India Young Professionals Scheme visa

Back in May 2021, the UK Government and India formed a new partnership to facilitate Indian and British young professionals being able to work in each other’s home countries. The Home Office has now published guidance in respect of this on its website calling the scheme the “India Young Professionals Scheme visa”.

The scheme is reciprocal so young UK nationals meeting the criteria can apply to live, study and work in India for up to two years.

Application process

Indian applicants wishing to apply to work in the UK had to have entered a ballot to do so. The Home Office opened the ballot on 28 February 2023 which remained open until it closed on 2 March 2023. Successfully applicants are to be picked at random from the ballot entries. The Home Office has made it clear that the result of the ballot are final and applicants have no right of appeal if they are unsuccessful. The Home Office’s website however does suggest further ballots will open in the future.

There are 2,400 visas available in the February ballot and successful applicants will have 30 days from the date of their email notifying them of their success to make the online application and pay for the visa and immigration health surcharge.

Eligibility for the visa

To be eligible for the visa, the applicant must:

  • be an Indian national or citizen
  • be between the ages of 18 and 30
  • have an eligible qualification i.e. a qualification at bachelor’s degree level or above or an equivalent overseas qualification at degree level or above
  • have £2,530 in savings in order to support themselves in the UK – the applicant will need to have had this money available for at least 28 days in a row and day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa
  • not have any children under the age of 18 who live with them or who they are financially responsible for

The Home Office website states that the applicant will usually get a decision within 3 weeks. The applicant must travel to the UK within 6 months of applying for the visa.

Limitations and general observations

Whether all of the 2,400 visas available under the February ballot are used will remain to be seen. The eligibility requirement for an eligible qualification will no doubt restrict applications under the age of 21 despite those 18 and above being able to apply.

There is also currently the Youth Mobility Scheme which is for young adults from certain countries who wish to work and experience life in the UK. It is unclear whether the India Young Professionals Scheme visa is to be considered part of the Youth Mobility Scheme or whether it is a entirely separate scheme in its own right. Many of the eligibility criteria are the same in both schemes. It is worth noting that any applicants who have already been in the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme visa are prevented from applying for this visa.

The Young Professionals Scheme is a unique opportunity for British and Indian graduates to experience the richness of a new culture and way of life while building their professional experience and expertise. This new scheme illustrates the importance of our relationship with India and will bring great benefits to both countries.

Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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