UK Youth Mobility Ballot Opens In January 2023

UK Youth Mobility Ballot Opens In January 2023

The first ballot for 2023’s Youth Mobility Scheme is set to open on Tuesday, 17 January 2023. 

The ballot will be open for a period of 48 hours, closing on Thursday 19 January 2023. Most of the available places will be allocated in this first ballot, while the remaining places will be made available in a second ballot in July.

The following citizens are required to enter a ballot before they can apply for a Youth Mobility visa.

  • Hong Kong – Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

Applicants must submit an expression of interest in applying for entry clearance under the Youth Mobility Scheme through the Home Office’s process. The Home Office then selects at random who will be invited to apply for entry clearance from the pool.

The UK has recently entered an agreement with India under India Young Professionals Scheme however the ballot for Indian nationals is not open yet.

What You Need To Know About Youth Mobility Scheme

The Youth Mobility Scheme grants young people aged 18 to 30 from participating countries and territories a Youth Mobility Scheme visa. Each country will have a set number of ballot places available to its citizens. 

Dependents are not eligible to apply on the Youth Mobility Scheme visa route and it is not a visa pathway that leads directly to permanent residency in the UK. However, Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders may be able to apply from within the UK to switch to a route that does lead to settlement in the UK.

There are quotas on the number of places available on the Youth Mobility Scheme each year from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, San Marino, Iceland, and India.

However, there is no quota on the number of British Overseas citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens, or British National (Overseas) citizens who may qualify for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

This visa scheme is a reciprocal cultural exchange programme that has been designed to encourage trade and tourism and to promote the UK in overseas territories. Terms and conditions of the scheme are negotiated and agreed between the UK and each participating country, meaning young British citizens can also benefit from similar opportunities to live and work overseas.

With a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, individuals can live in the UK and study, work in most jobs or be self-employed during the visa’s 24-month validity period.

Required Document For Youth Mobility Scheme 

To apply for a Youth Mobility visa, you need to prepare the following:

  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality
  • a bank statement showing you have at least £2,530 in savings
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You need to ensure that your passport has a blank page for your visa.

You also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

For nationals who need to enter the ballot, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • an invitation to apply to the Youth Mobility Scheme
  • application within the period of time specified on that invitation
  • unique application number for that invitation to apply
  • local police certificate or a police clearance certificate that has been issued no more than 6 months before the date of your application
  • Proof of qualification equal to or above RQF level 6.

The Youth Mobility Scheme Ballot System

The first ballot of the 2023 Youth Mobility Scheme opens at 00:01 am on Tuesday 17 January and closes at 00:01 am on Thursday 19 January.

You need to enter the ballot if you want to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa and you’re from:

  • Hong Kong, if you have a Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

In January’s ballot, there will be a total of 800 places available for each country listed above. If you are not selected this time, you will have another chance to secure a place when the second ballot opens in July 2023.

Strictly only one ballot entry can be submitted per person. Any duplications will not be counted.

How To Join The Ballot

To enter the ballot, you will need to send an email to the Home Office. All emails received during the 48-hour period in which the ballots are open will be entered. You will get an automated reply confirming your entry.

Your email must be written in English, and the subject line must contain your name, date of birth and passport number in the following format: Lastname Firstname – DD/MM/YYYY – passport number

The body of the email must contain your name, date of birth, passport number and mobile phone number. Emails received without this information or not in this format will not be considered.

Where To Send Your Ballot

Hong Kong: 

Email: [email protected] between 00:01 am on 17 January 2023 and 00:01 am on 19 January 2023 (Hong Kong time) to enter the ballot.


Email: [email protected] between 00:01 am on 17 January 2023 and 00:01 am on 19 January 2023 (Tokyo time) to enter the ballot.

South Korea: 

Email: [email protected] between 00:01 am on 17 January 2023 and 00:01 am on 19 January 2023 (Seoul time) to enter the ballot.


Email: [email protected] between 00:01 am on 17 January 2023 and 00:01 am on 19 January 2023 (Taipei time) to enter the ballot.

After Sending Your Entry

Once the ballot closes, allocations will be chosen at random by UKVI.

You will receive an email by 20 January 2023 if you were successful in the first ballot. You will then have 30 days to submit your visa application and pay the visa fee.

After you’ve paid, you’ll usually have 90 days to book your appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). This is where you will provide your fingerprints and a photograph. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks of attending your appointment. 

If your visa application is successful, you will have 90 days to enter the UK. Your visa will be valid for 2 years.

If you were unsuccessful in the first ballot, you will receive an email within 2 weeks of the ballot closing. You will be able to enter the second ballot when it opens in July 2023, if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Youth Mobility Visa Holders

As a Youth Mobility Scheme visa holder, you will be allowed to work in the UK, other than as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

Visa holders are also allowed to study. However, unless you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the Republic of Korea, you will be subject to the conditions of the Academic Technology Approval Scheme. This requires a certificate in order to study certain subjects in the UK at a postgraduate level.

Youth Mobility visa holders will not be permitted to access public funds.

Prior to the expiration of the Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you may be able to apply from within the UK to switch to another immigration category, such as the Skilled Worker route or the Start-up route

Do you want to apply for a Youth Mobility visa in the UK? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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