Changes to the Youth Mobility Visa Scheme: ballot system

Jul 5, 2021

On 21 June 2021, the Home Office made changes to the Youth Mobility Visa Scheme. The guidance released by the Home Office confirmed that migrants from certain countries need to apply for the ballot before applying for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

As part of the UK’s new points-based system, the government recently introduced the Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5).

The scheme is only open to applicants from certain countries. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 on the date of the application.

What are the changes to the Youth Mobility Visa Scheme?

The following nationalities are able to apply under the youth mobility scheme without the requirement of applying to the ballot first:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino

Individuals can also apply if they are a:

  • British overseas citizen
  • British overseas territories citizen
  • British national (overseas)

Who needs to apply for the ballot?

Individuals who are eligible to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa must apply for the ballot if they are from;

    • Hong Kong, if they have an SAR passport
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Taiwan

Each applicant can only submit one ballot entry.

Ballots typically open in January and July each year. Ballots will be open for 48 hours. All emails received within the period of 48 hours will be entered into the ballot. All applicants will receive an automated reply confirming receipt. Once the ballot closes, applicants will then be chosen at random by UKVI.

British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas) do not need to apply for the ballot.

How to apply for the ballot?

Applicants must send an email in English and the subject line of the email must include their;

  • name
  • date of birth
  • current passport number

The format for the subject line: Last name First name – DD/MM/YYYY – passport number.

Individuals also need to provide their mobile phone number in the email too.

Emails must be sent between midday Monday 12 July 2021 and midday Wednesday 14 July 2021.

Hong Kong

200 ballot places will be available in July 2021.

Applicants need to email


700 ballot places will be available in July 2021.

Applicants need to email

South Korea

200 ballot places will be available in July 2021.

Applicants need to email


200 ballot places will be available in July 2021.

Applicants need to email

If an applicant is unsuccessful in the ballot

Applicants will receive an email within 1 week of the ballot closing if they have been unsuccessful in the ballot.

Applicants can reapply for the ballot when it reopens in January 2022.

If an applicant is successful in the ballot

Applicants will receive a second email by 16 July if they have been successful confirming the acceptance. It will also provide further instructions on how to make an appointment, along with documentary evidence required to apply for your entry clearance.

Upon receiving the email, applicants must prepare online applications and online credit card payments within 30 days. Failure to submit your application within this period will automatically remove the applicant’s name from the list and the allocation will be retracted.

After submitting the application, individuals must book their appointment at visa application centre within 90 days. Applicants will receive a decision within 3 weeks of attending their biometrics appointment at a Visa Application Centre.

The visa vignette will be valid for a period of 90 days. Individuals must travel to the UK during this time. If due to some reason travel is not possible within this time period, they will need to apply for a replacement vignette to come to the UK. There is no need to reapply for the ballot.

Please note that the expiry date of the visa will not change, including if an individual’s arrival in the UK has been delayed by coronavirus.

Applicants need to make sure they meet all eligibility requirements before they apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

If the visa application is successful, migrants will have the right to live, work and study in the UK for up to 2 years.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible or need assistance with your visa application contact Migrate UK.

Changes to the Youth Mobility Visa Scheme: ballot system

Karen Kaur and Jonathan Beech – Immigration Lawyers