Youth Mobility Scheme

Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Youth Mobility Scheme

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme

The youth mobility scheme is for young people from participating countries and territories who want to come and experience life in the UK. Every year, the UK government allocates a number of places on the scheme for each country and territory.

Length of permission to stay and conditions

You will be permitted to remain in the UK for two years. You will have no recourse to public funds. Employment is permitted except:

– as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach);

– as a Doctor or Dentist in Training, unless the applicant has obtained a degree in medicine or dentistry at bachelor’s level or above from a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or which holds a sponsor licence under Tier 4 of the Points Based System, and provides evidence of this degree;

– as a self employment worker, except where the following conditions are met: (i) the migrant has no premises which he owns, other than his home, from which he carries out his business, (ii) the total value of any equipment used in the business does not exceed £5,000, and (iii) the migrant has no employees.

Which countries are eligible?

The countries and territories participating in the scheme, and the number of places allocated to them for 2012, are:

  • Australia – 32,500 places
  • Canada – 5,000 places
  • Japan – 1,000 places
  • New Zealand – 10,000 places
  • Monaco – 1,000 places
  • Taiwan – 1,000 places
  • Republic of Korea – 500 places

If you are a citizen or passport-holder of a country or territory listed above, and that country or territory has not used all its places for this year, you might be able to come to the UK under the youth mobility scheme. Your national government will be your ‘sponsor’ during your stay.

You can also apply under the scheme if you are a British overseas citizen, a British overseas territories citizen or a British national (overseas). You will not need a sponsor, and there is no limit on the number of places on the scheme.

What points must I score under the points based system under the Youth Mobility Scheme?

To be able to apply, you must score 50 points and meet all the other requirements of the Immigration Rules.

You must be outside the UK when you apply.

How to score points

You can score points as shown below:

Attributes Points available
Nationality 30
Age 10
Maintenance (funds) 10

Scoring points for your nationality

You will score 30 points if you are a citizen or passport-holder of any of these countries and territories:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • Republic of Korea

Alternatively, you can score 30 points if you are:

  • a British overseas citizen;
  • a British overseas territories citizen; or
  • a British national (overseas).

Scoring points for your age

You will score 10 points if you are:

  • under 31 years old when you apply for your visa; and
  • at least 18 years old on the date when your visa becomes valid (the first date when you can enter the UK).

Scoring points for maintenance (funds)

You must be able to support yourself throughout your stay in the UK without needing public funds (such as state benefits). You should assess the potential costs of living in the UK. If you do not expect to get any income from working in the UK after the first month, you should ensure that you have enough funds to support yourself.

You will score 10 points if you have £1,800 in available cash funds. This amount must be held in your personal bank account on the date of the application for entry clearance. Your account should be a current or savings account. Other accounts or financial instruments (such as shares, bonds, pension funds or agreed overdraft facilities) are not acceptable.

UKBA will assess your funds using the OANDA exchange rate on the date of your application.

Certificate of sponsorship (Taiwan and Korea only)

If you want to apply as the holder of a Taiwanese passport, you must provide a certificate of sponsorship from Taiwan’s National Youth Commission. To find out how to obtain a certificate of sponsorship in Taiwan, please see the bottom of this page. If you are a citzen of the Republic of Korea, you also need a certificate of sponsorship. If you are a Korean, you will need to apply for a Certificate via the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website here. For more information, you can contact the Consular Services Division in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Other requirements

When you apply, you must confirm that you have:

  • no children under 18 years old who are living with you, or for whom you are financially responsible;
  • you have never been in the UK at any time in the former ‘working holidaymaker’ category or under the youth mobility scheme. If you have previously been in the UK under a different immigration category such as Tier 1 (Post study work), you can apply for a youth mobility scheme visa.

For your application to be successful, your national government must not have used its full allocation of places on the youth mobility scheme for the current year.

In addition, your application must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal. The general grounds for refusal can be found here.

What documents will I need to provide with my application?

  1. Application form. Depending on where you apply, you will need to submit an on-line form, or a printed form. If you need to submit an on-line form, the application system will automatically generate the correct form for you. If you need to submit a paper form, the correct form is form VAF9. You will find form VAF9 here. Please remember that even if you have to submit an on line form, you will still need to print, sign and date this. All applicants (whether they need to submit an on line or printed application form) also need to complete a handwritten Appendix form 7. This form is not (not) available electronically. You can find Appendix 7 here. If you don’t know if you need to complete an on-line or a handwritten VAF9, you can find out here.
  2. Passport-sized photograph (see specifications here)
  3. Application processing fee
  4. Passport. You must produce a valid passport to confirm you are a national of a country or the rightful holder of a passport issued by a territory participating in the YMS, or a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas). If you are from a country or territory without Deemed Sponsorship Status (currently: Taiwan and Korea) you must also submit a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your country or territory when you make your application.
  5. Evidence of Maintenance. This evidence must be original, on the official letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation and bearing the official stamp of that organisation. It must have been issued by an authorised official of that organisation. All evidence must be dated no more than one month before the application is submitted. Appendix C of the Immigration Rules states that only specified documents will be accepted as evidence of this requirement. The specified documents are:

– Building Society/Savings account pass book. The Building Society/Savings account pass book should clearly show: • your name; • your account number; • the financial institution’s name and logo; • that there are sufficient funds present in the account (the balance must be at least £1800);

– Personal bank or Building Society statements. The personal bank or Building Society statements should clearly show: • your name; • your account number; • the date of the statement; • the financial institution’s name and logo; • that there are sufficient funds present in the account (the balance must be at least £1800);

Ad hoc bank statements printed on the bank’s letterhead are admissible as evidence (this excludes mini-statements from cash points). If you wish to submit electronic bank statements from an online account these must contain all of the details listed above. In addition, you will need to provide a supporting letter from your bank, on company headed paper, confirming the authenticity of the statements provided. Alternatively, an electronic bank statement bearing the official stamp of the bank in question will be accepted. This stamp should appear on every page of the statement.

– Letter from bank or Building Society confirming funds. The letter from the bank or Building Society should show: • your name; • your account number; • the date of the letter; • the financial institution’s name and logo; • that funds of at least £1800 are held in your account.

– Letter from a financial institution regulated by the home regulator (official regulatory body for the country in which the institution operates) confirming funds The letter from the financial institution should show: • your name; • your account number; • the date of the letter; • the financial institution’s name and logo; • that funds of at least £1800 are held in your account.

For the full UKBA Guidance, please read the YMS Policy Guidance document here.

Taiwanese passport holders: How to apply for a certificate of sponsorship

Before you can apply for a visa under the youth mobility scheme as a Taiwanese passport holder, you must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from Taiwan’s National Youth Commission.

To be eligible for a certificate of sponsorship, you must:

  • hold a valid National ID card; and
  • be between 18 and 30 years old; and
  • (if you are male) have completed your required period of military service.

To be considered for a certificate of sponsorship, you must first register online through the National Youth Commission website. Registration is usually open from 1 December every year for a short period of time.

When you have registered, you must print off the registration form and send it to the National Youth Commission with a copy of your National ID card and (if you are male) evidence that you have completed your required period of military service. Registration forms and additional documents must arrive at the National Youth Commission by its deadline. The National Youth Commission website contains details of registration dates and deadlines.

A total of 1,000 certificates of sponsorship are available every year:

  • If there are more than 1,000 eligible registrations, a computer program will randomly select 1,000 who will be allocated certificates of sponsorship.
  • If there are 1,000 eligible registrations or fewer, everyone who registers and meets the criteria will be allocated a certificate of sponsorship. A further registration period will begin later in the year for the remaining certificates to be allocated.

The National Youth Commission will notify you by email if you have been allocated a certificate of sponsorship. The Commission will also publish a list of successful applicants on its website when the allocation is complete.

There will be a new allocation of places on the youth mobility scheme for Taiwanese applicants every year. So if you are not allocated a certificate of sponsorship this year, you can register again next year if you are still eligible.

Using your Taiwanese certificate of sponsorship

If you are allocated a certificate of sponsorship, you should apply for a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa within 3 months of the date when the certificate is allocated. After 3 months, an unused certificate of sponsorship will expire, and will be reallocated.

This text is an adaptation of the contents on the UKBA website. Immigration rules and regulations are subject to continuous change. Before applying for any visas, you should always contact the responsible government department direct. If you wish to apply for a YMS visa, please read the UKBA website carefully for correct and up to date guidance.

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