What is the Post-Brexit seasonal farm work visa, when will they be available and how to apply?

THE government is introducing a new pilot scheme aimed at alleviating the expected shortage of seasonal farm workers once the country has left the European Union.

The plan is to allow a maximum of 2,500 migrants to work on UK farms for six months.

The UK government is introducing a new work visa for seasonal fruit and vegetable pickersAlamy What is the Post-Brexit seasonal farm work visa?

The scheme will allow British fruit and vegetable producers to recruit up to 2,500 migrants a year.

A temporary work visa will apply for agricultural workers and allow non-EU nationals to come to the UK and work on farms for up to six months.

The plan has been welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), saying it was a “major victory” but it has come under fire from other areas due to the yearly cap.

Industry estimates say the sector needs a 75,000-strong temporary migrant workforce.

Workers from outside the EU will be able to work for six months under the schemeAlamy Live News

Nick Marston, chairman of British Summer Fruits said: “To have any effect in terms of supporting our successful industry (a desire much-stated in the release), about 10,000 are needed now – not 2,500. This number will have little effect on the present shortages UK farms are facing as we speak.”

While the NFU broadly welcomed the scheme it warned it did not go far enough.

Ali Capper, the chair of the NFU’s horticultural and potatoes board as well as the chair of the English Apples and Pears growers group, said: “We need more than 11,500 seasonal workers by 2021 to keep pace with a crop that is set to grow. Right now, the pilot permits us to recruit 2,500.

“This is simply not enough and our growers are already struggling to recruit workers.”

When will they be available?

The pilot scheme is due to start in spring 2019 when the UK is due to leave the EU and run until December 31, 2020.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:...


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