Almost two years ago (!), on 04 May 2021, the UK government announced that the UK and India had signed a new migration partnership, enabling young Indian and British professionals to live and work in one another’s countries. The UK government said that signing the agreement was ‘part of the UK Government’s commitment to deliver an immigration system that attracts the best and brightest individuals from India and around the world’.
The scheme forms part of the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme; it is not a route that leads to settlement, but ‘provides a cultural exchange programme that allows a person aged between 18 and 30, from participating countries and territories, to experience life in the UK for up to 2 years’.
Provisions in relation to Indian nationals travelling to the UK as Youth Mobility Scheme migrants were introduced into the Immigration Rules in 2022, with India being allocated 3,000 places for the scheme in that year. However, failure by the Home Office to open the ballot for places meant that Indian nationals had no way of being invited to the scheme and actually securing a visa!
In addition to being aged between 18 and 30, Indian nationals looking to temporarily relocate to the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme need to have an invitation to apply under the scheme via the ballot, have an eligible qualification (degree level or above), access to £2530 in savings, and not have any children under the age of 18 who live with them.
Guidance available online confirms that, to secure an invitation, Indian nationals need to enter the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot. On 21 February 2023 information about the ballot was released, almost two years after the UK-India agreement was made. It confirms that the inaugural Indian ballot will open at 2.30pm (IST) on 28 February 2023, and will close at 2.30pm (IST) on 02 March 2023. Those who enter the ballot must first check that they qualify for the scheme. When the ballot is open, the link to enter will appear on the following webpage.
There will be in initial 2,400 invitations available to eligible Indian nationals in the February 2023 ballot. If successful in securing an invitation, an applicant will then have 30 days to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa. If the application is successful, a visa valid for 24 months will be issued. Those who hold a Youth Mobility Scheme visa can live and work in the UK, and can switch into an alternative category of the Immigration Rules (perhaps a route that leads to settlement, such as the Skilled Worker route) from inside the UK if the requirements of that route can be satisfied.
Unfortunately, if not successful in securing an invitation, an appeal cannot be pursued; the results of the ballot are final. An individual in such circumstances could, however, enter a future ballot if they continue to meet the eligibility requirements for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa. The next ballot is likely to be held in late July.
Latitude Law’s specialist team helps many individuals and international businesses and organisations with enquiries in relation to individuals relocating to the UK. If you would like to speak to one of our experts concerning your relocation to the UK, call us now on 0032 2792 3371 (for EU-based clients) or 0044 161 234 6800 (UK & rest of the world) or complete our online enquiry form.