Apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa UK

The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa is a visa designed for young people to experience life in the United Kingdom, without committing to Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship. It is perfect for young professionals looking to live and work in the UK for up to two years, or three years for New Zealand, Australian and Canadian nationals.

About The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

This visa is designed for people between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. It is meant to improve the opportunities for young people looking to gain professional experience in the United Kingdom. The Youth Mobility Visa has no option for extension after the initial 2 or 3 years of stay that the visa offers. Nevertheless, it offers the opportunity to switch into a longer-term Work or Family Visa route.

When it comes to understanding if this visa is the correct path for you, your circumstances, and your life, seeking out professional advice is always recommended. Our team at QC Immigration are experts in all matters to do with UK immigration.

We can help advise which path would best be suited to you, and help you assess your eligibility for a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa. Contact QC Immigration today for expert advice, solutions and representation on planning your Youth Mobility Visa path and beyond.

Youth Mobility Visa Requirements

The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa is aimed at attracting young professionals looking to experience life in the United Kingdom, without having to commit to a full Work Visa initially.

The eligibility criteria, that needs to be met in order to qualify for a Youth Mobility Visa are as follows:

An eligible candidate for the Youth Mobility Scheme must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 30, except for New Zealand, Australia, South Korean and Canadian citizens who can apply aged 18 to 35
  • Have at least £2,530 in savings for a 28-day period.
  • Want to live and work in the United Kingdom for up to 2 years, or 3 years for Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders.
  • Be from qualifying countries or have certain types of British Nationality. 
  • There is currently an annual quota for how many citizens from each country can receive Youth Mobility Visas. Please see the current quota for 2023 listed alongside the locations that you can apply from.

You can apply if you are from the following locations:

  • Australia (35,000 places)
  • New Zealand (13,000 places)
  • Canada (8,000 places)
  • Japan (6000 places)
  • South Korea, Republic of Korea (5,000 places)
  • Monaco (1,000 places)
  • Iceland (1,000 places)
  • San Marino (1,000 places)
  • Uruguay (500 places)
  • Andorra (100 places)

You can also apply as a British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen, or as a British National (Overseas).

An eligible candidate can also apply from the following countries, but other participating countries must first be selected through the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before applying:

  • Hong Kong (1,000 places)
  • Taiwan (1,000 places)
  • India (3,000 places)

You cannot apply if:

  • You have children under the age of 18 that live with you
  • You have already visited the UK via the Youth Mobility scheme in the past
  • You have children (or dependants) that you are financially responsible for

Other requirements

Financially, you must have £2,530 in savings listed as a requirement, and the money must be available for at least 28 days in a row before applying, and day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa. This is to demonstrate that you are financially capable of supporting yourself within the UK without needing to access public funds; without it you will not be viewed as a suitable candidate and this may cause you to not pass the application process.

QC Immigration is here to give you all the guidance that you require when looking to apply for a Youth Mobility Visa. We realise that the whole process, even just assessing if you are eligible, can feel overwhelming. Using our support can simplify the process and save you time.

Our team has extensive experience in Youth Mobility Scheme Visas and will be able to make sure you are showing the right evidence and ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements before submitting.

What are the visa application fees for the Youth Mobility scheme?

Currently the application fees are £298 for a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visa.

There will be an additional Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) of £776 per year that you may be required to pay as a part of your application, and it is important to note that this is not included in the application fee.


To support your application, you will need to provide documents that prove you are eligible for this visa category. We can help guide you through this process and ensure that you have everything you need.

For the Youth Mobility Visa, you will need:

  • An up-to-date bank statement or letter confirming that you meet the financial requirements for this visa (minimum of £2,530 in savings). You will also need supporting documents to show that you have held this money for at least 28 days before completing your visa application.
  • Depending on what country you are applying from, you may need to show evidence of your tuberculosis test results in your application.
  • A valid passport, or another official identity document, that shows your nationality and identity. A blank page in your passport for your visa.

Depending on your circumstances, there may be additional documents that are required. At QC Immigration, we can help you with any additional documentation requests.

If any of your official documents are not in English or Welsh, you will need to arrange a certified translation of the documents before your application.

As well as providing all of these documents, the way that you present them is just as important. Contact QC Immigration today to put together a strong application. We will highlight the key factors the immigration officers assess and help you avoid putting in unnecessary information that may prolong the process.

Conditions to stay in the UK with the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa UK.

Am I allowed to work in the UK with a Youth Mobility Visa?

As a successful applicant of the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa UK you will be allowed to legally work, within any (legal) profession other than as a professional sports coach or sport person. There are however, limitations and conditions to this:

You can be self-employed only under the circumstance that you have no employees or people working for you, and the total cost of the equipment you use must be below £5,000. You must also not own any premises that you work from, or carry out work in, other than your home.

Am I allowed to study in the UK with a Youth Mobility Visa?

As a successful applicant of the visa, you will be allowed to study within the UK. However, you will not be allowed to access public funds.

If you are a citizen of anywhere other than Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea or Australia, you will need a specific certificate in order to be allowed to study certain subjects at postgraduate level. This is because you are subject to the conditions of the Academic Technology Approval Scheme.

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Switching to a different immigration category/ visa type.

Prior to your Youth Mobility Scheme Visa expiring, you may be eligible to apply for a different UK visa. A typical visa application following a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa stay includes the Partner Visa, Innovator Founder Visa or taking the Skilled Worker Visa route. 

Please make sure to note that if any dependants or family members need to switch their UK visas they will have to apply separately, and there are certain visa types which cannot be switched according to immigration rules. 

It's also important to know: 

  • Not all visa types can be switched.
  • You may be subject to travel restrictions if you switch visas or immigration status.

If you are looking to extend your stay in the UK with a different visa application, QC Immigration is here to help - with expert advice, solutions and representation, our immigration lawyers could help you to obtain entry clearance. Contact us for help switching your UK visa type, or completing a new UK visa application, today.

Which visas/ immigration categories cannot be switched?

In the UK, switching some visa types is usually not possible if you have one of the following visas:

  • Short-term student visa
  • Domestic worker visa
  • Visit visa
  • Seasonal worker visa
  • Parent of a child student visa

How QC Immigration can help

We will be able to provide the practical guidance that is needed to ensure your applicable traits for the Youth Mobility Visa are highlighted, and you have the best chances of having a successful visa application. 

Please get in touch with us online or book a consultation. Alternatively, you can phone us on 0203 637 8633 or email us at

Discover more


Can I extend a Youth Mobility Visa?
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At present, it is not possible to extend this visa beyond the initial 2 years of stay. If you wish to remain in the UK after your visa expires, you will have to look into alternative routes, such as the Skilled Worker Visa or other types of Work Visas. Contact us if you’d like some guidance on this.

How much does the Youth Mobility Visa cost?
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The Youth Mobility Visa application fee is £298, however, you may also need to pay additional fees depending on your circumstances such as the immigration health surcharge (IHS) which is usually £776 per year. You will also need to consider fees related to documentation, such as admin fees or the certification of your documents.

What activities can I do whilst holding a Youth Mobility Visa?
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You can work or study as follows:

  • Study – for some courses, you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).
  • Work in most jobs.
  • Be self-employed and set up a company – as long as your premises are rented, your equipment is not worth more than £5,000 and you do not have any employees.
What is the estimated processing time for a youth mobility visa application?
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Under normal working circumstances, you will find out about your application progress for the Youth Mobility Visa within 3 weeks of submitting your application. The earliest that you can apply for this visa is 6 months in advance of travelling to the UK. However, part of the process may involve appointments to further prove your identity and to provide your documents.

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