On 4 May 2021, there were numerous UK-India related announcements, including £1 billion of new trade, and the signing of a new landmark migration deal, introducing new UK immigration opportunities for Indian citizens.

In particular, both the UK and India have jointly decided to create the new "Young Professionals Scheme" for UK and Indian citizens looking to work in the other country. The migration deal, which is in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), indicates that this scheme is for:

  • Young professionals aged between 18 and 30
  • Who hold a diploma/ degree qualification corresponding with the employment on offer
  • Have sufficient financial resources

Under the scheme, individuals would be allowed to work for 2 years and the scheme is limited to 3,000 professionals per year.

The new scheme looks similar to the existing Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) or "working holiday" visa route which is currently an option for people from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Republic of Korea.

Although the MoU isn't clear when the new scheme will be introduced, it does set out other commitments including:

  • encouraging short-stays/ visits
  • facilitating and improving the reception of students
  • promoting opportunity for initial professional experience
  • immigration for professional and economic reasons

We will issue an update as more information is released and as the new scheme is formally introduced into UK immigration laws.

First published: 07 May 2021

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