Ballots for 2022 Youth Mobility
Scheme to open in January
6 January 2022
The Youth Mobility Scheme is a temporary immigration route which exists to provide young people aged between 18 and 30 from participating countries with an opportunity to experience life in the UK for up to two years.
Citizens of certain participating countries who wish to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa are required to enter a ballot before they are able to apply. Each country will have a set number of ballot places available to its citizens.
The ballot for the 2022 Youth Mobility Scheme opens on Monday 17 January and closes on Wednesday 19 January.
What is a Youth Mobility Scheme visa?
The Youth Mobility Scheme is a reciprocal cultural exchange programme that has been designed to encourage trade and tourism and to promote the UK in overseas territories. Terms and conditions of the scheme are negotiated and agreed between the UK and each participating country, meaning young British citizens can also benefit from similar opportunities to live and work overseas.
With a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, individuals can live in the UK and study, work in most jobs or be self-employed during the visa’s 24-month validity period.
The scheme offers young people a valuable opportunity to gain international work experience, and UK employers can also benefit from the scheme as it allows them to fill temporary and lower skilled roles without the usual skills and salary thresholds associated with sponsoring migrant workers under the skilled worker route.
Who can apply?
You can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you are aged 18 to 30 and you are from one of the following countries:
- New Zealand
- San Marino
You must be selected in the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before you can apply for your visa if you are from:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
You can also apply if you are aged 18 to 30 and you are a:
You must also be able to show that you have at least £2,530 in your bank account to support yourself in the UK.
The Youth Mobility Scheme ballot system
If you are from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea or Taiwan, you must be successfully selected in the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before you can apply for your Youth Mobility Scheme visa. You do not need to enter the ballot if you’re a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas).
The ballots are opened for 48 hours in January and July each year. Most applicants are usually chosen during the January ballot and the remaining places are allocated in the July ballot.
How to enter the ballot
To be in with a chance to apply for one of the allocated number of Youth Mobility Scheme visas for your country this year, you can enter the ballot by sending an email to the relevant email address shown below.
- Hong Kong – 800 ballot places will be available in January 2022. Email YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 17 January 2022 and midday Wednesday 19 January 2022 (Hong Kong time) to enter the ballot.
- Japan – 800 ballot places will be available in January 2022. Email YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 17 January 2022 and midday Wednesday 19 January 2022 (Japan time) to enter the ballot.
- South Korea – 800 ballot places will be available in January 2022. Email YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 17 January 2022 and midday Wednesday 19 January 2022 (South Korean time) to enter the ballot.
- Taiwan – 800 ballot places will be available in January 2022. Email YMS2022@fcdo.gov.uk between midday Monday 17 January 2022 and midday Wednesday 19 January 2022 (Taiwan time) to enter the ballot.
Your email must be in English, and the subject line must include your name, date of birth and passport number in the following format: Lastname Firstname – DD/MM/YYYY – passport number. The body of your email must include your name, date of birth, passport number and mobile phone number.
Only one ballot entry can be submitted per person. Ballots will be open for 48 hours only, and all emails received during this time will be entered into the ballot. You will get an automated reply confirming your entry.
If you are successful in the ballot, you will receive an email by 28 January 2022. You will then have 30 days to submit your visa application and pay the application fee. If you are unsuccessful in the ballot, you will receive an email within two weeks of the ballot closing. You will be able to enter the second ballot when it opens in July 2022, if you meet the eligibility requirements.
India Young Professionals Scheme
From 1 January 2022, Iceland and India have been newly added to the list of eligible countries under the Youth Mobility Scheme. Citizens of Iceland are not required to enter a ballot before applying.
However, separate arrangements are set to be introduced for young Indian nationals under the ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement’ between the UK and India. As part of the landmark agreement, the UK and India will open the Young Professionals Scheme, a bespoke cultural exchange programme between the two countries.
The Young Professionals Scheme will work similarly to the Youth Mobility Scheme and will allow young professional Indian and British citizens aged 18-30 to live and work in the other country for up to two years. The India Young Professionals Scheme is not yet open for applications, and the UK government is due to publish more information on this scheme shortly.
Help with applying for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa
If you would like to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa and require support with the ballot system or the visa application process, Smith Stone Walters can help.
Our team of immigration experts based in London, New York, Hong Kong and Mumbai are on hand to offer up to date advice and practical support in applying for your visa. To find out how we can help, please contact us today.