UK immigration adds South Korea to Tier 5 youth mobility scheme

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Young people in South Korea will soon be able to apply for the UK's Tier 5 youth mobility scheme visa.

The UK announced that soon 1,000 young South Koreans will be able to come under the scheme each year to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. Additionally, the same number of young people from the UK will be able to live and work in South Korea.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome South Korean young people to our youth mobility programme. This is a significant opportunity for both the UK and South Korea, an opportunity to strengthen and build on the cultural and economic ties that exist between us and to promote mutual understanding," said Scott Wightman, British Ambassador to South Korea.

Currently, the following countries and territories participate in the Tier 5 youth mobility scheme and have a specific number of visas allocated for them in 2012:
  • Australia - 32,500 places
  • Canada - 5,000 places
  • Japan - 1,000 places
  • New Zealand - 10,000 places
  • Monaco - 1,000 places
  • Taiwan - 1,000 places

"It gives young South Koreans the opportunity to experience life in the UK and to improve their English, and for us to benefit from having them live within our communities. Likewise, this scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for young people from all over the UK to come and experience at first hand the vibrancy and fascinating culture of South Korea," added Wightman.

Before applying for a visa South Korean applicants will need a certificate of sponsorship issued by South Korean authorities. Additionally, to be able to apply, you must score 50 points in the following categories:
Nationality: You will score 30 points if you are a citizen or passport-holder of any of the countries or territories participating in the scheme30
Age: You will score 10 points if you are:
  • under 31 years old when you apply for your visa; and
  • at least 18 years old on the date when your visa becomes valid (the first date when you can enter the UK).
Maintenance (funds): You will score 10 points if you have £1,800 in available cash funds. 10

"The youth mobility scheme, which comes under Tier 5 of the UK's points-based system for visa applications, will shortly be open to South Korean applicants. Under the scheme those aged between 18 and 30 will be eligible to apply, and will be able to live, work and study in the UK without the need for a sponsor," said UK Border Agency's Asia Pacific director, James Sharp.

The UK Border Agency said the scheme will become available to South Korea applicants sometime in the next few months.

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