What is the Youth Mobility Scheme?
The Youth Mobility Scheme, previously called the Tier 5 visa or Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa, is a visa programme that allows eligible young people to come to the UK to live, work, and travel for up to two years (24 months).
This Youth Mobility Scheme visa replaces the UK Working Holiday visa. Under the new immigration system, this is now a points-based visa and applicants must obtain 50 points in order to be granted this visa.
The Youth Mobility Scheme has replaced the older Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa. There are strict eligibility criteria, including an age requirement. Applicants must be aged between 18-35 years old and this is a one-time-only visa, meaning that it cannot be applied for or used more than once.
For more information or assistance with this visa, contact our Immigration lawyers via phone on 0191 303 8965 or chat with us through our live chat.
Eligible countries for the Youth Mobility Scheme
There are only eight countries with which the UK has a reciprocal agreement in place, meaning that there is a limited number of Youth Mobility visas issued each year unless you are a British overseas territories citizen because there is no quota on the number of British Overseas citizens that can get the Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
The eligible countries for the Youth Mobility scheme include Australia, Canada, Monaco, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and San Marino. British Overseas Territories citizens can apply as well. Applicants have a number of options in terms of working and studying restrictions.
You can also apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility scheme as a British overseas citizen, British overseas territories citizen, or British national (overseas) if you’re 18 to 30 and meet other requirements.
Who can apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa?
While there are many advantages to the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visa, there are strict eligibility requirements in place.
To be granted the Youth Mobility visa, you should demonstrate that the following circumstances apply to you:
- You are aged between 18 and 30 years old
- If you’re from New Zealand, you may be aged between 18 to 35. Australians aged 18 to 35 will also be eligible from 31 January 2024
- You intend to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months
- You can show that you have a minimum of £2,530 in personal savings
- This money must be cash in a bank account or financial institution. Investments, shares, bonds, credit cards and pension funds are not acceptable.
- You are a citizen of one of the eight participating countries in the scheme
- You do not have a child aged under 18 who is financially dependent on you
Depending on your individual situation, there may be further requirements you must meet for the Youth Mobility Scheme.
As designed by the UK government in the UK immigration law, you must demonstrate that you have met 50 points in order to be eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme. Being a citizen of one of the eight eligible countries awards you 50 points. Being between the ages of 18 and 30 when your visa begins to give you another 10 points while demonstrating that you have the required finances gives you the final 10 points.
The point-based system isn’t so easy to navigate, especially if you are new to UK immigration. For assistance, call us on 0191 303 8965.
Required documents for the Youth Mobility visa
When preparing your Youth Mobility scheme application, you should demonstrate clearly that you meet the eligibility requirements through the submission of required documents.
Some of these documents include:
- Passport or valid travel document
- A bank statement or other official evidence showing that you meet the minimum financial savings
- Clear tuberculosis test (where relevant)
If any documents are in a language other than English or Welsh, you will need to provide certified translations to accompany them.
How to apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa
Compared to some other visa applications, obtaining the YMS visa is a relatively easy process. In order to apply for the YMS visa, you can use the Gov.uk site to apply for the visa online.
It is important to prepare all the documents necessary. Ensure that your passport is in date for at least six months from the date you intend to enter the UK.
Ensure that you have official bank statements on headed paper from your financial institution to show that you meet the financial requirement.
Complete your application online and pay the fees when requested. You may have to attend a visa application centre in your country in order to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and facial photograph).
You may also be required to send your passport and wait for it to be returned as part of the application process for the Youth Mobility Scheme.
When applying for a Youth Mobility visa, you must pay the immigration healthcare surcharge as part of the application.
Citizens of certain countries must be selected in the Youth Mobility visa ballot before they can apply. That includes Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Obtaining the Youth Mobility Scheme visa can be challenging. For the best chances of success, it is recommended that you reach out to expert immigration lawyers for assistance with the Youth Mobility Scheme visa. Call us on 0191 303 8965 to find out more about how we can help you.
Youth Mobility Scheme visa application fee
The fees involved in the YMS visa include the application fee (£259) and the immigration health charge (£940). There is also a fee involved in providing your biometric information at the visa application centre, however, this is dependent on your location.
There are some optional costs involved in obtaining a Youth Mobility Scheme visa. You may be able to pay extra to receive a quicker decision, keep your passport during the application process, or walk-in appointments at the visa application centre.
Waiting time for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa
Unlike other visas, you can submit your YMS visa application up to six months in advance of the date you intend to come to the UK.
Most Youth Mobility Scheme applicants will receive a decision from the Home Office in under three weeks. However, you may be able to apply for a priority application service to receive a decision in either five or one working day(s) with a priority service. This will cost £500 or £800, depending on which option you choose.
If you have received a positive decision on your application, you will be given 90 days to enter the UK. You will be given a sticker on your passport (known as a vignette) that outlines this information.
Note that having a Youth Mobily visa does not automatically grant you entry into the UK; when you get to the border, an officer will assess your eligibility for entry clearance.
What are the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa conditions of stay?
While there are broad freedoms involved in the YMS, there are restrictions on the type of work you can do. Similarly, your rights are not the same as British nationals.
You have permission to do the following with the YMS visa:
- Study on a course
- Work in most types of jobs
- Work as a self-employed person and set up your own business (you may not hire others, any premises must be rental-only, and any equipment should be valued at not more than £5,000)
You may not do any of the following: work as a professional sportsperson (including as a coach), access public funds or have family members join you on your application (any family members must apply separately).
Newcastle Immigration Lawyers can assess your eligibility, advise on your circumstances for the Youth Mobility Scheme and prepare a high-quality application for you. Contact us today.
Sponsorship requirement for the Youth Mobility Scheme
Depending on where you are applying from, there is a requirement to demonstrate sponsorship under UK immigration law when applying for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa. You need a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed organisation that can be an organisation running an approved exchange program, a government department or agency, and a higher education institution.
San Marino passport holders should provide evidence of sponsorship issued by the relevant government body of San Marino and submit their application while resident in San Marino.
If you are from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, or Taiwan, your passport must be provided as evidence of sponsorship for the Youth Mobility visa. A British Overseas Territories citizen can apply without sponsorship.
As well as this, the place where you submit your application is not limited to the country of which you are a citizen.
UK employers in the hospitality or care sector must get a sponsor licence to hire interns under this scheme.
Last modified on July 26th, 2023 at 8:29 am
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
The Youth Mobility scheme visa can only be extended if you’re from New Zealand. Australian nationals will also be able to extend their visa from 31 January 2024.
If you’re eligible, you will be able to extend your visa by one year when you’ve spent full two years in the UK with it. You should submit your application for extension no more than 28 days before your current visa’s expiry date.
You can only extend your visa once.
Extending a Youth Mobility Scheme visa costs £259. You will also have to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge.
For other applicants from other countries, the only way to continue to stay in the UK will be applying for another UK visa before your current visa expires.
If one of the following situations applies to your situation, you may be refused the Youth Mobility Scheme visa:
- You have previously applied for, been granted, and spent time in the UK on the YMS visa
- You have a child aged under 18 who you are financially responsible for
- You have received a criminal conviction in the last 18 months
- You are at risk for overstaying your visa or posing a risk to the general public
- You have not completed the application correctly
It is important to note that UK visas are issued at the discretion of the Home Office and you must comprehensively demonstrate how you meet the eligibility requirements.
Ensure that when you apply for the visa online, you do it well or take the services of expert immigration lawyers like us for the best chances.
If your visa application has already been refused, you may be able to get an administrative review. Contact us for advice on the next best step.
No. If you have a child while in the UK on a Youth Mobility visa, you must apply online for their visa and note that they are your dependent in their visa application. According to UK immigration law, they are not automatically British citizens.
The UK government is strict on this; if you do not apply for your own visa, you may not be able to travel in and out of the UK with your child.
When registering them as a Youth Mobility visa dependent, you will have to provide their UK birth certificate that shows your name and the name of the other parent.
Under the Youth Mobility scheme visa, you can stay in the UK for up to two years and:
- Study, if you have an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
- Get a job that is in the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list
- Have a second jobs, where you work for at most 20 hours a week
- Do a job that complies with UK laws
- Switch to the Investor visa
- Carry out work as a self-employed person with a registered company if you meet certain conditions
You are not allowed to work as a doctor, dentist in training, coach or professional sportsperson unless you can show proof of valid qualification in that area. Also, you cannot:
- Take permanent employment
- Stay in the UK for more than 24 months
- Take public funds
- Settle in the UK
- Have others as dependents of your visa
Note that if you turn 31 while in the UK (that is past the eligible age), you can stay till your visa expires but you cannot extend it. So, you’d either have to switch to another visa before it expires or leave the country.