Expansion of the scheme

The UKBA recently announced that from early January 2012 the tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) will be extended to Taiwan.

UK and Taiwanese authorities have agreed to allow 1,000 young people each year from Taiwan to live and work in the UK for up to two years. The same number of young British nationals will be able to go to Taiwan.

Before applying for a visa, Taiwanese applicants will need to obtain a CoS from Taiwan's National Youth Commission which is expected to announce further details of this process on 1 November 2011. We will publish more information once it is released.

Details of the scheme

The tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) is a useful, often overlooked, alternative category for companies wishing to employ migrants who are nationals of those countries listed below. This is because the visa allows the migrant to do any work, with some exceptions such as employment as a professional sportsperson. It is of particular use where a company does not have a tier 2 sponsor licence or where the migrant does not meet the requirements of tier 2.

The countries currently taking part in the scheme are:

- Australia

- Canada

- Japan

- New Zealand

- Monaco

There are different limits on numbers depending on the country of origin. In addition, British overseas citizens, British overseas territories citizens and British nationals (overseas) can also apply under the scheme, and do not need a sponsor.

The other requirements include:

- that the applicant is between 18 and 30 years old;

- the applicant must have £1,600 in available maintenance (funds);

- the applicant must not have any children under 18 years old who live with them, or for whom they are financially responsible; and

- the applicant must not previously have been in the UK as a working holidaymaker or under the Youth Mobility Scheme.

Applicants can only apply for a tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa in their home country.

For full information on the process in each country taking part in the scheme, please click here.

We also take this opportunity to remind our readers of the tier 5 intern scheme which is becoming increasingly popular. For more information, click here.