The UK Seasonal Worker Visa is a special type of visa designed to allow individuals to come to the United Kingdom for short-term employment in specific sectors such as agriculture and Horticulture. It’s part of the UK’s efforts to ensure that sectors that are reliant on seasonal labor, such as horticulture, agriculture and poultry production, have access to the necessary workforce.
As of 2024, this visa continues to provide opportunities in horticulture and poultry production. Let’s dive into the details of this visa, its eligibility requirements, and the application process.
Categories of UK Seasonal Work VISA in 2024
There are two categories for which a British seasonal work visa is granted that are Horticulture and Poultry and their basic details are mentioned below:
|UK Seasonal Work VISA 2024 Categories
|Up to 6 months within 12 months.
|Seasonal: from October 2nd to December 31st annually.
|Fruit and vegetable picking, flower cultivation, etc.
|Various stages of poultry production.
|Apply 3 months before the job start date.
|Apply 3 months before October 2nd.
General Eligibility Criteria for UK Seasonal Worker VISA in 2024
Here are the detailed eligibility criteria for this visa, including the English language requirements:
- Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old at the time of application.
- Sponsorship (Mandatory): You need a Certificate of Sponsorship from an employer in the UK who is approved to sponsor seasonal workers. The Certificate of Sponsorship should have detailed information about the role you will be undertaking in the UK.
- Financial Requirement: You must have enough money to support yourself in the UK. This typically means having at least £1,270 available, unless your sponsor can provide evidence that they can support you for the first month of employment. Evidence of financial means may include bank statements or a certification from the sponsor.
- Job Type and Duration: Your work must be in eligible roles within the horticulture or poultry sectors. The duration of your stay in the UK will depend on the job you’re offered but cannot exceed 6 months in 12 months for horticulture or the specific season for poultry production.
- Additional Requirements: You may need to meet certain health requirements, such as undergoing a tuberculosis test, depending on your country of residence. You should not have any criminal convictions or immigration infractions that might affect your eligibility.
English Language Requirements Required for British Seasonal VISA:
- Formal Language Test Not Required: Unlike many other UK visa categories, the Seasonal Worker Visa does not require a formal English language test like IELTS.
- Assessment by Sponsor: Your English language ability may be assessed informally by your UK sponsor. They will determine if you have sufficient English language skills to understand and follow instructions and communicate effectively for the job’s requirements.
- Alternative Evidence: While not a formal requirement, having some evidence of English proficiency can be beneficial. This could include previous work experience in an English-speaking environment and certificates from English language courses.
- Employer Preference: Some employers may have their own language requirements for effective communication in the workplace.
6 Steps to Apply for UK Seasonal Work VISA in 2024
Setting on the journey to secure a UK Seasonal Work Visa involves the following listed process:
1# Initiate Job Hunt and Verify Sponsor Eligibility
Leverage platforms like Indeed, Reed.co.uk, and explore the UK government’s dedicated portal for seasonal work opportunities (especially in horticulture and poultry sectors). Confirm Sponsor Approval: Ascertain that your prospective employer is listed as an authorized sponsor on the UK government’s official roster.
2# Secure a Job Offer and Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
Showcase your qualifications via job resume and express your enthusiasm for working in the UK as a seasonal worker under the new Pilot scheme to bring seasonal workers to UK farms and Acquire CoS from your sponsor, inclusive of a unique reference number essential for your visa application.
3# Fulfill Visa Eligibility Criteria
You must be at least 18 years old, ensure you have a minimum of £1,270 wage to support your stay in the UK and must complete any required medical tests, such as tuberculosis screening, if applicable.
4# Prepare and Submit UK seasonal work visa application
Gather your passport, CoS, financial proof, passport-sized photos and other visa application documents and carefully complete the application on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website (Seasonal Worker Visa Application), and remit the visa fee of £343.
5# Attend Biometric Appointment
Book and attend an appointment at a British seasonal work visa application center for biometric data collection (fingerprints and photographs).
6# Await Visa Processing Outcome
Regularly monitor the status of your application via the UKVI portal and anticipate a decision within 3 weeks, although processing times may vary.
Is a sponsor required for a UK seasonal work visa?
Yes, a sponsor is required for the UK Seasonal Work Visa. Applicants must have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship from an employer in the UK that is approved to sponsor seasonal workers. A list of approved UK farm employers is given in above application process section.
List of Occupations Accepted for UK Seasonal Work VISA in 2024
Under the UK Seasonal Work Visa program, employment is limited to specific roles within the horticulture and poultry production sectors. Here’s a list of the acceptable occupations:
Horticulture Sector Occupations:
- Fruit and Vegetable Picking: Harvesting fruits and vegetables.
- Flower Picking and Cutting: Gathering and cutting flowers.
- Planting and Transplanting: Engaging in planting activities.
- Pruning and Trimming: Maintaining plants by cutting and shaping.
- Packing and Grading Produce: Sorting and packaging agricultural products.
- Operating Harvest Machinery: Using machinery for harvesting purposes.
Poultry Production Sector Occupations:
- Butchering and Dressing Birds: Preparing birds for consumption.
- Killing and Plucking: Executing and removing feathers from poultry.
- Poultry Processing: Handling various processing stages of poultry.
- Sticking and Trussing: Preparing birds for cooking or sale.
- Food Operative Duties: Engaging in various food production tasks.
- Catching and Handling: Managing the movement and control of poultry.
- Vaccination: Administering vaccines to poultry.
- Meat Packing: Packaging poultry meat for distribution.
These roles are specifically tailored to address the seasonal needs in these sectors and are the only occupations eligible under the UK Seasonal Work Visa program