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Youth Mobility Visa Expansion 

By December 19, 2023Immigration

The Government recently announced several expansions to the Youth Mobility visa category, effective from 31 January 2024, pursuant to trade agreements the UK has signed worldwide: 

  • For Australians and Canadians, the age limit for the Youth Mobility visa is raised to 35 years of age, with a three-year validity on the visa if approved. Those nationals already in the UK can extend their existing two-year visa for an additional year.  

This follows similar preferential conditions for New Zealand nationals introduced earlier this year.  

  • Up to 100 places will be available for Andorran nationals, and 500 places for Uruguay nationals, for those aged up to 30 years. These nationals will also be required to provide a criminal record certificate with their application.  
  • An increase in the number of Japanese nationals who can apply to 6,000 – up from 1,000 – and no longer requiring a ballot.  
  • Up to 5,000 nationals of the Republic of Korea can apply up to the age of 35 years, without a ballot being required.  

The Youth Mobility category remains a highly valuable working visa for young people wishing to spend two – three years in the UK because it enables the holder to take part in unrestricted employed work. It is extremely useful for employers who wish to employ these nationals due to the relatively low cost and flexibility of the permission.   

It is clear that the structure and reciprocity of the scheme works well as a point of negotiation for the UK’s trade agreement talks. Discussion of extending the Youth Mobility scheme to the EU, and to address labour shortages in the UK mean that we are likely to see this category become a heavily used tool in the coming years.  

This article is not intended to be used as legal advice. Should any of these updates be relevant to you, please seek expert legal advice from a regulated immigration practitioner or contact the writer, Victoria Welsh, via our immigration services website.

Victoria Welsh

Author Victoria Welsh

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