The India Young Professionals Scheme UK Visa: Ballot Launching Soon | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (2024)

Update: July 2023

The Home Office has announced that the second India Young Professional Scheme visa ballot will open 1:30 p.m. India Standard Time on 25 July 2023, and close at 1:30 p.m. India Standard Time on 27 July 2023. More information can be found here.

The Home Office also announced that the Youth Mobility Scheme visa ballot will open Monday 24 July and close on Wednesday 26 July. This ballot is specifically for nationals of Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Applicants from Hong Kong nationals applying must hold a Special Administrative Region passport. More information can be found here, including the full list of nationalities that can apply for the visa.

The Home Office has now released details relating to its new visa scheme, the India Young Professionals Scheme visa. In November 2022, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the planned introduction of the scheme during the G20 summit in Indonesia. Full details have now been released, and the scheme will formally come into operation from 28 February 2023. The scheme is part of the planned increased collaboration between India and the United Kingdom (UK) through their free trade agreement currently being negotiated, and it aims to bring up to 3,000 Indian nationals to the UK each year.

The scheme is aimed at Indian nationals and citizens aged between 18 and 30 who have an eligible qualification, savings to support themselves when they first arrive in the UK, and do not have any children who live with them or for whom they are financially responsible.

Those granted a visa through this scheme will be able to live and work in the UK for up to two years.

The scheme will work in two stages: the ballot stage and the visa application stage.

Stage 1: The Ballot Stage

The applicant must first submit their details to the India Young Professional Scheme ballot and will only be invited to apply for the visa if their name is selected. Names will be chosen at random, and the ballot is free to enter.

For the first ballot of the year, 2,400 visas have been made available. The ballot opens on Tuesday, 28 February 2023, at 8.30am GMT and closes on Thursday, 2 March 2023, at 8.30am GMT.

The information that must be submitted in the ballot includes the applicant’s name, date of birth, passport details, a passport scan or photo, telephone number and email address.

Results will be sent to applicants within two weeks of the ballot’s closing. Those who are not successful in the February ballot can enter future ballots if they meet the requirements of the visa scheme.

Stage 2: The Application Stage

An applicant selected through the ballot will be invited to submit their visa application within 30 days of receiving their selection notification.

The applicant will be required to pay an application fee (currently £259) and an Immigration Health Surcharge fee (currently £954). This latter fee is at a lower rate than the Immigration Health Surcharge fee for other types of visas.

At the application stage, the individual will be required to demonstrate their ability to meet the following educational and financial requirements of the visa scheme:

  • The applicant must hold a UK bachelor’s degree certificate or equivalent. The college or university will be required to provide written confirmation that the applicant has completed their studies and graduated with the required qualification. The applicant will have to provide evidence that they have savings of at least £2,530, which must have been held on account for 28 days prior to the date of the application.
  • The applicant must also submit a police report or clearance certificate from India.
  • The applicant will be required to schedule an appointment at the visa application centre closest to their home. At this appointment, their photograph will be taken and fingerprints recorded to produce their biometric residence permits.
  • Individuals who live in India or those who have been in India for more than six months directly preceding the date of the application will be required to submit a certificate confirming they are free of infectious tuberculosis. The applicant should arrange to be tested ahead of their visa appointment.

The applicant can typically expect a decision on their visa within three weeks of attending the visa appointment, unless they opt to purchase one of the priority services for a faster decision.

Once the visa is granted, the individual must travel to the UK within six months of submitting their application.

Those granted visas under this scheme will be able to work, study and live in the UK for up to two years. Two years is the maximum validity period for this type of visa and cannot be extended.

At the end of the two years, the successful applicant would be expected to return to India to share the knowledge and experience that they have acquired while in the UK. However, for those who wish to stay in the UK longer, this may be possible by later qualifying for a different visa category. For example, if a successful applicant finds sponsored employment before the expiry of their two-year permission, they could be eligible to apply for a different, longer-term form of immigration permission such as the Skilled Worker visa. The India Young Professionals Scheme could be beneficial for the UK economy, which will receive a small but valuable increase to the talent pool from which companies can recruit these short-term employees. This visa could also serve as a means for young entrepreneurs to establish businesses in the UK which they can then develop to the point of being eligible for an endorsem*nt, as required by the Innovator and Start-Up visa requirements.

The India Young Professionals Scheme UK Visa: Ballot Launching Soon | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (2024)
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