UK’s new Temporary Seasonal Worker visa
On 1st December 2020, the Home Office officially introduced a new visa category: Temporary Worker- Seasonal Worker visa, also known as a Tier 5 visa. Due to the fact that most of the UK’s horticulture and agriculture industry largely consists of a foreign labour force, this is a means of combatting seasonal worker shortages whilst ensuring that this industry continues to grow and work effectively without any disruptions.
Although many EU workers are currently retained by this sector within the UK, Brexit means that this will no longer be the case next year unless EU nationals continue to stay via the EUSS scheme. Equally, despite that this is a way of keeping these foreign workers, this visa category is capped at 10,000 workers who already do not have the right to work in the UK; a huge reduction in this sector’s foreign labour market.
Employers within the horticulture and agriculture sector must remember that this will only benefit those within the ‘edible horticulture’ sector only. This is an extension of the Pilot Scheme for Seasonal Workers launched back in April 2019.
Length of stay
The maximum stay on this visa is 6 months.
As soon as a worker’s visa is valid, which is approximately 14 days prior to the start date of their job, they can enter the UK.
There are certain things that approved visa applicants can and cannot do on this visa. They can work and study in the UK on this visa, but their job must be the one described on their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). In addition, some study courses may require them to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.
Upon arrival, they cannot bring family relatives with them to the UK. Whilst they are in the UK, they will not have access to public funding, be able to take on a permanent job nor take on a second job that is not enlisted on their CoS.
To apply for this visa, applicants must be 18 years old and over and have the following:
- A certificate of sponsorship reference number
- Sufficient funds to support themselves whilst in the UK
The certificate of sponsorship reference number must be obtained from a UK sponsor and must be attached to the visa application. This contains information on the job and the applicant’s personal details. Sponsors can also grant a multiple entry certificate to applicants, meaning they can leave and return to the UK during their stay.
The sufficient funds requirement means that applicants must have at least £1270.00 in their bank account, which must be available for 28 consecutive days. Unless sponsors are willing to cover the cost, up to £1270.00 per month and this must be demonstrated on the applicant’s CoS, they must show proof of this funding upon arrival.
Visa application fee
The application fee is £244.00.
However, applicants from certain eligible countries will need to pay a reduced fee of £189.00.
Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you seek legal advice and assistance with your visa application, please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794.