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Seasonal Worker Visa UK

The British Seasonal Worker Visa is a visa route for those looking to take up temporary employment in the UK in either the horticulture or poultry industries.

If you’re unsure if the Seasonal Worker Visa route is for you, get in touch with the team at Manchester Immigration Lawyers. We can guide you through your options and help you get to the UK as soon as possible! Call us now on +44 (0)161 826 9783.

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    What is the UK Seasonal Worker Visa?

    The UK Seasonal Worker Visa is a seasonal worker scheme allowing entry to the UK on a short-term basis for an individual who is a horticulture sector or poultry production worker. However, their employment must be held with a sponsor who is an approved scheme operator.

    The holder of a UK Seasonal Worker Visa may stay in the UK for a period of up to six months in any 12-month period. Those working in the poultry production sectors may work in the UK no earlier than 2nd October or later than the 31st December each year (in order to aid production for seasonal poultry demand).

    The UK Seasonal Worker Visa is for individuals only with no allowance for dependents. The Seasonal Worker Visa route is not one that leads to any type of settlement or ILR (Indefinite Leave To Remain).

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    Eligibility & Requirements for the British Seasonal Worker Visa

    There are some basic eligibility requirements that must be met for a Seasonal Worker Visa application to be successful. These are as follows:

    • The applicant must be aged 18 or over
    • The applicant must be able to prove that they have sufficient financial means to support themselves while in the UK. This is usually an amount of at least £1,270 (or currency equivalent), but there are exemptions
    • The applicant must hold a valid passport from their country of nationality
    • The applicant must be able to provide a Certificate Of Sponsorship reference number from an employer who are eligible scheme operators

    To confirm you meet the requirements for a Seasonal Worker Visa application, talk through your circumstances with a specialist immigration lawyer. Call Manchester Immigration Lawyers on +44 (0)161 826 9783 to learn more.

    Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement

    The Seasonal Worker Visa route is only open to those who will join the employment of an approved scheme operator; that is, a company who holds a Seasonal Worker Visa Licence from the relevant rural affairs authority.

    In practical terms, the Certificate of Sponsorship is a reference number supplied by the employer to the potential employee. The employee inputs this on their Seasonal Worker Visa application and it is matched to the relevant scheme operator temporary work sponsor licence.

    There is no instance in which a Seasonal Worker Visa will be granted to any applicant joining a firm without a valid Seasonal Worker Sponsor Licence. A Certificate of Sponsorship reference number is valid for three months from its issue date and may only be used once.

    How to apply for a British Seasonal Worker Visa

    A Temporary Worker Visa can be applied for primarily online, and follows a fairly standardised process. This is typically as follows:

    Evaluate eligibility and collate supporting documents

    Applicants intending to be granted entry clearance to the UK for the purposes of becoming a temporary worker must ensure they meet the set eligibility criteria for Seasonal Worker Visas. As such, they must be able to present a valid passport, valid Certificate of Sponsorship and proof of financial means (or proof of a sponsor covering such financial means).

    Receive job offer and Certificate of Sponsorship reference number

    The applicant must have a valid job offer meeting the British legal national minimum wage requirements from an approved scheme operator. Sponsor workers must be able to provide a Certificate of Sponsorship reference number as part of their application.

    Apply online and pay visa fee

    The Seasonal Worker Visa application form is completed online by the employee, and the application fee paid.

    Attend local Visa Application Centre or use ID Check system

    Once the digital application form has been submitted, the applicant must supply their identity information securely. They will either need to attend their nearest Visa Application Centre to provide details for a biometric residence permit (fingerprints and a photograph), or use the UK Immigration ID Check system to verify their identity documents. The latter is managed by UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration).

    Which route is taken is dependent on the applicant’s nationality. Call +44 (0)161 826 9783 to speak to Manchester Immigration Lawyers for advice on this.

    Await visa decision outcome

    The relevant immigration authority will be in touch with both employee and employer to inform them of their decision to grant entry clearance to the UK for the temporary worker; with any details of appeal recourse supplied as necessary.

    Travel to UK

    As soon as the Seasonal Workers Visa is valid, the temporary worker may travel to the UK and begin their employment. For seasonal workers in the poultry production sector, this will be no earlier than 2nd October each year.

    We can assist you in the process obtaining a UK seasonal worker visa. Contact us

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      Seasonal Worker Visa Cost and Processing Time

      The application fee for a British Seasonal Worker Visa is £298. Who is responsible for paying this fee – the intended Seasonal Worker Visa holder or one of the relevant scheme operators – is dependent on individual agreement between the parties.

      A Seasonal Worker Visa can be applied for no earlier than three months before the intended arrival in the UK. In most cases, it takes no longer than three weeks to process a Seasonal Worker Visa application. Scheme operators may instigate more express services if required.

      How Manchester Immigration Lawyers Can Help You

      If you’re looking to work in the UK in the horticulture sector or as a poultry production worker, the requirements for a Seasonal Worker Visa are very rigid. Manchester Immigration Lawyers can work with you and your employer to guide you through the Certificate of Sponsorship and Seasonal Worker Visa application process.

      Our team of specialist immigration lawyers are contactable on +44 (0)161 826 9783 for a free, no-obligation chat to discuss your options and what support we can offer you. Get in touch today and start your journey toward a successful Seasonal Worker Visa application.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                The T5 Temporary Worker Visa scheme is a historical UK visa scheme. It has now been replaced with the British Seasonal Worker Visa.

                If the holder of a Seasonal Worker Visa has a child while acting as a temporary worker in the UK, they do not automatically become a British citizen. The parents will need to apply for their visa as a dependent if there is any intention to travel in and out of the UK during the visa period. There is no mandatory extension for a Seasonal Worker Visa to include family members.

                There is no recourse for the holder of a Seasonal Worker Visa to take on permanent job work while in the UK. This would immediately invalidate the Seasonal Worker Visa.

                The British Seasonal Worker Visa scheme is for those in the horticulture sector or poultry production. To qualify for horticulture, the type of produce being farmed must be legally classified as:

                • Protected vegetables
                • Field vegetables
                • Soft fruit
                • Top fruit
                • Vines and bines
                • Mushrooms
                • Bulbs and cut flowers
                • Pot plans
                • Ornamental nursery stock
                • Tree and forest nurseries

                For poultry production workers, the work must be one of the following roles:

                • Butcher
                • Bird or game dresser
                • Killer and plucker
                • Plucker
                • Poulterer
                • Poultry processor
                • Poultry sticker
                • Trusser
                • Food operative
                • Poultry catcher or handler
                • Poultry vaccinator
                • Poultry meat packer
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