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Immigration Series: All About the UK’s India Young Professionals Scheme Visa

The United Kingdom’s (UK) India Young Professionals Scheme visa allows Indian citizens between 18 and 30 years old to live and work in the UK for up to two years. There were 3,000 places available for the India Young Professionals Scheme visa in 2023, the ballot for 2024 has not been announced yet.


To be eligible for the visa, you must:

  • be an Indian national between 18 and 30 years old
  • be at least 18 years old on the date you plan to travel to the UK
  • have a qualification at bachelor’s degree level or above, or an an equivalent overseas qualification at degree level or above
  • have £2,530 in savings to support yourself in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa. You will need to show proof of this when you apply
  • not have any children under the age of 18 who live with you or who you’re financially responsible for
  • You must first apply to and be selected in the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot before you can apply for your visa
  • You cannot apply if you’ve already been in the UK under this scheme or the Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

How & when to apply

You must first apply to and be selected in the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot before you can apply for your visa. You can only submit one entry per person for each ballot. Any further attempts to enter the ballot will not be counted.

The successful entries will be picked at random and the results are declared within two weeks. If you’re successful in the ballot, you’ll receive an invitation to apply for the visa.

It’s free to enter the ballot. You should only enter if you plan to apply for the visa, which costs £298, and are able to meet the financial, educational and other requirements.

If you’re successful in the ballot you’ll need to apply for your visa by the deadline given in your invitation to apply. This is usually 30 days after you get the invitation. You must travel to the UK within 6 months of applying for your visa. As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents. You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.

Documents you must provide

When you apply, you’ll need to provide:

  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality
  • evidence that you have at least £2,530 in your bank account, for example, bank statements
  • evidence of your qualifications
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re living in India or another listed country
  • a police report or clearance certificate from India
  • You’ll need a blank page in your passport for your visa

Getting a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application will take longer, for example, because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, for example, if you have a criminal conviction
  • You may be able to pay to get a faster decision – you’ll be told if you can when you apply
  • The results of the ballot are final. You cannot appeal if you’re unsuccessful
  • You can enter future ballots if you’re unsuccessful

How much does it cost?

You will need to:

  • pay the application fee of £298
  • pay a healthcare surcharge of £940 and prove you have £2,530 in personal savings
  • Your application fee will not be refunded if your application is rejected

Duration of Stay

You’ll be given a visa to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months. You can enter the UK at any time while your visa is valid, and leave and come back at any time during your stay. If you turn 31 after your visa is issued, you can stay in the UK for as long as your visa is valid.

What you can & cannot do

You can:

  • study:  for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
  • work in most jobs
  • be self-employed and set up a company – as long as your premises are rented, your equipment is not worth more than £5,000 and you do not have any employees

You cannot:

  • extend your stay
  • apply for most benefits (public funds)
  • include family members on your application – they must apply separately
  • work as a professional sportsperson (for example, as a coach)

If you give birth in the UK

  • If you deliver while you’re in the UK, your newborn does not automatically become a British citizen
  • You must apply online for your child’s dependent visa if you want to travel in and out of the UK with them
  • You’ll need to provide a full UK birth certificate for each child, showing the names of both parents

Source: Money Control