The first ballot for the new India Young Professionals scheme visa will be open for 48 hours next week from 2.30pm India Standard Time on 28 February 2023 and will close at 2.30pm IST on 2 March. Individuals need to be successful in the ballot to apply for the new visa.
The visa is open to Indian nationals between 18 and 30 who have a bachelor's degree or equivalent (without children ties). An applicant also needs £2530 in savings. Although there are only 2,400 places available in the February ballot, the bachelor's degree and savings requirement will certainly limit the under 20's who can apply (except the geniuses!). The visa itself costs £259 and there is also the Immigration Health Surcharge to pay of £940.
Despite the thresholds, this small injection to the labour market will be welcome to some businesses who are struggling to recruit and who cannot afford the costs of sponsoring workers from overseas (especially for more junior roles). This could be from IT to leisure and hospitality. It also gives the opportunity for both businesses and individuals to see if they work well together (before sponsorship comes into play) and of course for the young people coming from India to see if they like it here in the UK.
While it is part of the Youth Mobility Scheme (or 'working holiday visa'), the need for a qualification is unique to the India visa. It has further additional requirements of a Police Clearance Certificate and TB check.
Following the UK's departure from the EU, this is evidence of the government's commitment to making country specific agreements (which has also been seen with Japan and Switzerland). We await to see if this is a general or ad-hoc policy in the post Brexit landscape.
the first visa-national country to benefit from such a scheme, highlighting the strength of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership