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Youth Mobility Visas

BHD Solicitors are specialist lawyers in London & Croydon who assist with UK Youth Mobility Visa applications. The Youth Mobility Scheme is designed to enable young people to experience life in the UK. There is no requirement to have an employer to sponsor the visa or even for the applicant to intend to work in the UK, which makes it much more flexible than other routes. The Youth Mobility visa is only available to citizens of a select list of countries.

Main requirements

1. Nationality

The applicant must be one of the following: a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas); or a national of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iceland or San Marino.

2. Age

Applicants must be over 18 and under the age of 31 (increased to 35 if you are from New Zealand). Applicants who are 17 can apply but only get entry clearance from their 18th birthday.

3. Maintenance

Applicants must demonstrate that they have savings of £2,530. This is calculated using the exchange rate on the date the application was submitted. The detailed rules on maintenance for this route are in Appendix Finance, which says:

Funds may be held in any form of personal bank or building society account (including current, deposit, savings, pension from which the funds can be withdrawn or investment account) provided the account allows the funds to be accessed immediately.

The applicant must have held the funds in such an account for 28 days.


First, you cannot get a Youth Mobility visa twice (unless you are from New Zealand). If you apply a second time then you would be refused even if you meet the requirements. Importantly, though, this only applies if you actually spent time in the UK on the visa, so if someone applies for and gets a Youth Mobility visa but decided not to use it, then they could still get another one the following year if they wished.

Second, applicants must not have children under the age of 18 who live with them or are financially dependent on them. Children born to Youth Mobility visa holders during their stay in the UK can however be added to the visa as a dependant.

Finally, the Immigration Rules only allow for entry clearance and do not provide for permission to stay (formerly called “leave to remain”). Therefore it is not possible to switch onto a Youth Mobility visa if you are already in the UK.

Conditions of leave

Successful applicants get two years’ entry clearance. There is no possibility of renewing the visa (unless you are from New Zealand) and no possibility of applying for indefinite leave to remain. As with almost all other routes, entry clearance will be granted subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

There are very few limits on what a successful applicant can do with their two years in the UK and no requirement to do anything at all.

A few select forms of work are prohibited. Youth Mobility visa holders cannot work as a professional sportsperson/coach. There are also some slightly bizarre constraints on self-employment:

(b) no self-employment, except where the following conditions are met:

(i) the person has no premises which they own, other than their home, from which they carry out their business; and

(ii) the total value of any equipment used in the business does not exceed £5,000; and

(iii) the person has no employees

Youth Mobility visa holders can also use their two years to study in the UK (except for courses which require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate).

Applying for a Youth Mobility visa? How our immigration lawyers can help

If you have questions regarding the Youth Mobility route or any other UK immigration routes, BHD Solicitors is here to help.

We are committed to supporting businesses and individuals as they adapt to the changes that the UK’s new immigration system will bring. We will work with you from initial consultation to delivery, to ensure your visa application process is as stress-free as possible.

For further information and a free telephone consultation, call our Central London or Croydon offices today on 0208 681 5128 and speak to one of our senior lawyers.

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