The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India introduced the Young Professionals Scheme (YPS) as a component of the India-UK Migration and Mobility Partnership on February 28, 2023.

The YPS provides Indian citizens aged between 18 and 30 with the opportunity to reside and work in the UK for up to two years. Similarly, the YPS provides British nationals with a comparable opportunity to reside and work in India.

Indian Nationals and the YPS

Recent statistics from the UK Home Office for the year ending June 2022 reveal that India has surpassed China as the largest source of international students in the UK. This indicates a strong desire among young Indians to pursue education and prospects in the UK.

As part of the YPS, the UK government will grant 3000 visas annually to eligible Indian nationals who possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. To apply for the program from India, interested applicants must participate in a ballot system. The British High Commission in New Delhi conducted the initial ballot on February 28, 2023, during which they offered 2400 visas to Indian nationals.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must fill out an online application through the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) portal to participate in the ballot for YPS. The application process is free of charge. To be eligible for the ballot, applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Must be an Indian citizen between 18 and 30 years of age
  • Should possess a qualification equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Must have savings worth £2,530 (approx. INR 2,50,000), held for at least 28 consecutive days during the 31 days before the application date

The ballot application necessitates that the applicant provide their essential personal information, such as their first name, last name, passport number, email address, and contact number. The portal requires the applicant to upload a legible scanned copy of their passport along with these details.

Within two weeks of the ballot closing, the YPS scheme communicates the outcome of the application to the candidates via email. The scheme conducts a random lottery system to select the applicants. The scheme then issues an “invitation to apply” for the visa to the successful candidates. This invitation typically specifies a deadline (30 days from the email date) within which the applicant must submit their visa application and visit the nearest VFS Global center to provide their biometric data.

Application Requirements

Applicants from India applying under the YPS scheme are required to pay a visa fee of £259. In addition, there is a health surcharge of £940, which covers a period of 24 months. The processing time for this visa is roughly three weeks.

Upon receiving the visa, the applicant must enter the UK within six months of the visa issuance date. Once in the UK, the applicant is permitted to:

  • Study: The UK allows the applicant to study, but for certain degree programs such as post-graduation or research in sensitive subjects, the applicant must obtain an additional certificate under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) before commencing the course or research
  • Work for certain jobs
  • The applicant can operate a business as a self-employed individual, establish a company in rented premises, use equipment valued at less than £5,000, and conduct the business without any employees

British Nationals and the YPS

Likewise, the High Commission of India in the UK is in charge of processing visa applications for UK nationals under the YPS, which allows them to stay in India for up to 24 months. UK nationals can apply online through the designated service provider, VFS Global, and the eligibility requirements are the same as those outlined for Indian nationals.

  • Applicants from the UK applying through the YPS scheme are required to pay a visa fee of £720. Once the visa is issued, the applicant is permitted to travel to India. However, the UK national is to register with the FRRO/FRO within 14 days of arrival in India.
  • UK nationals must apply for an E-1 visa and explicitly state the purpose as the ‘India-UK YPS Programme’. If the applicant already has a job offer in India, they must provide details about the employer in the application. If the applicant does not have a job offer, they can enter ‘N/A’ in the relevant fields and indicate that the expected salary is ‘0’.


We anticipate that the India-UK YPS scheme will facilitate the ongoing negotiations for the Indo-UK Free Trade Agreement, allowing young individuals from both nations to explore opportunities beyond their borders. All in all, the initiative is a significant step towards promoting collaboration and fostering cultural exchange between India and the UK.