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Volume 706: debated on Monday 15 December 2008


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will remove the restrictions on visa applications by young people for travel and cultural exchanges to the United Kingdom to other Commonwealth and non-European Union countries. [HL84]

Opportunities for cultural exchange for young people are provided for under the youth mobility scheme (YMS) under tier 5 of the points-based system. So far, Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand have joined the scheme, but any other countries can apply to be considered for the scheme at any time. Those which do will be assessed impartially under the YMS eligibility criteria, as set out in the tier 5 statement of intent published in May, and, if they qualify, will be invited to join the scheme.

In addition, young nationals of any country can come and enjoy the cultural benefits of a six-month stay in the UK where they meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules for visitors.