UK Visa Pilot Scheme for Seasonal Workers

On 6 September 2018, the UK Home Government announced that it is launching a two-year seasonal worker pilot scheme. The scheme aims to bring 2,500 seasonal workers to farms in the UK.

The UK Visa pilot scheme will allow workers from outside the EU to do seasonal farm work in the UK for up to six months. There will be a cap of 2,500 workers per year.

The UK Home Office said that the scheme will start in the spring of 2019, and will run until December 2020.

Aim of the Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme

The UK Government hope that the pilot scheme will help alleviate farm labour shortages during the peak production periods in the UK. They also said that an automated harvesting solutions are not universally available, and hope that this pilot scheme will support farmers during peak production times.

The results of the UK visa pilot scheme will be reviewed, and the UK Government will then determine how to support the long-term needs of the farming industry in the UK.

Farmer unions in the UK reportedly welcomed the new visa pilot scheme but said that it was not ambitious enough, as more workers are needed on UK farms.

How the Seasonal Worker Scheme will be operated

The Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme will be run by two scheme operators, that has not been announced yet. The scheme operators will oversee the placement of the workers.

Qualifying as a Seasonal Worker

To qualify under the Seasonal Worker Pilot the worker will have to be at least 18 years of age, on the date of application. The scheme will only be open to workers from outside the European Union.

The way forward for the Seasonal Worker Scheme

The UK Home Office said that the scheme will start in the spring of 2019, and will run until December 2020.

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants will inform clients as soon as new details on the scheme become available. Feel free to contact us for more information.