Working abroad has become an enticing opportunity in today’s globalized world, and the United Kingdom stands out as a vibrant destination for seasonal work. Whether you envision exploring London’s history, Scotland’s landscapes, or Manchester’s cultural scene, securing a seasonal work visa can open doors to an extraordinary experience. This article will simplify how to get a UK Seasonal Work visa.
What is the Seasonal Work VISA
This is, without a doubt, the best place to begin our discussion. A seasonal worker visa is a type of visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the UK for a limited time in a specific industry. It serves the same purpose as the nonimmigrant work visa in the United States.
An individual utilizing the Seasonal Worker horticulture work route can spend up to six months in the UK within a 12-month timeframe. For poultry production workers, their stay in the UK must fall between 2 October and 31 December each year.
It’s important to note that the Seasonal Worker visa does not lead to settlement, and applicants cannot bring their dependent partners or children along with them.
Requirements to Get the UK Seasonal Work Visa
To qualify for the UK seasonal work visa, you will need to satisfy the following requirements:
- You are at least 18 years old;
- You have a valid ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from your employer that includes details about the position you’ve been offered;
- You will be working in an eligible role that falls under the category of horticulture or poultry production.
- You have at least £1,270 in funds held for 28 days, or your employer has agreed to cover your costs during your first month in the UK up to £1,270.
- You have paid the visa application fee and the Immigration Health Charge, as well as provided any biometric information that is required.
- Under the general grounds for refusal, you do not qualify for refusal.
To apply, you must have a job offer from an approved sponsor in the UK and meet the route’s eligibility requirements.
A Seasonal Worker visa will allow you to work in the job described in your sponsorship certificate. You can also study in the United Kingdom while you are there. Because this route is intended to facilitate temporary employment. You are not permitted to work in any job that is not described in your sponsorship certificate. You cannot also bring family members to the UK or receive public funds while you are here.
Eligible Roles for the Seasonal Worker VISA
Apart from just being in the horticulture sector or the poultry sector, you must have an eligible role. Here are some of the eligible roles that access this visa:
Here are the types of products you are allowed to cultivate:
- Protected Vegetables: These are grown in glasshouse systems.
- Field Vegetables: This category includes vegetables, herbs, leafy salads, and potatoes, all grown outdoors.
- Soft Fruit: This refers to fruits grown both outdoors and under covers, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, and various rabes and rubus species.
- Top Fruit (Orchard Fruit): This category includes fruit-bearing trees like apples, plums, cherries, and apricots.
- Vine and Bines: It covers plants with twining or climbing flexible stems, like hops and grapes.
- Mushrooms: Typically, this refers to the Agaricus bisporus species, but it can also include more exotic species grown indoors.
- Bulbs and Cut Flowers: This includes outdoor and indoor cultivation of flowers like daffodils, as well as bulbs.
- Pot Plants: It encompasses seasonal bedding plants like pansies, violas, geraniums, and poinsettias.
- Hardy Ornamental Nursery Stock: This category covers shrubs, roses, ornamental trees, perennials, and even Christmas trees.
- Tree and Forest Nurseries: This includes the cultivation of trees specifically for forestry purposes.
Your work must involve taking one of the following roles:
- Bird/game dresser;
- Killer and Plucker;
- Poultry processor;
- Poultry sticker;
- Food operative;
- Poultry catcher/handler;
- Poultry vaccinator;
- Poultry meat packer.
How to Get the UK Seasonal Wok VISA
To apply for a Seasonal Worker visa in the UK, you should submit your application up to 3 months before your scheduled start date, which is indicated on your certificate of sponsorship. If you’re applying for a poultry Seasonal Worker visa, the application deadline is 15 November each year. For horticulture Seasonal Worker visas, you can apply at any time during the year.
The application process for a Seasonal Worker visa is done online.
- As part of this process, you will need to verify your identity by either attending an appointment at a visa application center, gov.uk for fingerprinting and a photograph, or
- By using the ‘UK Immigration ID Check’ app to scan your identity document. Learn how to get and use the app, here. The application fee for the visa is £259.
- After submitting your application online, completing the identity verification, and providing the necessary documents, you can generally expect a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
Requirements for Employers
To sponsor a Seasonal Worker, you need to be an approved scheme operator and possess a valid Temporary Worker sponsor license for the Seasonal Worker route.
Certain overarching bodies, known as scheme operators, have already obtained sponsor licenses for this route to sponsor workers in poultry production and/or horticulture. New scheme operators will not be granted a sponsor license for this route unless they receive prior approval to become scheme operators.
Individual employers and organizations are not eligible to obtain a sponsor license specifically for this route, even if they hold a sponsor license for other routes.
Employers who have already obtained a license must fulfill all sponsor duties, including the additional responsibilities of an approved scheme operator. Failure to maintain compliance may lead to the license being downgraded, suspended, or revoked.
Duration of Seasonal Work Visa
If you successfully apply for a Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa in the horticulture sector, you will receive permission to enter and stay in the UK. The duration of your stay will depend on two options: either the period specified on your Certificate of Sponsorship, with an additional 14 days before and after that period, or a maximum of 6 months within a 12-month timeframe, whichever is shorter.
If you apply for a Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa in the poultry production sector and your application is approved, you will be granted permission to enter and remain in the UK. Your permitted stay will be either the period stated on the Certificate of Sponsorship. With an extra 14 days before and after that period. Or the timeframe starting from 2 October and ending on 31 December of the application year (inclusive), whichever is shorter.
Conditions Required to Remain as a Temporary Work Visa Holder
Candidate can work in the job for which you have been sponsored while in the UK as a Seasonal Worker. You will be able to study (though some courses will require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate).
They will not be permitted to accept a permanent job, work a second job, or work in a job that is not described in your Sponsorship Certificate. You will also be denied access to public funds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Switch to a Permanent Visa with the UK Seasonal Work Visa?
It is not possible to change from the Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker Visa route to another Temporary Work route.
What if You Have a Child in the UK?
If you have a child while living in the UK, your child does not become a British citizen automatically. You must apply for their VISA as their dependent online. Do this if you intend to travel to and from the United Kingdom with your child.
However, required to provide a full UK birth certificate for each of your children, which includes the names of both parents.
What Proof of Funds do I Need to Apply for a UK Work Visa
To apply for a UK work visa, you must show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK. A bank statement can be used as proof, or your employer can state that they will support you in your sponsorship certificate.
Can UK Work Visa be Rejected?
Yes, a UK visa can be denied if you do not meet the qualification requirements.
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