A guide to Youth Mobility Visas

 
  

When it comes to knowledge of the types of visa applications available, top London immigration solicitors find their UK and international clients do not often know about the option of applying for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa.

 
So what exactly is a Youth Mobility Visa and who is eligible to apply for one? The title “Youth Mobility Visa” implies that the visa applicant must be a youth, but the visa is open to eligible applicants who are aged between eighteen and thirty.
 
In addition to meeting the age criteria, a Youth Mobility visa applicant also needs to have a minimum level of savings (currently £1,890) and be a citizen from: 
 
• Australia
• Canada
• Hong Kong*
• Japan
• Monaco
• New Zealand
• Taiwan
• The Republic of Korea*
 
*Citizens from Hong Kong and from the Republic of Korea must obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship number before they can apply for a Youth Mobility Visa.  
 
The Youth Mobility visa scheme is also open to British overseas citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens and British overseas nationals.  
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
London based OTS Solicitors specialise in Immigration law. The legal directory, The Legal 500, recommends OTS Solicitors. The experienced Immigration team are experts at securing the best outcomes for Youth Mobility visa applicants and looking at visa options at the expiry of a Youth Mobility Visa.
 
For information about how OTS Solicitors can help provide the best expert legal advice and outcome for your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.
 

Youth Mobility Visa restrictions

 

If you are between eighteen and thirty years of age and a citizen of a relevant country, the Youth Mobility visa appears a very attractive option. However, top London immigration solicitors advise that there are some restrictions on the visa, namely:

 

• A Youth Mobility visa is for the applicant alone – if a family member wants to accompany the applicant to the UK then they will need to make a separate visa application;

• A Youth Mobility Visa only lasts for two years. The Home Office cannot extend the length of the Youth Mobility Visa. However, top London immigration solicitors can advise on alternate visa options at the expiry of a Youth Mobility Visa; 

• If a Youth Mobility Scheme visa holder wants to remain in the UK at the expiry of their visa, they may have to first leave the UK before being able to make a further visa application;

• The Home Office limits the number of Youth Mobility visas available. The visas are split between the countries;

• A Youth Mobility Visa applicant cannot previously have been in the UK on a Youth Mobility Visa; 

• Although a holder of a Youth Mobility visa can do most types of work in the UK (including voluntary work) a visa holder cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training or as a professional sportsperson;

• Although a holder of a Youth Mobility Visa can set up their own business in the UK restrictions apply, namely the business premises must be rented, the value of the business equipment must not exceed £5,000 and the visa holder must not take on any employees;

• A  Youth Mobility Visa cannot engage in state funded study, but they can study if the studies are privately funded. 

 

The length of the Youth Mobility Visa 

 
A Youth Mobility Visa lasts for two years. It cannot be extended, and a holder of a Youth Mobility Visa cannot apply for a second Youth Mobility Visa.  
 
top London immigration solicitors say that whilst the Youth Mobility visa is not a direct route to settlement in the UK, the Youth Mobility visa scheme provides a two-year window of opportunity to experience life and work in the UK. If a Youth Mobility Visa holder wants to continue to live in the UK after the expiry of their Youth Mobility Visa then top London immigration solicitors can look at the best visa options to secure that goal.
 

Visa options after the expiry of a Youth Mobility Visa 

 
If a Youth Mobility visa holder has loved living and working in the UK then many are eager to find a means to extend their stay in the UK. If a UK company has employed a Youth Mobility Visa holder, then the employer may be equally keen to retain their services because it can be hard, in an era of low unEmployment, to replace a good worker with an equally skilled and steady employee.  
 

New visa routes after the expiry of a Youth Mobility Visa include:

 
• Start-up Visa;
Innovator Visa;
tier 2 (General) Visa.
 
There are many other visa options. However, the tier 2 worker visa categories are popular if a Youth Mobility visa holder has been in work. The best London immigration solicitors say that Start-up Visas and Innovator Visas are relatively new visa options. For Youth Mobility Visa holders who set up their own self-employed business whilst in the UK the new Start-up and Innovator Visas may be an attractive option.
 

Start-up Visas 

 
The Start-up Visa is a new type of visa designed to suit new entrepreneurs who want to establish a business in the UK. It may be an ideal option if an applicant has some business experience because of being self-employed during their Youth Mobility Visa. However, business experience is not sufficient. The migrant Entrepreneur also has to have a business idea that is:
 
• Innovative;
• Viable;
• Scalable;
• Approved by an Endorsing Body. 
 
That is just a brief summary of the key requirements to be eligible to apply for a Start-up visa. A Youth Mobility visa holder cannot apply for a Start-up Visa whilst in the UK. The application has to be made from their country but to secure the best outcome it is vital to get business immigration advice on the visa application process. 
 

Innovator Visa 

 
The Innovator Visa is another new visa designed for entrepreneurs. The main difference between the Start-up Visa and Innovator Visa is that entrepreneurs with more business experience are suited to the Innovator Visa. 
 
Unlike the Start-up Visa, which lasts for two years, an Innovator Visa last for three years, and can be extended. However, the business criteria is harder to secure the Innovator Visa than the Start-up Visa.
 

The tier 2 (General) Visa 

 
If a Youth Mobility visa holder has held down a graduate level type job, their employer may be keen to retain them at the expiry of their visa. If the employer already has a Sponsor Licence, or wants to apply for a Sponsor Licence, the employer may be in a position to enable applicant to secure a Certificate of Sponsorship and obtain a tier 2 (General) Visa. This can be the best outcome for both employer and employee.  
 
Once a company has a Sponsor Licence, then the next step to convert the Youth Mobility visa employee into an employee on a tier 2 (General) visa is to see if the job that they are employed to do is on the UK Shortage Occupation List. If the job is not on the list then a Resident Labour Market Test has to be carried out to assess whether any UK (or EEA citizens whilst there is freedom of movement) can fill the position. If there are no suitable employees, the Certificate of Sponsorship can be offered to the employee who can then apply for a tier 2 (General) Visa.   
 
These visa options after the expiry of a Youth Mobility Visa are just a few of the visa routes available. top London immigration solicitors advise all Youth Mobility visa holders to get early legal advice to explore their best visa options if they want to stay in the UK after the expiry of their Youth Mobility visa.  
 

How can OTS Solicitors help?

 
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London and is a Legal 500 leading firm. By making an appointment with one of our business immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to speak to one of our experienced immigration solicitors to discuss your Youth Mobility visa application or visa options.
 

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For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

 

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