The Seasonal Worker route is used to provide labour, usually in the agricultural sector, when the supply cannot be accommodated from the UK workforce. It allows workers to come to the UK for up to six months of any 12 month period. For 2022 there is a quota of 30,000 visas with a potential for it to be raised by another 10,000.
A worker will need a Certificate of Sponsorship. These are now only allocated through four organisations referred to as “Scheme Operators.” For the foreseeable future no other organisations will be eligible to sponsor.
Current providers are:
These organisations are not the employers, as is more normal for sponsors. They recruit staff and can place them with the UK employer. They have a duty to the workers to ensure they are placed with businesses which will treat them fairly with breaks and paid holiday, proper wages, and contract in their own language as well as English. A safeguard implemented since there is no requirement for workers on this route to be able to speak English. A Scheme Operator will also need to be satisfied that the employer is making genuine attempts to recruit UK workers and using Jobcentre Plus as part of this process.
An employer will need to contact one of the Scheme Operators if they are looking for seasonal workers or need sponsorship for an individual.
For advice on this or any other immigration matter, please contact our Immigration team.