'Young Professional Scheme' for Indian nationals looking to live and work in the UK without sponsorship

News / / London

The ‘Youth Mobility Scheme’, currently available for nationals of a reduced number of countries, is to be extended to Indian nationals, under the new ‘Young Professional Scheme’. This is designed as a cultural exchange programme which will allow a person aged between 18 and 30 to experience life in the UK for up to two years.

Applicants, selected randomly via a public ballot, will have to meet the following criteria:

  • To be an Indian citizen aged between 18 to 30 years. Must not have any children aged under 18 who are either living with them or financially dependent upon them;
  • Hold a qualification equal to or above RQF level 6/ Bachelor Degree or above;
  • Have £2,530 (approximately INR3lakhs) held in a regulated bank account for a continuous 28 day period;
  • Have taken a compliant Tuberculosis Test from an authorised test clinic in India;

*Dependants are not allowed under this route.

Ballot: how will it work?

The Home Office will allocate 3000 places for Indian nationals under the scheme. They are due to publish more details about how the ballot will work in the near future. We understand that the process will commence with applicants sending a request expressing interest, in order to be considered.

If selected, via a random allocation process, candidates will receive a confirmation email. They will then have 30 days to submit the visa application and make payments of fees.

Home Office fees:

Visa application fee: £259.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £470 per year.


The ‘Young Professional Scheme’ will not lead to Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK at the end of two years. Visa holders under this scheme must find an alternative immigration route to remain in the UK. Eligible individuals will be able to switch, in country, to any other available category prior to expiry of their valid leave. The obvious option would normally be a sponsored skilled worker visa, but there may be another path depending on the person’s circumstances.

Each case should be assessed individually to determine the best way forward. Options will vary depending on the person’s personal and professional background, and available visa routes at the time of application.

For further information or assistance with UK Immigration issues: get in touch with Sudipta Dey.

Sudipta Dey

Sudipta Dey Senior Immigration Consultant

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