Seasonal worker visa for temporary work in the UK
The Seasonal Worker visa route is for workers aged 18 or over to come to the UK on a scheme to undertake seasonal work in the horticultural or poultry production sectors. The seasonal worker visa can be obtained to do temporary work for up to 6 months in any 12 months period in horticulture or from 2nd October to 31st December for poultry work.
Seasonal work means employment which fluctuates or is restricted according to the season or time of the year.
Seasonal worker means a person who is applying for, or has been granted, entry clearance on the Seasonal Worker route.
Who can sponsor a seasonal worker – list of seasonal worker scheme operators
To sponsor a seasonal worker on this scheme, you must be an approved scheme operator which administers the scheme and acts as the licensed sponsor for any workers on the scheme.
There are currently seven Home Office authorised registered Scheme Operators that can sponsor seasonal workers. We list them below:
AGRI-HR Ltd https://www.agri-hr.com/
Concordia (UK) Ltd https://www.concordia.org.uk/seasonal-work
ethero ltd https://telpasc.com/
Fruitful Jobs Ltd https://www.fruitfuljobs.com/
HOPS Labour Solutions Ltd https://www.hopslaboursolutions.com/sws-scheme-for-workers
Pro-Force Limited https://www.pro-force.co.uk/?source=google.com
Yearly quotas for seasonal worker visa
The seasonal worker scheme is subject to a quota of 47,000 for 2023, divided between the horticultural and poultry production sectors as follows:
- Horticulture sector – 45,000 places
- Poultry production sector – 2,000 places
For how long can sponsor Seasonal Workers
Seasonal workers can come to the UK for the following duration:
- horticulture for a maximum period of 6 months’ employment in the UK in any 12-month period
- poultry production from 2 October to 31 December (inclusive) each year
Seasonal Workers undertaking roles in the poultry production sector must submit their visa application on or before 15 November each year. No further Certificates of Sponsorship must be assigned after this date.
Can you bring family members (dependants)
Seasonal Workers are not permitted to bring their family members (dependants) to the UK on this route. If you wish to bring your dependant family members you will need to opt for a different work visa type. For example, skilled worker visa or health and care visa.
You need to have a sponsor to come to UK as seasonal worker
Main requirements for seasonal worker visa:
You’ll need to:
- Be 18 or over;
- Have a sponsor (see above list of Home Office authorised Scheme Operators);
- Have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa. UNLESS your sponsor confirms maintenance for you.
How much is seasonal worker visa application cost
The seasonal worker application fee is £259. Please also remember that when you are in the UK on seasonal work visa you cannot change from inside the UK to any other visa category and you need to depart the UK before your visa expires.
Horticulture sectormeans those growing:
- protected vegetables – those grown in glasshouse systems
- field vegetables – those grown outdoors, including vegetables, herbs, leafy salads and potatoes
- soft fruit – those grown outdoors or under cover e.g. in glasshouses or polytunnels. Includes strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries and all ribes and rubus species
- top fruit (orchard fruit) – trees that bear fruit e.g. apples, plums, cherries, apricots
- vine and bines – both twining or climbing flexible stems of certain plants, e.g. hops is a bine, and grapes is a vine
- mushrooms – typically covers agaricus bisporus species but can also include more exotic species; normally grown indoors
- bulbs and cut flowers, such as daffodils, grown outdoors and indoors
- pot plants, such as seasonal bedding plants like pansies, violas, germaniums and poinsettias
- hardy ornamental nursery stock such as Christmas trees, shrubs, roses, ornamental trees and perennials
- tree and forest nurseries
Poultry production sector
Poultry production sector means work in one of the following roles:
- Butcher (occupation code 5431)
- Bird/game dresser (occupation code 5433)
- Killer and plucker (occupation code 5433)
- Plucker (occupation code 5433)
- Poulterer (occupation code 5433)
- Poultry processor (occupation code 5433)
- Poultry sticker (occupation code 5433)
- Trusser (occupation code 5433)
- Food operative (occupation code 8111)
- Poultry catcher/handler (occupation code 9111)
- Poultry vaccinator (occupation code 9119)
- Poultry meat packer (occupation code 9134)