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Youth Mobility Scheme Opened to Indian Nationals on the 1 January 2022

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It is the New Year so, as in previous years, there are a whole host of new immigration measures being brought in by the UK government. If you are an Indian national then, from the 1 January 2022, you can apply for a place on the UK Youth Mobility Scheme. In this article our UK immigration lawyers look at the eligibility criteria for the Youth Mobility Scheme.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors and Youth Mobility Scheme Lawyers

For help with your Youth Mobility Scheme application or immigration law advice call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

The new immigration route for Indian nationals and the Youth Mobility Scheme 

The immigration rules for the new UK immigration route for Indian nationals are contained in ‘Appendix Youth Mobility Scheme’, replacing the old immigration rules referred to as ‘Appendix T5  (Temporary Worker) Youth Mobility Scheme’.

The old Youth Mobility Scheme was not open to applications by Indian nationals but the new scheme is. Immigration solicitors warn that there is a big proviso. The scheme is only open to 3,000 Indian national applicants each year. That means that if you are interested in coming from India to the UK on the scheme it is best to submit your immigration application as soon as you can.

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme for Indian nationals?

Although there have been lots of reports in the British press about immigration rule changes for Indian nationals (making it appear in some newspapers as if the floodgates have been opened wide) the reality is that the existing Youth Mobility Scheme has been extended to include citizens from India and Iceland.

The Youth Mobility Scheme is an existing immigration route or cultural exchange programme that is age restricted. To be eligible to apply you need to be aged between eighteen to thirty and be from a country that is part of the scheme.

In many ways, it is easier to say what the Youth Mobility Scheme is not rather than to describe what it covers. The Youth Mobility Scheme is not:

  • A route to settlement in the UK – if you are granted a Youth Mobility Scheme place then you have UK entry clearance for up to two years. You cannot apply to extend your place on the Youth Mobility Scheme. However, if you are in the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme then your time in the UK will count towards your meeting the lawful and continuous residence requirement if you apply for indefinite leave to remain based on the ten-year residence route.
  • A UK based application – you can not be in the UK when you are applying for a Youth Mobility Scheme place. The application must be made from overseas.
  • A sponsored work route – if you secure Youth Mobility Scheme clearance you do not need a sponsoring employer with a Home Office issued sponsor licence to be able to work in the UK.
  • A family route- if you are eligible for the scheme you cannot apply to bring family members with you on dependant visas.

The Youth Mobility Scheme Eligibility Criteria for Indian nationals

Immigration lawyers acknowledge that the Youth Mobility Scheme rules and eligibility criteria are confusing as different rules apply to Indian national applicants than those for other countries. If you are an Indian national applying for a place under the scheme you will need to:

  • Meet the general eligibility criteria for UK entry clearance – in other words, you can't have criminal convictions for certain offences and
  • Pay an application fee – the amount is currently £244 and
  • Pay the Immigration Health Charge – the amount is currently £1,248 and
  • Provide your passport or travel paperwork to prove your identity and nationality and
  • Meet the financial requirement - you will need to have held the required minimum specified money for at least twenty-eight days and
  • Provide evidence of sponsorship from India. The sponsorship documents cannot be more than six months of age. Sponsorship is limited to 3,000 places on the scheme for Indian nationals and
  • Meet the education qualification or work experience requirement – to meet the education eligibility criteria you will need to have a qualification equal to or above RQF level 6 and be able to provide evidence of the qualification from the institution that gave you the qualification. Alternatively, you can meet the criteria through work experience. This means you need to have a minimum three-years work experience in a job that is equivalent to an eligible occupation contained in the skilled occupation list. This list is produced by the UK government. Evidence of work experience is required. Immigration lawyers can advise on the best evidence to produce in support of your Youth Mobility Scheme application.

The Youth Mobility Scheme ballot and applications by Indian nationals  

If you are an Indian national applying for a place on the Youth Mobility Scheme then you will need to participate in a Home Office  ballot process for scheme entry. This involves putting in an expression of interest for a scheme place from a pool of applicants. If you are lucky, a Home Office official will select you at random and provide you with an invitation to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme place. You should not enter the ballot if you are not ready to make your Youth Mobility Scheme application as your ballot draw is time limited.

If you are an Indian national interested in applying for the Youth Mobility Scheme it is best to get legal advice from specialist UK immigration solicitors who can advise on the eligibility criteria and look at any alternate individual immigration or business immigration options to work out which of your available entry clearance routes best meets your immigration requirements. Those needs will depend on your family and work circumstances and settlement goals.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors and Youth Mobility Scheme Lawyers

For advice on your Youth Mobility Scheme application or your alternate business immigration  and individual immigration routes call the immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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