The Seasonal Worker Visa allows workers with a job offer in the UK to work in the horticulture sector. The seasonal worker visa is valid for six months and includes work such as picking fruit and vegetables. This visa does not include working in poultry, slaughtering pork, or driving a heavy vehicle to transport food.
seasonal worker visa overview
The Seasonal Worker Visa allows foreign seasonal workers to come to the UK temporarily and carry out certain jobs.
Types of work eligible under this visa include the following:
What are the eligibility criteria for the seasonal worker visa?
To be eligible for a seasonal worker visa you must:
- Be at least 18 years old when you apply
- Have a certificate of sponsorship from a sponsor approved by the Home Office
- Plan to work in an eligible job in horticulture or poultry production in the UK
- Have enough money to support yourself in the UK, which is usually at least £1,270 available (unless your employer can cover the costs for you)
- You must have had this money in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days within the 31-day period prior to the application date
- Pay the registration fee
How long can I stay in the UK on a seasonal worker visa?
You will be able to stay in the UK for:
- Up to 6 months for horticultural work
- From 18 October to 31 December each year for poultry work
- You will be able to enter the UK as soon as your visa is approved (up to 14 days before your job start date).
What can I do with a seasonal worker visa?
With a seasonal worker visa you will be allowed to:
Perform the work described in the certificate of sponsorship
Study (you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate for some courses)
Please note that you will not be allowed to:
- Get a steady job
- Working at a second job or in a job that is not described in the certificate of sponsorship
- Access public funds
- Bring family members with you
- Apply for permanent residency in the UK
Eligibility requirements for seasonal worker visa
To qualify for the seasonal worker visa, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
You must be over 18 years old.
- You must have a certificate of sponsorship reference number issued by your UK employer. The CoS is an electronic document that you will receive from your sponsor in the UK. You will need the CoS reference number when applying for your seasonal worker visa. The sponsorship certificate is valid for three months and you can only use the reference number once.
- You must have at least £1,270 to support yourself. The money must be available for 28 days from the date of application. You do not need to meet this condition if your UK sponsor will support you instead. The certificate of sponsorship must state that your UK employer will cover you for the first month with at least £1,270.
- You must have a job in horticulture.
The documents required for the seasonal worker visa
You need to prepare the listed documents for the seasonal worker visa:
- A valid passport with a blank visa page.
- The CoS reference number provided by your sponsor.
- Bank statements or any other documents showing that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK.
- You must have a certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh.
How to apply for a seasonal worker visa?
You need to follow the steps below to apply for Seasonal Worker Visa:
- Complete the application form online on the UK Government’s Visas and Immigration website. You must have your CoS number to apply and you must provide your information in English.
- Upload documents. You can upload photographed or scanned documents to the online application portal. Make sure they are JPG, PDF, PNG or JPEG. During the request, the list of requested documents will be displayed.
- Pay your taxes. You need to pay the £259 visa fee online while completing your application.
- Book an appointment at a visa application center. You can find a VAC by checking the ‘Find a Visa Application Centre’ section on GOV.UK. You must book your appointment at the time of request and attend the appointment to provide your biometric data. You may be asked to provide physical copies of your documents or any additional documents that you have not uploaded.
When to get the biometric residence permit?
You must obtain a biometric residence permit when you arrive in the UK. You must collect your BRP within ten days of arriving in the UK or when your passport sticker expires. If you have applied within the UK to extend or switch to your seasonal worker visa, the BRP will be emailed to your address.
What is the processing time for seasonal worker visa?
The processing time for the seasonal worker visa is usually three weeks. Getting a decision may take longer, depending on the situation.
Seasonal worker visa duration
The seasonal worker visa is valid for six months. You can enter the UK when your visa is ready, up to two weeks before your job start date.
What is the fee for a seasonal worker visa in the UK?
To successfully apply for the seasonal worker visa, you must pay the required fee of £259. In addition to the fee, you must also submit proof that you have access to a minimum of £1,270 to support your stay in the UK.
Can I extend my seasonal worker visa?
It is not possible to extend the seasonal worker visa. You can stay in the UK on a seasonal worker visa for a total of just six months.
Can I switch to a seasonal worker visa?
It is not possible to switch to the seasonal worker visa from another visa route. You can only apply for a seasonal worker visa if you are outside the UK.