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UK Announces 2,400 Visas For Indians Under Young Professional Scheme
Under the reciprocal arrangement signed off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart, Rishi Sunak, at the G-20 summit in Indonesia last November, British nationals would also be offered similar visas to live and work in India
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The UK government on Tuesday invited 2,400 visa applications for Indians under the UK-India Young Professional Scheme.
According to an update shared by the British High Commission in India, Indian citizens between 18 and 30 years of age can enter the ballot if they meet other relevant criteria.
"This is an excellent opportunity for India's brightest young people between the ages of 18-30 to experience the best of the UK," said the British High Commission in New Delhi as it released the detailed eligibility criteria for the new scheme.
Applicants must also have the relevant educational qualifications - bachelor's degree level or above - and possess Pound 2,530 (approximately Rs 2.6 lakhs) in savings. They must also not have any dependent minor children.
"If you're successful in the ballot you'll need to apply for your visa by the deadline given in your invitation to apply. This is usually 30 days after you get the invitation. You must travel to the UK within six months of applying for your visa," an update shared on the government website said.
The ballots will open at 2:30 pm (IST0 on 28 February and close at 2:29 pm (IST) on 2 March.
Under the reciprocal arrangement signed off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart, Rishi Sunak, at the G-20 summit in Indonesia last November, British nationals would also be offered similar visas to live and work in India.
"You must be selected in the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot before you can apply for this visa. To enter the ballot you must declare that you're eligible for the visa - check if you're eligible before you enter," read the British government announcement.
Those looking to obtain this visa must pay the application fee of Pound 259 (approx Rs 26,000) and a healthcare surcharge of Pound 940 (approx Rs 94,000). They will also have to prove they have Pound 2,530 in personal savings.
"You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa. You'll need to show proof of this when you apply," the British government explained.
The successful candidate must travel to the UK within 6 months of applying for her visa.
"You'll be given a visa to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months. You can enter the UK at any time while your visa is valid, and leave and come back at any time during your stay," read the eligibility criteria.
Eligible candidates can enter the India Young Professionals Scheme ballot by filling out their details online. They will need to provide details such as name, phone number, email address and date of birth. They will also have to share passport details and a scanned image of their passport.
"The successful entries will be picked at random. You will be sent the results by email within 2 weeks of the ballot closing. It's free to enter the ballot. You should only enter if you plan to apply for the visa which costs Pound 259," read the UK government site.
Chosen candidates will then receive an invitation to apply for the visa. They will have 30 days from the date of the email to apply online and pay the visa application fee and immigration health surcharge.
The Young Professionals Visa will allow Indians to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months. They can exit and enter the visa at any time while their visa is valid.
Unsuccessful candidates can apply for future ballots, with the next tentatively scheduled for July. The High Commission of India in London will be handling the ballots and visas on the UK end of the scheme, for British citizens keen to access the new route to apply for a two-year Indian visa.
The launch of the UK-India Young Professionals Scheme was dubbed a "significant moment" for the bilateral relationship and the UK's wider commitment to forging stronger links with the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen both Indian and British economies. It was also seen as an effort to propel the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, which are now set to enter the eighth round of talks next month. (ANI)