English UK welcomes new Japan-UK youth mobility agreement
10 November 2023

English UK welcomes new Japan-UK youth mobility agreement

An extra 4,500 Japanese people can come to the UK on Youth Mobility Scheme visas each year, following a new agreement between Japan and the UK.

The scheme allows 18-30-year olds to study, work or travel in the UK for up to two years. 

The number of places for applicants from Japan will increase from 1,500 to 6,000. Until now, demand for places has exceeded availability. 

English UK has been campaigning for the government to expand the Youth Mobility Scheme and make it easier for people to learn English and work in the UK. It's at the top of the nine asks in our latest position paper.

Excellent news for UK ELT

"This is excellent news for UK ELT," says English UK chief executive Jodie Gray. "We have been campaigning for the government to expand the Japanese scheme as there was a lot of unmet demand.

This also means more young British people will be able to visit Japan on working holidays. We look forward to welcoming more Japanese students to our centres."

We will continue to encourage more bilateral agreements

"We will continue to press for bilateral agreements with EU countries such as Italy, France and Spain, and other countries around the world. Solid youth mobility agreements are an essential piece of the post-Brexit immigration jigsaw. We need them to help our industry thrive."

She added: "We have been campaigning hard for a long time and this feels like we are beginning to get traction. It has been an excellent week, with the news that French school groups will be able to come to the UK on their French ID cards or third-country passports."

Thanks to trustee Shoko Doherty for her hard work

We are very grateful for the support of English UK trustee Shoko Doherty, who built relationships with both the Japanese Ambassador to the UK and the UK Ambassador to Japan. Her efforts were instrumental in achieving this accomplishment.

Shu Ikeguchi, president of Japan Association for Working Holiday Makers, praised Shoko's work over the past six years. "This would not have been possible without your support. In particular, I would like to thank Shoko Doherty. Her efforts were instrumental in achieving this accomplishment." He said the organisation would continue to work with English UK to promote the opportunity.

Other opportunities for young people

Both the UK and Japanese governments have agreed to "celebrate and amplify" other opportunities for young people to live, work and study in the two countries, including the Chevening Scholarship, JET programme and Turing scheme. Information on how to access the schemes will be available on the British Council website in Japan.

Announcement for South Korea expected soon

The Autumn Statement 2023 announced "a further 9,100 places through new and expanded agreements, including with Japan and South Korea" for 2024.
We await further details from the Government. 



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