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Government Boost Seasonal Worker Visa Numbers

The UK government has confirmed a significant rise in the number of Seasonal Worker Visas that will be available during the next 12 months.

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    New 30,000 Seasonal Workers Visas On Offer

    The UK government has announced an increase in the number of Seasonal Worker Visas to be offered in 2023.

    According to Defra, there is a growing need within the UK horticulture industry for workers to enable them to harvest produce over the coming months. It is hoped the extension of the scheme to allow a total of 45,000 visas – compared to 30,000 in 2022 –  will elevate the pressure on the supply chain.

    It is expected the first batch of visas will be made available to daffodil growing businesses as soon as possible so they can commence harvesting in the new year.

    Small seedings growing in soil in rows.

    “Challenging Year For Food Producers”

    Farming Minister, Mark Spencer, explained the increase in recruiting overseas workers will play a key role in supporting UK producers over the next few months.

    He added: “Seasonal labour has long been part of the UK’s rural economy, and while it is right that we offer long-term support to increase the use of domestic labour, we also need to support businesses on the back of what has been a challenging year for food producers.”

    Possible Further Increase In Visa Numbers In 2023

    In addition to the initial increase in visas available, the government had confirmed it will continue to assess the situation and may consider offering a further 10,000 if demand is sufficient.

    Introduced in 2019, the seasonal worker visa allows foreign nationals to come to the UK for up to 6 months at a time. They must be employed within the horticulture or poultry sector and can not take on a second job during their time in the UK.

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