The government has published details of its temporary visa schemes for poultry workers and HGV drivers. Both schemes will open for applications today – 11th October 2021.
The government has made a number of changes since their original announcement – we assume in response to some of the criticism they received regarding the short duration of the HGV drivers scheme in particular.
Who are the visas for?
The two visa schemes are for:
Who will be employed to transport food goods.
Drivers must have an HGV licence recognised for use in the UK, and the scheme applies to EU, EEA (the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Swiss licence holders only. Drivers must also hold a HGV (category C or C+E) licence.
who fall under one of 12 different work categories, from butchers to pluckers to meat packers. There are 5,500 temporary visas available for poultry workers and 4,700 available for HGV food drivers (a separate emergency immigration scheme was established for HGV fuel tanker drivers, allowing them immediate entry to the UK, opening on 1st October and closing on 15th October 2021.)
How long will the schemes last for?
The deadline for applying for poultry workers under the temporary visa scheme is 15 November 2021. All temporary visas for poultry workers will expire on 31 December 2021.
The deadline for applying for HGV drivers under the temporary visa scheme is 1 December 2021. All temporary visas for HGV drivers will expire on 28 February 2022.
How do you apply?
It is the UK employer who needs to apply to the scheme.
Applications are made through one of the four scheme operators.
The government has announced that these scheme operators are: AG Recruitment, Concordia, Fruitful Jobs and Pro-Force.
These are the four organisations who have been operating the government’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot.
All four have different application processes, so employers should contact these organisations directly:
- AG Recruitment
- Fruitful Jobs
The Government has also announced a helpline – or at least help e-mail – for those interested in the scheme.
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