UK Extends Seasonal Worker Visa till 2029 – 43,000 visas available

The UK government has announced an extension of the Seasonal Worker visa route for an additional five years until 2029. This move aims to provide businesses in the agriculture and food supply chain sectors with more stability and time to plan for their labour needs while investing in automation to reduce reliance on migrant workers eventually.

Increased Visa Allocations for 2025
For the year 2025, the UK plans to offer 43,000 Seasonal Worker visas to the horticulture sector (e.g., fruit, vegetable, and flower picking) and an additional 2,000 visas for the poultry sector. This is a reduction from previous years when an additional 10,000 visas were potentially available based on sector demand.

What is the Seasonal Worker Visa?
The Seasonal Worker visa allows overseas nationals to come to the UK temporarily to work in specific sectors like:

– Horticulture (fruit, vegetable, flower picking) for up to 6 months
– Poultry production from October 2 to December 31

To apply, you need a job offer from an approved UK sponsor and must meet the visa eligibility requirements.

Supporting Agriculture and Reducing Migrant Worker Reliance
Along with extending the visa scheme, the UK government plans several initiatives to support the agriculture and food supply chain sectors:

1) Investing up to £50 million in fully automated packhouses/facilities over the next 12-18 months to understand automation needs better.

2) Working with technology companies to develop robotic crop pickers as efficient as human workers within 3-5 years to become a world leader in agricultural innovation.

3) Delivering regional recruitment strategies and collaborating with industry/education providers to attract more domestic workers.

4) Awaiting the Migration Advisory Committee’s report (due Summer 2024) on the Seasonal Worker visa route for further recommendations.

How to Get Sponsored
To obtain a Seasonal Worker visa, you must secure a job offer and sponsorship from an approved scheme operator holding a valid Temporary Worker sponsor licence for this route. Individual employers cannot directly sponsor workers under this visa currently.

We made a blog post earlier on how to apply for the UK seasonal worker visa which you can go through to learn about the process.

With the extension and increased visa allocations, overseas workers have a continued opportunity to work in the UK’s agriculture and food sectors over the next five years as the industries transition towards greater automation and less reliance on migrant labor.


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