2024 Guide to Obtaining a Seasonal Work Visa in the UK

The UK Seasonal Visa is a short-term work permit, not for settling permanently. It lets temporary workers work in areas like farming and raising poultry. Farming involves tasks like picking fruits, vegetables, or flowers. In 2023, there were 47,000 visas available: 45,000 for farming and 2,000 for poultry work. I’m here to help you understand and navigate the process of getting a UK Seasonal Visa.

The Seasonal Worker Visa is accessible to individuals globally. Those sponsored under this route cannot request an extension of their stay. It’s replaced the Temporary Worker – Seasonal Worker visa (T5). This is important to know, this visa doesn’t demand advanced qualifications; however, having sufficient funds to sustain yourself is essential. Typically, a minimum of £1,270 needs to be available for your support. Further information is provided below.

A Comprehensive Look into the UK Seasonal Worker Visa

  • Job Country: UK
  • Job Sector: Horticulture, Poultry
  • Who can Apply: Open to all Countries
  • Visa Type: Seasonal Worker Visa (Temporary Visa)

Horticulture Sector

1. Protected Vegetables:
– Grown in glasshouse systems.

2. Field Vegetables:
-It means growing things outside, like vegetables, herbs, leafy salads, and potatoes.

3. Soft Fruit:
– Grown outdoors or under cover (e.g., in glasshouses or polytunnels).
– This includes strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, and all kinds of ribes and rubus plants.

4. Top Fruit (Orchard Fruit):
Trees that give us fruit, like apples, plums, cherries, and apricots.

5. Mushrooms:
Usually includes common mushrooms like Agaricus bisporus, but can also involve more unique kinds. They’re usually grown inside buildings.

6. Bulbs and Cut Flowers:
– Include daffodils, grown outdoors and indoors.

7. Pot Plants:
– Include seasonal bedding plants like pansies, violas, geraniums, and poinsettias.

8. Hardy Ornamental Nursery Stock:
– Encompasses Christmas trees, shrubs, roses, ornamental trees, and perennials.

9. Tree and Forest Nurseries.

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Poultry production sector

  • 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)

Who can Apply?

The UK Seasonal Worker Visa is available to people aged 18 and above from any country. You just need to apply online.

UK Seasonal Worker Visa Cost

The cost of the UK Seasonal Work Visa is £298 for people from all countries. You need to pay this fee online when you apply.

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When you can Apply and how long you can Stay?

If you want to work in gardening (you can do this anytime in the UK), you can stay for up to six months. You can apply for the horticulture Seasonal Worker visa at any time of the year.

If you’re interested in poultry work (you can work from October 18 to December 31 each year), you need to apply for the poultry Seasonal Worker visa by November 15 each year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be 18 years old.
  • Open to all the countries.
  • You must have a certificate of sponsorship from the employer in the UK.
  • The sponsorship certificate is a paper you get from the person or company in the UK supporting you.
  • Lots of UK hiring companies or agencies can give you a letter to show they support your application.
  • You must have at least £1,270 available in your local account to support yourself in the first month after arriving in the UK. Unless your sponsor can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270.
  • If your boss says they will give you a place to stay, meals, and other benefits, they need to write it in the letter.
  • Your employer must make sure your job pays at least the minimum wage
  • You must have a Job offer.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Job
  • A valid passport
  • The CoS reference number is given by your sponsor.
  • Bank statements

The Online Application Process for the UK Seasonal Worker Visa

  • Step 1 (Find a Job): First, you need to Find a Job and have a valid job offer from the UK Employer.
  • Step 2: You must apply online from the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration website. (Link: https://www.gov.uk/seasonal-worker-visa)
  • Step 3: Pay the Application Fee online and Book an appointment. You can Find a visa application center” on GOV.UK.
  • Step 4: You need to provide Biometrics and submit your passport.
  • Step 5: Wait for the Visa Decision.

Processing Time

Securing the UK Work Visa typically involves a processing time of approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Once you apply online, you’ll usually find out if you got the visa within 3 weeks.

Here’s what you can’t do on a seasonal visa:

  • 1. You can’t take a permanent job.
  • You can’t work in a second job or any job that’s not mentioned in your certificate of sponsorship
  • You can’t receive public funds.
  • You can’t bring your family with you.