There will be a step-by-step application process, checklist for eligibility, and implementation date shared shortly, according to Indian high commissioners.

A new chapter in the visa regime between India and the UK has begun with the signing and exchange of Young Professionals Scheme (YPS) letters. With a scheme that allows 3,000 individuals aged 18-30 to live and work in the UK without a sponsor or a job on hand, India joins a select group of countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Iceland, San Marino, Monaco, South Korea and Hong Kong. India is the only country that has this scheme. In addition to Japan, India is the only visa-required country that offers this scheme.

Young Professionals Scheme Does Not Require Sponsorship or Job Required for Two-Year Stay

The Indian high commissioners have announced that the Young Professionals Scheme, aimed at providing opportunities for young individuals to gain valuable work experience and professional development, will have a comprehensive application process. This process will include a checklist for eligibility, which will help potential applicants to determine if they meet the necessary qualifications for the program. The implementation date for the program will also be shared shortly, allowing individuals to plan and prepare accordingly. The scheme is expected to be a great opportunity for young professionals to gain exposure to diverse fields, gain hands-on experience and network with professionals in their chosen field.

YPS was one of the key highlights of the wider “Migration and Mobility Partnership” signed in Delhi by Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar and then UK home secretary Priti Patel in May 2021. A letter marking the upcoming launch of the YPS was signed and exchanged by the High Commissioner of India to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, and the UK Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft on Monday (January 9, 2023) in London.

Under the UK Youth Mobility Scheme, applicants can apply directly for visas from Australia (30,000 places), Canada (6,000), Monaco (1,000), New Zealand (13,000), San Marino (1,000) and Iceland (1,000), while applications from Japan (1,500), South Korea (1,000), Hong Kong (1,000), Taiwan (1,000) and India (3,000) require ballot selection.

Although specific details about India have not been announced, it is likely to be similar to the systems in place for Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Since India has a large population and a lot of interest in the scheme, the larger number of 3,000 has been assigned to it. The ballot is usually accepted twice a year, in January and July, by sending an email.

Youth Mobility Scheme 2023’s first ballot opens on Tuesday 17 January and closes on Thursday 19 January. As of now, however, this does not include applications from India, for which the ballot has not yet opened. There is great anticipation regarding whether India will be included in the January 2023 leg, as the ballot for other countries is only a few days away. In the near future, the Indian high commission will share the implementation date, eligibility checklist, and step-by-step application procedures.

In order to show that they are able to support themselves in the UK, applicants from India will need to show a certain amount of money in their bank accounts (2,530 pounds, approximately Rs 2.50 lakh). Additionally, applicants must not have children under the age of 18 living with them or be financially responsible for them. The successful candidates will not be able to access public funds, but will have access to the UK’s National Health Services (NHS).

A mammoth Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is currently being negotiated between both countries, which coincides with the YPS’ formalization. The home secretary of the Tory party, Suella Braverman, has spoken repeatedly in recent months about limiting and regulating international student migration, including from India. Despite Braverman saying she had “some reservations” about giving Indians visa flexibility, the fact that the YPS has been formalized shows that rhetoric and reality are very different. Indians are the first South Asian country to have a reciprocal visa arrangement with the UK under the YPS, which demonstrates a high level of trust between the two countries.