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Japan Youth Exchange Scheme

This section explains how you can come to the United Kingdom as part of the Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme. Under this scheme we will give you permission to come to the United Kingdom for up to 12 months which cannot be extended. It explains:

  • if you are eligible to come under the Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme;
  • how to apply;
  • can you extend your stay;
  • if you can bring dependants; and
  • if you can appeal if you are refused entry under the scheme.

Please note the Youth Exchange Scheme is due to be deleted later this year when the new points-based system Youth Mobility Scheme of Tier 5 is launched.

Eligibility:

The Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme allows Japanese nationals aged between 18 and 25 to come to the United Kingdom for an extended holiday for up to 12 months. You may in some circumstances be able to come to the United Kingdom as part of the scheme up to the age of 30, for example, where you can show that there are good reasons such as you were caring for a relative or had ongoing studies which prevented you from travelling before your 26th birthday.

You should intend to work here as part of your holiday. There is a quota of 400 participants each year. A person may only come to the United Kingdom once as a participant in the scheme.

You can come to the United Kingdom under the scheme if:

  • you are a Japanese national currently in Japan;
  • you are aged 18 to 25 (discretion up to 30);
  • you want to come to the United Kingdom for an extended holiday, with the intention of taking work as part of your holiday;
  • you are single or are married to a person who also qualifies under the scheme, if married, you must intend to come to the United Kingdom together;
  • you will not be accompanied by children;
  • you will not need help from public funds;
  • you can pay for your onward or return journey; and
  • you plan to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your holiday.


You are not allowed to bring children to the United Kingdom under this scheme but you can bring your spouse if they also qualify under the scheme or if they are a European Economic Area (EEA) national.

How to Apply?

You will need entry clearance to come to the United Kingdom as part of the Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme and you should apply for this at the British Embassy in Tokyo. For further information on entry clearance, you should see the section on entry clearance or our visa services website.

Once you have got your entry clearance, you will be given a visa to come to the United Kingdom for up to 12 months which cannot be extended.

If you are refused entry to the United Kingdom, you can make an out of country appeal, which means you can appeal from outside the United Kingdom. You will be given details of how to do this by the entry clearance officer.

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