EU Commission proposes to open youth mobility negotiations between the EU and the UK

The EU Commission has proposed a new agreement to the Council aimed at enhancing youth mobility between the EU and the UK. This initiative seeks to simplify the process for young European citizens to study, work, train and live in the UK and for young British nationals to move to European countries. 

Currently, the movement of people between the EU and the UK is governed by the individual immigration rules of both the EU Member States and the UK. Post-Brexit, there has been a noticeable decrease in the movement of people, particularly affecting young individuals seeking educational and cultural opportunities. The proposed agreement intends to revitalise these exchanges.

The current Youth Mobility Scheme is a visa program that allows individuals aged 18 to 30 from Andorra, Iceland, Japan, Monaco, San Marino and Uruguay or individuals aged 18 to 35 from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. The Youth Mobility Scheme is not currently open to European nationals.

The proposed agreement would allow EU and UK citizens aged 18 to 30 to reside in the destination country for up to four years. It emphasises ease of travel without being restricted by purpose or quotas.

The Commission’s recommendation is now under Council review. If approved, negotiations with the UK will commence, potentially supported by discussions on the UK’s association with Erasmus+. Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme offering university students the opportunity to study or do internships abroad within Europe and its participating Member States. The UK took part in the programme from 2014 – 2020, prior to its withdrawal from the EU.  

This proposal represents a significant step towards re-establishing close ties between young Europeans and their counterparts in the UK, fostering cultural and educational exchange. The initiative underscores the EU’s commitment to overcoming the challenges posed by Brexit and building a brighter future for its youth. 

Want more information? Please contact Irum Saleem or another member of our Immigration Team who are hand to answer your questions.  

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The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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