Youth Mobility Scheme visa: ballot system

This guidance explains who needs to enter the ballot before applying for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa and how the ballot system works.

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Who needs to enter

You need to enter the ballot if you want to apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa and you’re from:

  • Hong Kong, if you have an SAR passport
  • Taiwan

You no longer need to enter the ballot if you’re a Japanese or South Korean national. FromYou 31 January 2024, you can apply at any time on our website.

You also do not need to enter the ballot if you’re a British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas).

India Young Professionals Scheme

There’s a different ballot if you’re from India.

How to enter

Ballots typically open in January and July each year.

You enter the ballot by sending an email. Only one ballot entry can be submitted per person. Any duplications will not be counted.

MakeYou must make sure you meet all eligibility requirements for the visa before entering the ballot.

Ballots will be open for 48 hours. All emails we receive within this 48 hour period will be entered into the ballot. You will get an automated reply confirming your entry.

MostFor applicantsthe Youth Mobility Scheme visa in 2024, there are usually1,000 chosenplaces duringavailable thefor Januarynationals ballotof Hong Kong and 1,000 places available for nationals of Taiwan. Most places were allocated during the January ballot. The remaining places arewill be allocated in the July ballot.

Writing your email

Your email must be in English.

The subject line of the email must include your:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • passport number

Write these in the format: Lastname Firstname – DD/MM/YYYY – passport number.

Example subject line: Wong Janet – 31/03/2000 – 123456789

The body of the email must include your:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • passport number
  • mobile phone number

Emails received without this information or not in this format will not be considered.

Hong Kong

Email between 00:01am (one minute past midnight) on Tuesday 23 July 2024 and 00:01am on Thursday 25 July 2024 (Hong Kong time) to enter the ballot.


Email between 00:01am (one minute past midnight) on Tuesday 23 July 2024 and 00:01am on Thursday 25 July 2024 (Taipei time) to enter the ballot.

If you’re successful in the ballot

You will havereceive received an email by Wednesday 731 FebruaryJuly 2024 if you wereare successful in the firstsecond ballot.

You then have 90 days to submit your application, pay the visa fee and provide your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks of attending your appointment. Check the guidance on decision waiting times to find out how long visa decisions are currently taking.

If your visa application is successful, you will have 90 days to enter the UK. Your visa will be valid for 2 years.

If you cannot travel to the UK within 90 days, you’ll need to apply for an extension. You will not need to reapply for the visa. The expiry date of your visa will not change, including if your arrival in the UK has been delayed by coronavirus.

You may be able to get your visa faster, depending on what country you’re in. Check with your VAC.

If you’re unsuccessful in the ballot

If you wereare unsuccessful in the ballot, you will havereceive received an email within 2 weeks of the ballot closing.

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Published 21 June 2021
Last updated 110 FebruaryJuly 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated with details of the second 2024 ballot.

  2. The first 2024 ballot has now closed.

  3. Clarified that people from Japan and South Korea can apply at any time from 31 January 2024.

  4. Updated with details of the first 2024 ballot.

  5. Updated to reflect that the second and final ballot of the 2023 Youth Mobility Scheme closed on 26 July.

  6. Updated with information on the second ballot.

  7. Added link to India YPS.

  8. Updated to reflect the closure of the first 2023 ballot.

  9. Updated to add dates and information for the first 2023 ballot.

  10. Removed the timings referenced on the page as the final ballot of the 2022 YMS season has now closed.

  11. Updated page with information about the second ballot for the 2022 Youth Mobility Scheme, which opens for 48 hours from Monday 25 to Wednesday 27 July.

  12. Edited page to show that the first ballot of 2022 has now closed.

  13. Added information about the ballot for the India Young Professionals Scheme.

  14. Added information about the January 2022 ballot.

  15. Updated to explain that the 2021 ballot has now closed.

  16. First published.