2023 Youth Mobility Scheme
second ballot opens
24 July

The Home Office has announced that the second ballot for the 2023 Youth Mobility Scheme will open on Monday 24 July and close on Wednesday 26 July.

Ballots typically open twice a year, in January and July. Most applicants are usually chosen during the January ballot and the remaining places are allocated in July.

The Youth Mobility Scheme is a reciprocal cultural exchange programme which grants young people aged 18 to 30 (or 18 to 35 in some cases) from participating countries the opportunity to experience life in the UK for up to 2 years.

With a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you 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

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, if you have a SAR passport
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan.

You do not need to enter the ballot if you are a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or a British National (Overseas).

Note: There is a different ballot if you’re from India and wish to apply under the India Young Professionals Scheme.

Eligibility requirements

You must be aged 18 or over when your visa starts, or 30 or under when you apply. You can apply before you turn 18 and can be over 30 when the visa starts.

You will not be eligible for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa if:

  • You have children under the age of 18 who live with you
  • You have children you are financially responsible for
  • You have already been in the UK under the scheme.

You must have at least £2,530 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK.

How to enter the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot

Potential applicants must enter the ballot by sending an email. Strictly only one ballot entry can be submitted per person and duplications are not counted. All emails received within the 48-hour period are entered into the ballot and applicants receive an automated reply confirming entry.

The email addresses for each country are listed below:

Hong Kong:

Email hongkong.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Hong Kong time) to enter the ballot.


Email Japan.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Tokyo time) to enter the ballot.

South Korea:

Email southkorea.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Seoul time) to enter the ballot.


Email Taiwan.YMS2023@fcdo.gov.uk between 23:59 (11:59pm) on Monday 24 July 2023 and 23:59 (11:59pm) on Wednesday 26 July 2023 (Taipei time) to enter the ballot.

After you have entered

You will receive an email by Monday 31 July if you have been successful in the second ballot. You will then have 30 days to submit your application and pay the visa fee, after which you usually have 90 days to book an appointment for biometrics at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). You should get a decision on your visa within three weeks of attending your biometrics 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 are unsuccessful in the second ballot, you will receive an email within 2 weeks of the ballot closing. Eligible applicants will be able to enter next year’s ballot when it opens in January 2024.

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.

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