UK TEMPORARY WORK - SEASONAL WORKER VISA
The UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa is for workers who want to come to the UK to do seasonal work with a sponsor in the areas of edible horticulture or specified pork butchery. The route is no longer open to haulage drivers involved in the transportation of food goods or to poultry production workers.
There is no time limit on applications from workers in the edible horticulture sector. Specified pork butchers must apply on or before 31 December 2021.
The UK Seasonal Worker visa is not a route to settlement and applicants cannot be joined by dependent partners and children.
Requirements for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa
In order to qualify for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are aged 18 or over;
- You have a valid ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you have been offered;
- You will be working in an eligible role, which falls within the list of ‘edible horticulture’ or ‘specified pork butchery’;
- You have funds of at least £1,270 held for 28 days or your employer has agreed to cover your costs during your first month in the UK to an amount of at least £1,270;
- You have paid the visa application fee and Immigration Health Charge and provided any required biometric information;
- You do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa Eligible Farm Roles
In order to qualify for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa within the edible horticulture sector, your proposed role must be an eligible farm role, which falls within the ‘edible horticulture’ sector.
This means that, in order to meet the requirements for a Seasonal Worker visa, the type of produce being farmed must be:
- Protected Vegetables – grown in glasshouse systems; or
- Field Vegetables – grown outdoors, including vegetables, herbs, leafy salads and potatoes; or
- Soft Fruit – grown both outdoors or under cover e.g. in glasshouses or a polytunnel. This includes strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries and all rabes and rubus species; or
- Top Fruit (Orchard Fruit) – trees that bear fruit e.g. apples, plums, cherries, apricots; or
- Vine and Bines – both twining or climbing flexible stems of certain plants, e.g. hops, grapes; or
- Mushrooms – typically covers Agaricus bisporus species but can also include more exotic species (typically grown indoors).
UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa Eligible Pork Butchery Roles
In order to qualify for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa within the pork butchery sector, your proposed role must be an eligible butchery role, which falls within the ‘pork butchery’ sector.
This means that, in order to meet the requirements for a Seasonal Worker visa, you must be employed in the role of a Butcher, your work must involve slaughtering and butchering pigs or preparing and processing pig meat and the work must take place at a slaughterhouse, processing site or a farm.
You may wish to note that butchers are already included on the list of eligible workers through the Skilled Worker route’s points-based system. The Skilled Worker route provides a long-term work visa route and a route to settlement.
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement
In order to obtain a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role you are planning to do. This is recorded electronically.
Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued by a specific employer who has been authorised by the Home Office.
Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Seasonal Worker visa application.
Your Certificate of Sponsorship must include certain mandatory information, including:
- Details of your name, job and salary;
- A start date which is no more than 3 months after the date your Seasonal Worker visa application;
- Confirmation that the Certificate of Sponsorship has not been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and has not been withdrawn by the sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office;
- Confirmation that the position complies with relevant legislation such as the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, and the Working Time Regulations.
It is possible for your Sponsor to grant you a multiple entry Certificate of Sponsorship which will allow you to leave and return to the UK.
UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa Financial Requirement
Subject to the exemption below, you will need to have cash funds of at least £1,270 available to show that you can support yourself in the UK.
You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa application.
You will be exempt if your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK to an amount of at least £1,270, if necessary. Your sponsor will need to confirm this on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa Application Process
Applications for UK Temporary Work- Seasonal Worker Visas must be submitted from outside of the UK.
Haulage drivers involved in the transportation of food goods must apply on or before 1 December 2021. Specified pork butchers must apply on or before 31 December 2021. There is no time limit on application for workers in the edible horticulture sector.
The earliest you can apply for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa is 3 months before the date on which you are due to start work. This can be found on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
You should receive a decision on your UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa application within 3 weeks.
UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa Application Fees and Fee Reduction
The Home Office application fee for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa application is currently £244.
This fee will be automatically reduced by £55 if you are a national of:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
Duration of a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa
If you apply for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa to work in the edible horticulture sector and your application is successful, you will be granted permission to enter and remain in the UK for a maximum period of 6 months in any 12 month period.
Haulage drivers transporting food goods will be granted permission until 28 February 2022. Specified pork butchers will be granted permission for a maximum period of six months.
Conditions of stay as a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa holder
Whilst in the UK as a Seasonal Worker, you will be permitted to work in the job you have been sponsored for. You will be permitted to study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate).
You will not be allowed to accept a permanent job, work in a second job or work in a job that has not been described in your Certificate of Sponsorship. You will also not be entitled to public funds.
Switching into the UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa Route
It is not possible to switch into the Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa route or between other Temporary Work routes.
UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa Refusals
If your application for a UK Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa is refused, you may be able to make a fresh application or apply for Administrative Review.
How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help
Our team of business immigration barristers has experience in assisting employers and skilled workers across a variety of industries in companies of all sizes. Our barristers can help you with planning to ensure that you meet your start date and ensure that your career progression will fit your immigration goals.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to skilled workers as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Applications to enter the UK under alternative immigration routes
The UK offers a range of personal and business immigration routes. Details of all the main immigration routes are available on our website. However, some of the most popular routes are as follows:
The Tier 1 Investor visa category is for non-EEA nationals who are able to make a substantial investment in the UK. You will need to have access to £2 million and be willing to invest your funds in UK government bonds or actively trading UK companies.
The Skilled Worker visa is open to individuals of all nationalities (except British and Irish) who have an offer of an eligible skilled job in the UK from a Home Office-approved sponsor.
The Start-up visa is for individuals who are new entrepreneurs and want to establish a business in the UK for the first time.
The Innovator visa category is for individuals who are experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK.
The Student visa category is for individuals who are aged 16 or over and who wish to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.
The Graduate visa route will allow international students who have completed a UK degree to stay in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies.
Fresh applications, Administrative Reviews and Judicial Review for Seasonal Worker migrants
If your application for entry clearance or as a Seasonal Worker migrant has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.