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UK & India Migration and Mobility Scheme

07 May 2021 Grace McGill Blog


The UK and Indian governments have signed a new Migration and Mobility Partnership, which includes a commitment to create a Young Professionals Scheme which would allow graduates aged 18-30 or applicants in this age group with comparable professional experience to obtain a two-year visa.

The UK government has not yet confirmed the implementation date of this program and confirmation of the details of the scheme are awaited from the Indian Government.

But in summary, the proposals are :

  • The permit is available to UK and Indian nationals between 18 and 30 years old; with a diploma/degree from a higher education program of at least three years’ duration, or a comparable level of professional experience; with proficiency in the language of the host country. 
  • Successful applicants will receive a two-year permit which allows work and stay in the host country. Applicants must leave or change status upon permit expiry.
  • The United Kingdom will cap applications under the scheme to 3,000 visas.

Exchanges of young professionals and joint action in favour of such exchanges

(i) These young professionals, who are between the ages 18-30, will be authorised to take up employment under the provisions set forth in this section without consideration being given to the employment situation in the host Participant’s country. Where regulated professions are concerned, the young professionals are subject to the criteria defined by the host country.

(ii) They must hold a diploma / degree which validates as far as possible at least three years’ higher education corresponding to the qualification required for the employment on offer or have professional experience of comparable level in the sphere of activity concerned and be able to express themselves in the language(s) of the host country.

(iii) The authorised work period under the Young Professionals Scheme will be a period of 24 months for all eligible applicants.

(iv) Young UK or Indian professionals may not continue to reside in the host country after the authorised work period expires. Both Participants will take measures to ensure that the young professionals concerned return to their country of nationality.

(v) Where relevant, they may be authorised to continue their stay in the host country provided that they obtain an employment contract as per the Participants’ immigration laws and regulations.

 (vii) The number of young Indian and UK professionals admitted by either Participant may not exceed 3000 per year under the Scheme. This quota may be amended by an exchange of letters between the Participants.

Encouraging the mobility of skills and talents


(i) The UK will take steps to encourage the visit of Indian nationals wishing to place their skills at the service of the bilateral relationship and to contribute via their professional projects to the economic development and influence of UK and India. To that end, the UK will facilitate the issuance of visas to skilled Indian nationals with a project of an economic, scientific, technological, cultural or humanitarian nature, likely to make a significant contribution to the development of relations between the two countries to work, in accordance with the UK Immigration Rules. The visa will be issued for the length of the employment up to a maximum of 5 years and can be renewed as per extant rules.

(ii) Reciprocally, India will encourage the issuance of an “employment visa” giving rise to the granting of a residence permit valid for 3 years, which will be renewable, to UK nationals with projects of a similar nature.

The residence permits and visas mentioned in paragraph 3.7.1 are renewable in the country of issue without any obligation for the beneficiary to temporarily leave that country in order to apply for a new visa, and may not be subject to the labour market situation in the host country.

Skilled mobility

Recognising the contribution that nationals of each Participant’s country who are skilled workers make to the economy of the other Participant’s country, the Participants will continue to make provision in their domestic laws and regulations for visas permitting the residence for skilled employment purposes of the skilled worker and their dependent family, and which may be extended to reflect the duration of the work and may also lead to permanent residence in specified circumstances.

Employees seconded between enterprises of the same group

(i) The UK will facilitate the mobility of employed Indian nationals who are: (a) managers or specialist personnel that are the subject of a transfer between the enterprises of the same group; or (b) graduate level recruits who are the subject of a transfer between the enterprises of the same group as part of a structured management training programme.

(ii) To that end the UK will facilitate such movement by issuing an intra-company transfer visa or intra-company graduate trainee visa subject to the transfer meeting requirements relating to the minimum period of employment prior to the transfer, the skills required for the role, and the minimum level of remuneration as set out in the UK Immigration Rules. The visa is valid for the duration of the secondment, and: (a) in the case of an intra-company transfer, for a maximum period of 5 years in any 6 year period, and up to 9 years in any 10 year period in certain circumstances; or (b) in the case of an intra-company graduate trainee, for a maximum period of 1 year.

(iii) Reciprocally, India will facilitate the issuance to UK employees seconded to India between enterprises of the same group of an “employment visa” giving rise to the granting of a residence permit valid for 2 years, renewed in India for a maximum period of 5 years from the date of issue of the initial employment visa, on a year to year basis, on production of the necessary documents in support of continued employment and income tax compliance by the individual applicant concerned.

(iv) In the case of graduate level recruits from the UK, who are subject to a transfer between enterprises of same group as part of structured management training program, the UK graduate employees may receive from the competent authorities of India a business visa leading to temporary residence permit valid up to 18 months.


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