order to apply.

Immigration Health Surcharge: When applying for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa, individuals are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which provides access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during their stay.

No access to public funds: Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders are not eligible to access certain public funds, including most welfare benefits and public housing.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and conditions of the Youth Mobility Scheme can vary over time. It’s advisable to consult the official UK government website or seek professional immigration advice for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the Youth Mobility Scheme and its requirements for your specific country of nationality.

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