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Extension for Commonwealth Citizens on Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visas

Submitted by Catty Marnane on Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Published on Monday 20th July 2020

Current status: Open

Open until: Wednesday 20th January 2021

Current Signatures: 10,714
(count is updated approximately hourly)

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

Citizens ~ Covid ~ Covid-19 ~ Government ~ NHS ~ UK ~ UK Government ~ uncertainty ~ US ~ Valuable time

Petition Action

Extension for Commonwealth Citizens on Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visas

Petition Details

Extension of all commonwealth citizens on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa who have lost valuable time in the UK due to Covid-19. Many people had to leave the UK due to job loses and future uncertainty while others stayed with commitments to our employers and our ambition to build a life here.

Additional Information

The UK Government has extended visas for many working in the NHS, but not us on youth mobility schemes who are continuing to contribute in our communities and the local workforce. While the current circumstances are unprecedented, they will have a huge impact on both recent arrivals and those coming towards the end of their visa. UK response to pandemic has limited our participation in life here as well as employment opportunities. An extension would rectify this and should benefit communities we are living it.


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Wednesday 19th August 2020

A Youth Mobility Scheme visa is granted for a fixed two-year period and cannot be extended. Our response to the pandemic, through our visa provisions, has ensured that no one has been disadvantaged.

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic, this government introduced an automatic visa extension to any individual with a visa which was due to expire between the 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. This generous offer was further expanded to offer one month’s extra grace period, until 31 August 2020, which allows time to make the necessary arrangements to leave the UK without an individual’s leave expiring. This grace period is applied automatically without the need to contact the Home Office.

Outside of these provisions, there is discretion to grant additional leave where there are particularly exceptional or compelling reasons to do so. We have ensured no one has, or will be, disadvantaged by this pandemic.

As part of the national effort to combat coronavirus, doctors, nurses and paramedics will automatically have their visas extended, free of charge, for one-year.

Eligible doctors, nurses and paramedics, employed by the NHS whose visa is due to expire before 1 October, will benefit from this. The extension will also apply to their family members, demonstrating how valued overseas NHS staff are to the UK. By giving them the peace of mind they do not need to apply for a visa extension, this will allow those at the frontline – working around the clock in hospitals to treat the most seriously ill – to focus fully on combatting coronavirus and saving lives. The automatic extensions we are offering to certain health workers are just one part of the Government’s immigration response to COVID-19, as guided by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Our Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) arrangements extend to Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. The scheme, launched in November 2008, aims to provide a reciprocal cultural exchange programme allowing young people aged 18 to 30 from participating countries and territories to experience life in the UK for up to two years.

Leave is granted for a fixed two-year period and there is no option to extend this. In addition, this route can only be used by an applicant once, as it is primarily a cultural exchange scheme and it does not lead to settlement in the UK

Home Office

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