Ballots for 2023 Youth
Mobility Scheme open
5 January 2023
The first ballot for this year’s Youth Mobility Scheme is set to open on Tuesday 17 January 2023. The ballot will be open for a period of 48 hours, closing on Thursday 19 January 2023. Most of the available places will be allocated in this first ballot, while the remaining places will be made available in a second ballot in July.
Citizens of certain countries are required to enter a ballot before they can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa. Each country will have a set number of ballot places available to its citizens. You must be selected in the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before you can apply for your visa if you’re from:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
What is the Youth Mobility Scheme?
The Youth Mobility Scheme grants young people aged 18 to 30 from participating countries the opportunity to experience life in the UK for up to 2 years.
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 Youth Mobility Scheme ballot system
The first ballot of the 2023 Youth Mobility Scheme opens from 00:01am on Tuesday 17 January and closes at 00:01am on Thursday 19 January.
You need to enter the ballot if you want to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa and you’re from:
- Hong Kong, if you have an SAR passport
- South Korea
You do not need to enter the ballot if you’re a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas).
In January’s ballot, there will be a total of 800 places available for each country listed above. If you are not selected this time, you will have another chance to secure a place when the second ballot opens in July 2023.
Strictly only one ballot entry can be submitted per person. Any duplications will not be counted.
How to enter the ballot
To enter the ballot, you will need to send an email to the Home Office. All emails received during the 48-hour period in which the ballots are open will be entered. You will get an automated reply confirming your entry.
Your email must be written in English, and the subject line must contain your name, date of birth and passport number in the following format: Lastname Firstname – DD/MM/YYYY – passport number. The body of the email must contain your name, date of birth, passport number and mobile phone number. Emails received without this information or not in this format will not be considered.
Entry instructions for each country are as follows:
- Hong Kong: Email HongKong.email@example.com between 00:01am (one minute past midnight) on Tuesday 17 January 2023 and 00:01am on Thursday 19 January 2023 (Hong Kong time) to enter the ballot.
- Japan: Email Japan.firstname.lastname@example.org between 00:01am (one minute past midnight) on Tuesday 17 January 2023 and 00:01am on Thursday 19 January 2023 (Tokyo time) to enter the ballot.
- South Korea: Email SouthKorea.email@example.com between 00:01am (one minute past midnight) on Tuesday 17 January 2023 and 00:01am on Thursday 19 January 2023 (Seoul time) to enter the ballot.
- Taiwan: Email Taiwan.firstname.lastname@example.org between 00:01am (one minute past midnight) on Tuesday 17 January 2023 and 00:01am on Thursday 19 January 2023 (Taipei time) to enter the ballot.
After the ballot closes
Once the ballot closes, allocations will be chosen at random by UKVI.
You will receive an email by Friday 20 January if you were successful in the first ballot. You will then have 30 days to submit your visa application and pay the visa fee.
After you’ve paid, you’ll usually have 90 days to book your appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). This is where you will provide your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information). You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks of attending your appointment. If your visa application is successful, you will have 90 days to enter the UK. Your visa will be valid for 2 years.
If you were unsuccessful in the first ballot, you will receive an email within 2 weeks of the ballot closing. You will be able to enter the second ballot when it opens in July 2023, if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Find out more
Further information about the Youth Mobility Scheme, including eligibility requirements and how to apply for your visa can be found here. Any enquiries relating to the application process, online application forms and questions in general should be directed to the UKVI International Enquiry Line.