In May 2021, the UK Government announced its intention to launch a new Young Professionals Scheme for Indian nationals that will allow eligible people to come to the UK to work for up to two years without needing a job offer first.

More details are expected to be announced soon, but this is what we currently know.

What is the new Young Professionals Scheme for Indian nationals?

The new Young Professionals Scheme for Indian nationals is a visa that will enable Indian nationals to come to the UK and work for up to two years. Eligible people won’t need a job offer before they apply and will be able to apply under the scheme both from inside the UK and from India.

Why is the Young Professionals Scheme visa being introduced now?

The Young Professionals Scheme is part of the UK Government’s post-Brexit strategy of looking to countries with historical ties to the UK – like India – where there is a talent pool that can help fulfil the UK’s skills and qualified labour needs.

What is the eligibility criteria for the Young Professionals Scheme?

Further details are expected in due course but right now, the eligibility criteria has been announced as:

  • must be an Indian passport holder
  • must be aged between 18 and 30 years old
  • must be either a university graduate or have a similar length of professional experience
  • must have sufficient financial support to cover the duration of the visa

Can a Young Professional Scheme visa be extended?

The Young Professionals Scheme visa is valid for up to two years and cannot be extended beyond this time. However, visa holders will be able to switch while inside the UK to a different type of UK work visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa.

Are there any quotas on how many Young Professionals Scheme visas will be issued?

Yes, the Scheme has an initial quota of 3,000 visas per year.

What's the difference between the Young Professionals Scheme and the Graduate Immigration visa?

The Graduate Immigration visa was announced back in 2019, and offers UK university graduates a two-year visa to live and work in the UK post-study. For Indian graduates in the UK, the new Young Professionals Scheme will have no real impact, and Indian nationals will actually be better off applying to stay in the UK though the Graduate Immigration visa as there are no quotas.

The Young Professionals Scheme will benefit Indian nationals who’ve graduated from a UK university over the past few years but who couldn’t find work in the UK and had to return home. The Scheme will also benefit Indian graduates from universities in India and other countries, as well as Indian professionals who didn’t go to university but who have a comparable amount of professional experience.

Can I bring my family with my on a Young Professionals Scheme visa?

No, only the person applying for the Young Professionals Scheme visa can apply – dependents are not allowed. However, if you’re offered a permanent role at a company and they are willing to sponsor your Skilled worker visa application, you may request that dependents be included in that visa application.

When will the Young Professionals Scheme visa launch?

Unfortunately this hasn’t been announced yet. However, trade negotiations between the UK and India are resuming early 2022, and it’s highly likely the Young Professionals Scheme visa will form part of those discussions so we may find out more soon.

If you’re interested in the scheme and would like to keep in touch on developments, the best thing to do is join the Help with my visa! mailing list. You’ll receive 2-4 emails per month on a range of visa, travel and  immigration subjects, including guidance on how to apply for the Young Professionals Scheme when it launches. Fill out the form below to get started.

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