Your Guide to the Youth Mobility Scheme 2023-2024

 Meet Alex, a 24-year-old aspiring chef from Toronto, passionate about fusion cuisine and eager to dive into the UK’s culinary scene. Dreaming of working in London’s bustling restaurants and exploring regional British cuisines, Alex found the golden ticket to turn this dream into reality: the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS).

Eligible as a Canadian under 30, Alex quickly navigated the straightforward online application, focusing on the essentials: a current passport, savings proof, and a clean immigration record. With a blend of excitement and anticipation, Alex applied, hoping to enrich culinary skills and explore the UK’s rich culture and history.

Approval in hand, Alex’s adventure began, marking not just a journey across the ocean but a leap towards personal growth and professional development. Through YMS, Alex was set to experience the UK beyond the tourist trails, from historic markets to contemporary kitchens, all while building a global network.

Alex’s story kicks off our guide, embodying the spirit of adventure and opportunity that the Youth Mobility Scheme offers to young adults worldwide.

Are you also dreaming of living and exploring the UK? If you’re between 18 and 30 years old (or even up to 35 for some), the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) could be your golden ticket! This exciting cultural exchange program invites individuals from select countries and territories to dive into life in the UK for up to 2 or 3 years, depending on your nationality.


Here’s What You Need to Know to Get Started:

Who Can Apply?

Your Guide to the Youth Mobility Scheme 2023-2024
Your Guide to the Youth Mobility Scheme 2023-2024

If you’re a national of countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, or a British Overseas citizen, among others, this opportunity is for you. The age limit varies: up to 35 for some nationalities and up to 30 for others.

How to Apply?

It’s all online! For both entering the UK and extending your stay, fill out the “Temporary Work or Youth Mobility Scheme” application on the website.

Application Essentials

You’ll need to pay any applicable fees, including the Immigration Health Charge. Don’t forget to provide your biometrics and a valid passport or travel document to prove your identity and nationality.

Important about Your Dependants

Sadly, you can’t bring dependants with you on this journey. Also, participating in the YMS doesn’t pave the way to becoming a permanent UK resident.

Don’t Miss Out

Make sure your application ticks all the boxes! Incomplete or incorrect applications won’t make the cut.

The Suitability Requirements

Before you pack your bags, there are a few key suitability requirements you’ll need to meet to ensure your application is a success.

General Grounds for Refusal

To be eligible, you need to have a clean immigration record. This means you haven’t been refused under the UK’s immigration refusal grounds. Keeping a spotless record is crucial for your application’s approval.

If You are Already in the UK

If you’re already in the UK and looking to extend your stay with YMS, it’s essential that:

  • You haven’t violated any immigration laws. However, if you’ve overstayed your welcome by a little bit, you might be forgiven under certain conditions (like paragraph 39E).
  • – You’re not currently on immigration bail.

Sticking to these guidelines is essential. The UK welcomes individuals who respect its laws and regulations. Ensuring your immigration history is clean not only helps with your YMS application but also opens up future opportunities in the UK.

Basic Eligibility for Everyone

Apply Before You Arrive

Secure your entry clearance under YMS before stepping foot in the UK.

Health Checks

Depending on your country, you might need a TB test certificate showing you’re clear of active pulmonary tuberculosis.

First-time Applicants Only

If you’ve already enjoyed YMS benefits in the UK, unfortunately, you can’t apply again.

Age Matters

You must be 18 or older when your entry clearance becomes valid.

Specifics for Certain Countries

Australians, Canadians, and More

If you’re from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, or the Republic of Korea, there are no special requirements aside from meeting financial criteria.

Special Instructions for Some

Applicants from Hong Kong, Taiwan, San Marino, Iceland, India, Andorra, and Uruguay have unique requirements, from invitation letters to criminal record checks.

Caps on Numbers

Each country has a limited number of spots available each year. Make sure you apply in time!


Allocation for 2023

Your Guide to the Youth Mobility Scheme 2023-2024 2
Your Guide to the Youth Mobility Scheme 2023-2024 2

Each country has a set number of spots available for those wanting to experience life in the UK. For 2023, here’s how many people from each participating area could grab this opportunity:

  • Australia: 35,000 places
  • Canada: 8,000 places
  • Hong Kong: 1,000 places
  • Iceland: 1,000 places
  • India: 3,000 places
  • Japan: 1,500 places
  • Monaco: 1,000 places
  • New Zealand: 13,000 places
  • Republic of Korea: 1,000 places
  • San Marino: 1,000 places
  • Taiwan: 1,000 places

Future Provisions

For future years, a minimum of either 1,000 or 50% of the previous year’s allocation will be maintained to ensure the scheme’s continuity.

Special Allocations for 2024

Looking ahead, some countries have specific allocations for 2024:

  • Andorra: 100 places
  • Uruguay: 500 places
  • Japan: 6,000 places
  • Republic of Korea: 5,000 places

Invitation to Apply

For countries like Hong Kong, India, and Taiwan, the UK Home Office uses an invitation-to-apply system. This involves expressing your interest and potentially being selected at random to apply. Remember, only one expression of interest per person is allowed in each period.

Key Points

  • Stay updated with the allocation for your country or territory.
  • For Hong Kong, India, and Taiwan, keep an eye out for the expression of interest request from the UK Home Office.
  • Ensure you understand the process and prepare your application accordingly to increase your chances of securing a spot in this coveted scheme.

This incredible opportunity opens doors to new cultures, experiences, and personal growth. If you’re eligible and interested, make sure to follow the steps carefully for a chance to live your UK adventure through the Youth Mobility Scheme!

For British Overseas Citizens

If you’re a British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen, or British National (Overseas), the country-specific rules don’t apply to you.

Key Points to Remember

  • Make sure you have all your documents ready and apply within any specified time limits.
  • Health and legal checks are crucial. Don’t forget about them!
  • Your adventure starts with getting that all-important clearance, so follow the steps closely to ensure a smooth journey.


Savings Requirement

You’ll need at least £2,530 in savings. This is to ensure you can support yourself during your initial time in the UK without needing public funds.

Funds Holding Period

You must have had this amount in your bank account for at least 28 days before you apply. Make sure to check the specific details in Appendix Finance for how to prove this.

No Dependents Under 18

If you have children under 18 who live with you or rely on you financially, you won’t be eligible for YMS. This scheme is designed for individuals without such dependents.

For Extensions

If you’re already in the UK on YMS and want to extend your stay, the financial requirements mentioned above do not apply to you.

Remember, meeting these financial requirements is essential for your application. It not only shows that you can sustain yourself but also ensures a hassle-free stay as you embark on this exciting chapter of your life in the UK. So, before you apply, double-check your finances and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

Application Decision

Approval Criteria

If you meet all the eligibility and suitability requirements for YMS, your application will be approved. Otherwise, it will be refused.


Not the news you wanted? You can ask for an Administrative Review. This process lets you challenge the decision if you think it was incorrect.

What You Get with YMS

Duration of Stay

You’ll either get entry clearance for up to 2 years or permission to stay that ensures your total time in the UK under YMS doesn’t exceed 3 continuous years.


There are a few rules to follow:

No Public Funds

You won’t be able to access public funds.

Work Rights

You can work, but there are restrictions. You can’t be a professional sportsperson or sports coach. Self-employment is okay under certain conditions, like not owning business premises (other than your home), using equipment valued at under £5,000, and not hiring any employees.


You can study, but some courses may require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.


Embarking on an adventure through the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, rich history, and dynamic lifestyle of the UK. Whether you’re drawn by the bustling streets of London, the serene landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, or the artistic vibes of cities like Bristol and Manchester, YMS serves as your gateway to exploring the depth and diversity of the UK.

This article has walked you through everything from eligibility and application processes to financial requirements and what awaits you upon approval. With places allocated for various countries and special provisions for future years, the scheme promises a fair chance for young individuals from around the globe to live their British dream.

As you prepare to dive into this life-changing journey, remember to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Stay informed about your country’s allocation, follow the application guidelines, and ensure your financial stability to make the most of this opportunity. The YMS isn’t just a visa; it’s a ticket to personal growth, professional development, and an expansive network of global connections.


Your Guide to the Youth Mobility Scheme 2023-2024