Youth Mobility Scheme enhancements for New Zealand nationals

Personal Immigration, 29 June 2023

From 29 June 2023, the age limit for New Zealand nationals applying to come to the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme visa has gone up from 30 to 35 years and the maximum length of time New Zealand nationals can stay in the UK has been 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 who wish to go to New Zealand under the UK’s existing reciprocal, bilateral arrangement with New Zealand.

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 (or 18-35 for some nationalities) from participating countries and territories to experience life in the UK for up to 2 years (or 3 years for some nationalities). 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 allocation: New Zealand

Each participating country and territory has an annual total allocation of places to be used by their nationals, citizens or rightful passport holders on the Youth Mobility Scheme. This is updated annually and this year’s allocation for New Zealand is 13,000 places.

Implications for New Zealand nationals

Alongside the new trade agreement with New Zealand, more young New Zealand nationals will benefit from life-changing opportunities in the UK thanks to the expansion of the shared visa schemes.

If your Youth Mobility Scheme visa application is successful, you’ll be given a visa to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years.  You can enter the UK at any time while your visa is valid and leave and come back at any time during your stay.  You’ll be able to extend your visa in the UK by one year after the initial 2-year period ends to benefit from the enhanced permitted 3-year period of stay.

If you turn 36 after your visa is issued, you can stay in the UK for as long as your visa is valid.

How can we help?

We can provide comprehensive advice to New Zealand nationals globally seeking to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa to experience life in the UK. We can ensure that your visa application complies with all eligibility requirements so that your application is successful allowing you to live, work and study in the UK for up to 3 years. 

For more detailed UK immigration advice and for any other questions on this and other UK immigration developments, please contact us at