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New Zealanders to benefit from Youth Mobility Scheme changes

Many New Zealanders are set to benefit from changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme that could enable them to enjoy a longer stay in the UK.

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Changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme have been agreed between the UK and New Zealand

Following a meeting between the two country’s prime ministers – Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern – it has been revealed the upper age limit for the Youth Mobility Scheme will rise to 35 and the time limit on the visa will extend to three years.

At present, the Youth Mobility Scheme allows people aged between 18 and 30 to live and work in the UK for a maximum of two years.

It is hoped the proposed changes to the scheme could encourage more New Zealanders to travel to the UK to study and work – especially as many have been unable to take advantage of the Youth Mobility Scheme during the recent pandemic.

New Zealand flag

Older students expected to welcome changes 

New Zealand Union of Student Associations President, Andrew Lessells, explained many mature students will welcome the change to the age limit.

“Some people are now studying later which means they’re taking OEs later,” he added.

“It’s great to see actually, some greater flexibility, because that age extension is going to make a real difference for thousands of people, and for thousands of students.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern added: “Kiwis have long advocated for improvements to working holiday visas. We are so pleased to have reached this agreement.” 

Youth Mobility Scheme to be updated by 2024

The UK will continue to limit the number of spaces available to New Zealanders, with the 2022 quota remaining at its present level of 13,000.

In addition, the new agreement will also allow longer stays for UK citizens travelling to New Zealand under the Working Holiday Scheme.

Further information on the enhancements to the Youth Mobility Scheme is expected to be given in the coming months and the changes to be implemented before the end of 2024.

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