The United Kingdom and India are set to launch the Young Professionals Scheme on February 28th, 2023. This program will allow Indian citizens aged 18-30 who hold a degree to live and work in the UK for up to two years. Similarly, UK citizens will also have the opportunity to live and work in India for two years under this scheme. High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami stated that the program will be in effect from March 2023 and will be valid for a period of two years.
The program will allow for an exchange of 3,000 candidates between the two countries. It will provide an opportunity for young professionals to visit, study or work in either country. Notably, there is no requirement for a job offer to apply for this visa.
This announcement follows the 15th India-UK Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) where both countries reaffirmed their comprehensive strategic partnership and adopted Roadmap 2030 for Future Relations. The partnership aims to tackle global challenges such as food and energy security, economic recovery post-Covid, and the prevention of future outbreaks. Both countries are also discussing issues such as trade and economic cooperation, defence and security, science and technology, government-to-people relationships, health, and climate change.
In addition to bilateral cooperation, the UK and India are also working together multilaterally, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the international community, on the development of potential malaria and ebola vaccines. The two countries are also aspiring for an early conclusion of a balanced and comprehensive India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to increase economic engagement between the fifth and sixth largest global economies.
Furthermore, India has recently overtaken China as the largest source country for student visas issued by the UK in the past 12 months. The British High Commissioner also mentioned that they are on track to process India-to-UK visa applications within 15 days, as it was before.
The Young Professionals Scheme presents a valuable opportunity for young professionals in India and the UK to gain international experience and exposure in either country.