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2,400 UK visas on offer under India Young Professionals Scheme

The UK government 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 have the relevant educational qualifications - bachelor's degree level or above - and possess £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 February 28 and close at 2:29 pm (IST) on March 2.

Under the reciprocal arrangement signed off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart, Rishi Sunak, at the G20 summit in Indonesia last November, British nationals would also be offered similar visas to live and work in India.

Those looking to obtain this visa must pay the application fee of £259 (approx Rs 26,000) and a healthcare surcharge of £940 (approx Rs 94,000).

"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.

Unsuccessful candidates can apply for future ballots, with the next tentatively scheduled for July.

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.


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