In May 2021, the UK Government disclosed its plan to roll out a new Young Professionals Scheme exclusively for Indian citizens. This scheme would permit eligible participants to work in the UK for up to two years without the necessity of having a prior job offer.

Further specifics are anticipated to be disclosed soon. Here’s what we understand about the scheme so far.

What does the Young Professionals Scheme for Indian nationals entail?

The novel Young Professionals Scheme allows eligible Indian nationals to live and work in the UK for a maximum of two years. This scheme doesn’t require the applicants to secure a job offer before they apply. Applications can be made from both within the UK and India.

Why introduce the Young Professionals Scheme visa now?

This scheme is a component of the UK Government’s post-Brexit approach that involves reaching out to countries with historical connections to the UK, such as India. The objective is to tap into the skill and talent pool available in these countries to address the UK’s demand for skilled and qualified labor.

What is the qualifying criteria for the Young Professionals Scheme?

While more detailed information is awaited, the basic eligibility criteria have been announced:

  • Possession of an Indian passport
  • Age between 18 and 30 years
  • A university degree or equivalent professional experience
  • Adequate financial support for the visa duration

Is it possible to extend a Young Professional Scheme visa?

The Young Professionals Scheme visa has a validity of up to two years and cannot be prolonged beyond that. Nevertheless, visa holders can transition to a different UK work visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa, while in the UK.

Will there be a limit on the number of Young Professionals Scheme visas issued?

Yes, there will initially be a quota of 3,000 visas per year for the scheme.

How does the Young Professionals Scheme differ from the Graduate Immigration visa?

Introduced in 2019, the Graduate Immigration visa provides UK university graduates a two-year visa to live and work in the UK post-study. The Young Professionals Scheme won’t significantly affect Indian graduates in the UK. They are better suited to apply for the Graduate Immigration visa, as it has no quota limits.

The Young Professionals Scheme will be beneficial for Indian nationals who graduated from a UK university in the recent past but couldn’t find work in the UK and had to return to India. The scheme will also be advantageous for Indian graduates from universities in India and other countries, as well as for Indian professionals with equivalent professional experience, but without a university degree.

Can I include my family in my Young Professionals Scheme visa?

No, the Young Professionals Scheme visa only covers the applicant, not their dependents. However, if you secure a permanent role at a company that’s willing to sponsor your Skilled Worker visa application, you can include dependents in that visa application.

When will the Young Professionals Scheme visa be available?

The exact date of the scheme’s launch hasn’t been confirmed yet. However, as trade discussions between the UK and India are set to recommence early in 2022, the Young Professionals Scheme visa is likely to be a part of those negotiations, and more information might become available soon.

If you’re interested in this scheme and would like to stay updated, consider subscribing to the Help with my visa! mailing list. You will receive 2-4 emails monthly about various visa, travel, and immigration topics, including instructions on how to apply for the Young Professionals Scheme when it becomes available. Complete the form below to join.

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