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Youth mobility scheme - arrangements for Taiwanese applicants
23 December 2011
From January 2012, eligible Taiwanese will be able to live and work in the UK as part of the youth mobility scheme.
The scheme is part of Tier 5 of the UK's points-based system for immigration. Every year, 1,000 Taiwanese young people will be able to come and experience life in the UK for up to 2 years under the scheme.
In November 2011, we announced in a news story that applicants must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from Taiwan's National Youth Commission before they can apply for a UK visa under the scheme. The first registration period has now closed, but there will be another registration period in May 2012 if fewer than 1,000 eligible people have registered. For more information about registering, see the National Youth Commission website.
If the National Youth Commission allocates a certificate of sponsorship to you, and you meet the scheme's other requirements (see below), you can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa. You must follow the application process on the Applying for a UK visa pages.
You can make your visa application online from 29 December 2011. As part of your application, you will need to book an appointment at the visa application centre in Taipei. Appointments will start on 29 December 2011, and you will be told how to book an appointment if you are allocated a certificate of sponsorship.
If you do not apply for your visa within 3 months of the date when you receive confirmation of your certificate of sponsorship, the certificate will expire and you will not be able to use it.
You can find more information about the youth mobility scheme below and in the Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) section. If you have any enquiries about the scheme, you can contact the visa enquiries service run on our behalf by VFS Global.
Who can come to the UK under the youth mobility scheme?
You can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa if:
- you hold a valid Taiwanese passport with a personal ID number; and
- you have been allocated a certificate of sponsorship by Taiwan's National Youth Commission; and
- you are aged between 18 and 30 years old when you apply; and
- you have £1,600 in cash available to you in your bank account or a joint bank account when you apply; and
- you do not have children under the age of 18 who are living with you or for whom you are financially responsible; and
- you have not been in the UK at any other time as a working holiday maker or on a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa.
Your bank statement showing £1,600 in cash must be dated no earlier than 1 month before the date when you submit your visa application. You do not need to show that £1,600 has been in your account for 3 months before your application date.
If you have been in the UK in a different immigration category, such as Tier 1 (Post-study work), you can return to the UK later under the youth mobility scheme. You must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from the National Youth Commission before you can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa, and you must be in Taiwan when you apply for the visa.
How can you get a certificate of sponsorship?
If you are Taiwanese and you want to apply for visa under the youth mobility scheme, you must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from the National Youth Commission in Taiwan.
To be eligible for a certificate of sponsorship, you must:
- hold a valid National ID card; and
- be aged between 18 and 30 years old; and
- have completed your required period of military service (if you are male).
You will need to register online at the National Youth Commission website, and send evidence that you are eligible. Registration is usually open from 1 December each year for a short period of time. Please see the National Youth Commission website to find out how to register and the dates of the next registration period.
1,000 certificates of sponsorship are available every year. If more than 1,000 eligible people register for a certificate, a computer program is used to randomly select the 1,000 people who will be allocated a certificate.
If a certificate of sponsorship is allocated to you, the National Youth Commission will notify you by email. They will also publish a list of successful applicants on their website when the allocation of certificates of sponsorships is complete.
There is a new allocation of certificates of sponsorship for Taiwanese young people every year. If you are not allocated a certificate this year, you can register again next year (if you are still eligible).
Using your certificate of sponsorship
You must apply for your visa within 3 months of the date when you received confirmation of your certificate of sponsorship, or the certificate will expire and you will not be able to use it.
You must be in Taiwan when you make your visa application.
If you do not apply for a visa before your certificate of sponsorship expires, and you still want to come to the UK under the youth mobility scheme, you will need to be allocated another certificate of sponsorship by the National Youth Commission before you can apply.
If you successfully apply for a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa but you do not use it to come to the UK, you can register for another certificate of sponsorship from the National Youth Commission at a later date. If you are allocated another certificate of sponsorship, you can use it to make a new visa application.
Can you apply for a visa through an agent?
It is up to you whether to use an agent to make your visa application. You do not need to use an agent - the application process is straightforward, and all the information you need is on our website.
When can you travel to the UK?
You can travel to and from the UK at any time within the validity dates of the visa. If you wish, we can postdate a visa to become valid up to 3 months ahead.
How long can you stay in the UK?
If you are given permission to stay under the Youth Mobility Scheme, you will be able to live and work in the UK for a maximum of 24 months.
If your 31st birthday occurs while your visa is still valid, you do not need to leave the UK. You can stay until your visa expires.
Can you work and study on a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa?
You can work full-time or part-time while you are in the UK under the youth mobility scheme, without needing our prior approval and without needing to be 'sponsored' by an employer. However:
- you must not be employed as a professional sportsperson (or coach), a dentist or a doctor in training;
- you must not set yourself up in a business where you own premises or employ other people; and
- if you are self-employed, the total value of the equipment that you use must not be more than £5,000.
You can do any course of part-time or full-time study. Your educational provider does not need to be your 'sponsor', and there are no other entry requirements.
Can you extend your stay or switch into other visa routes?
If you are issued a visa, it will be valid for 2 years. You must leave the UK before your visa expires, you will need to apply for an appropriate visa if you want to return to the UK. You will not be able to:
- extend your stay under the youth mobility scheme;
- switch into another immigration route while you are in the UK; or
- apply to settle in the UK.
If you have a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa, can you travel to other countries?
You can leave and re-enter the UK as many times as you like while your visa is valid.