UK Opens Ballot for 3,000 Indian Young Professional Scheme Visas

| February 22, 2024
UK Opens Ballot for 3,000 Indian Young Professional Scheme Visas

The British High Commission in India announced the opening of the India Young Professionals Visa scheme this year.

The ballot system was opened on 20 February 2024 and will close on 22 February 2024 at 2:30 PM India Standard Time.

The UK government offers 3,000 slots for young Indians who qualify for the scheme this year.

What is the India Young Professionals Scheme?

The UK first introduced the India Young Professionals Scheme visa in 2023.

It enables Indian citizens between 18 and 30 years old to live and work in the UK for up to two years.

Most of the 3,000 slots for the visa will be filled in the February ballot, and the remaining slots will be filled in July.

Before applying for the visa, individuals must first be selected through the ballot system.

One must meet the following eligibility requirements to participate in the ballot system:

  • Be an Indian national or citizen
  • Be 18 to 30 years old
  • Be at least 18 years old on the date of travel to the UK
  • Have a qualification at the level of a bachelor’s degree or higher or a level 6, 7, or 8 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework
  • Have £2,530 in savings to support oneself in the UK
  • Does not have any dependents under the age of 18 or in your care

It’s essential to note that young professionals must enter the ballot system only if they plan to apply for the visa.

The India Young Professionals Scheme visa costs £298, and the UK healthcare surcharge fee is £1,552.

Once all eligibility requirements are met, individuals must provide their name, date of birth, passport details, scan or photo of their passport, phone number, and email address.

Entering the ballot system is free, but one can submit only one entry per person. Successful entries will be chosen randomly.

The UK government will email eligible successful applicants to apply for the visa within two weeks after the ballot closes.

Chosen young professionals must apply for the visa by the deadline indicated in their invitation email. This is typically 30 days after receipt of the email.

They must also travel to the UK within six months after applying for their India Young Professionals Scheme visa.

How it compares to other UK Youth Mobility Schemes

The India Young Professionals Scheme is similar to other UK Youth Mobility Schemes (YMS).

It is reciprocal, which means qualified British citizens can live and work in India for up to two years.

India Young Professionals Scheme visa holders can study and work in the UK to support themselves while staying in the country.

Like other youth mobility schemes, it is not a route to a working visa or UK settlement.

They cannot work as professional sportspeople, apply for most benefits, or extend their stay.

They are also not allowed to bring dependents via the scheme. Their dependents, if any, must apply for and get a separate UK visa if they want to join them in the UK.

However, unlike other UK youth mobility schemes, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher or an equivalent foreign degree.

It is also not the only youth visa scheme that uses the ballot system. Taiwan and Hong Kong nationals also use this system.

Expanding the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme

Since last year, the UK government has been expanding its youth mobility schemes.

This allows more young people to experience life in the UK and strengthens the close ties between participating partner countries.

Additionally, through these schemes, many young Brits can similarly partake in life-changing experiences in partner countries.

In 2023, YMS reciprocal agreements for Australian and Canadian youth nationals increased to 7,000 yearly participants.

More young individuals from these countries and New Zealand can also participate due to the expanded age range.

Youth from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand now have the option to extend their YMS visas by one year after the initial two-year period.

On the other hand, Japan’s annual mutual quota has increased to 6,000, while South Korea has up to 5,000 slots yearly.

Young citizens from Japan and South Korea also now no longer need to enter a ballot before applying for the YMS visa.

Lastly, the UK’s new mutual agreements with Andorra and Uruguay add 100 and 500 more placements yearly, respectively, in the expanded YMS program.