UK expands Youth Mobility Scheme visa for New Zealand, Australian and Canadian nationals

Personal Immigration, 9 March 2023

From 29 June 2023, the age limit for New Zealand nationals applying to come to the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme visa will go up from 30 to 35 years old and the maximum length of time New Zealand nationals can stay in the UK will be extended to 3 years from 2 years allowing more young people from New Zealand to live and work in the UK for longer.

There are similar changes for British nationals to go to New Zealand under the UK’s existing reciprocal, bilateral arrangement with New Zealand.

Immigration Minister to the UK, Robert Jenrick said:

“We are always proud to welcome Kiwis to the UK, and the expanded schemes will mean that from this summer, more young Brits and New Zealanders will have the opportunity to make lasting connections, develop their skills and make a significant contribution to their host country’s society.”

“The changes we are announcing will further strengthen the close ties between the UK and New Zealand, and benefit both countries economically, socially and culturally.”

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme UK visa?

The Youth Mobility Scheme UK visa route implements the international commitments which the UK takes to provide cultural exchange programmes for young people with participating countries and territories and it allows a person aged between 18 and 30 from participating countries and territories to experience life in the UK for up to 2 years. No job offer or other sponsorship in the UK is required to apply for the visa.

Participating countries and territories are currently Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, San Marino, and Taiwan.

Quota increases: Australia and Canada

The Youth Mobility Scheme has a quota for each participating country and territory that limits the number of places available to come to the UK. This is updated annually and as of 12 April 2023, this year’s allocation for the participating countries and territories is as follows:

  • Australia – 35,000 places
  • Canada – 8,000 places
  • Hong Kong – 1,000 places
  • Iceland – 1,000 places
  • India – 3,000 places
  • Japan – 1,500 places
  • Monaco – 1,000 places
  • New Zealand – 13,000 places
  • Republic of Korea – 1,000 places
  • San Marino – 1,000 places
  • Taiwan – 1,000 places

The annual allocation for Australia has increased from 30,000 places in 2022 to 35,000 in 2023 and for Canada from 6,000 places in 2022 to 8,000 in 2023.

Implications for New Zealand, Australian and Canadian nationals

Young New Zealanders, Australians and Canadians will benefit from enhanced life-changing opportunities in the UK thanks to the expansion of the shared visa schemes.

For more detailed UK immigration advice and for any other questions on this and other UK immigration developments, please contact us at info@viajeukimmigration.com