Tue | Oct 3, 2023

Immigration Corner | Applying for a visa as a seasonal worker

Published:Tuesday | July 5, 2022 | 12:06 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am being offered temporary employment in the United Kingdom (UK) to work on a farm. Please advise me how would I apply for a visa to work.


Dear DN,

Persons can apply for a Seasonal Worker visa to go to the United Kingdom to work in horticulture for up to six months, and that would include picking fruit and vegetables or flowers. Those persons will need to have a sponsor and meet the other eligibility requirements. Please note that this visa has replaced the Temporary Worker – Seasonal Worker visa (T5).

Persons can apply for a visa up to three months before the day they are due to start work in the United Kingdom. This date will be listed on the certificate of sponsorship.

As part of the application, they will need to prove their identity and provide documents. They may need to allow extra time if they need an appointment to do this. Persons will find out if they need an appointment when they start the application process.

Once they have applied online, proved their identity and provided documents, they will usually get a decision on the visa within three weeks.

The Cost

The applicants will need to pay the application fee and prove they have enough personal savings; they should check how much in the eligibility requirements online. The application fee is £259.

What persons can and cannot do

Persons can:

• Work in the job described in their certificate of sponsorship

• Study (for some courses they will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate)

Persons cannot:

• Take a permanent job

• Work in a second job or a job that is not described in their certificate of sponsorship

• Get public funds

• Take family members with them

Persons can remain in the UK for up to six months. They can enter there as soon as the visa is valid (up to 14 days before the start date of their job).


Persons must be 18 years old or over when applying and have both of the following: a certificate of sponsorship reference number from their UK sponsor and enough money to support themselves in the UK. They will usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless they are exempt)


A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.

You’ll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your visa application form – you can only use it once.

Your certificate of sponsorship is valid for three months from the date it is assigned to you.


Persons must apply online for this visa.

As part of their application, they will need to prove their identity. How this is done depends on where they are from and what type of passport they have.

They will either:

• Have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre

• Use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan their identity document – they will also create or sign into their UK Visas and Immigration account

They will be told what they need to do when applying.

If an appointment is needed:

• The centre may need to keep the passport and documents while they process the application.

• They may have to travel to get to their nearest visa application centre (this could be in another country).

If persons have applied through a visa application centre, find out if they can pay to get a faster decision – this depends on where they are applying from.


If persons have a child while they are in the UK, they should note that that child does not automatically become a British citizen.

They can apply online for their visa as their dependent. They must do this if they want to travel in and out of the United Kingdom with their child. Persons will need to provide a full United Kingdom birth certificate for the child, showing the names of both parents.

I hope this helps.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, deputy global president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com