People from outside the EEA or Switzerland who want to come to the UK to work under a pilot seasonal worker scheme under Tier 5 temporary worker route, can apply for a Tier 5 Seasonal Worker visa, which is issued for up to 6 months to do farm work.

Certificate of sponsorship is the essential document required for the visa to be granted. It means that the first thing to do is to find a sponsor in the area who is ready to employ seasonal workers.

This visa can be applied for 3 months before the due work start date, usually indicated on the certificate of sponsorship. Currently the fee is £244; a decision is made within 3 weeks.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for up to 6 months.

You can enter the UK as soon as your visa is valid (up to 14 days before the start date of your job).

Unfortunately, you cannot extend your stay under this category.

Under this visa you can:

  • work in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship;
  • study.

You cannot:

  • take a permanent job;
  • work in a second job or a job that isn’t described in your certificate of sponsorship;
  • get public fundss;
  • bring family members.


Be 18 or over when applying and have both of the following:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number from the UK sponsor (valid for 3 months from the date it’s assigned); sometimes it can be a multiple entry certificate so the employee can leave and return to the UK.
  • at least £945 that’s been in the bank account for 90 days before application — to prove a person can support themselves.

Documents required

  • a current valid passport or other valid travel identification with enough space for the visa;
  • bank statements showing at least £945 in savings in the bank account for 90 days before application;
  • tuberculosis test results (for residents of countries where this test is needed).

Any documents that are not in English or Welsh, must be accompanied with a certified translation.

Published 6 December 2019

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