Sep 06 2018

Seasonal Worker Permit to be Piloted in 2019

United Kingdom

The situation

The UK government plans to introduce a Seasonal Worker Permit in 2019 for a trial period running until December 2020.

A closer look

  • Eligible workers. The permit is available to seasonal agricultural workers over the age of 18 from outside the European Union. Up to 2,500 permits will be issued under the pilot program.
  • Process. Eligible foreign workers can apply to two authorised UK agencies to be recruited for the pilot. If the worker is selected and the permit is approved, the permit can be issued for up to six months and will allow work on UK fruit and vegetable farms.
  • Current permit options. Currently, non-EU seasonal agricultural workers have no tailored permit option.



The pilot addresses concerns raised over the past months by UK farmers, and should ensure access to seasonal labour during peak periods.


The British Growers Association estimated that in 2016, there were 75,000 foreign seasonal agricultural workers in the United Kingdom.

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects the UK government to publish further details on the eligibility criteria and application process in the coming months.

The new permit will be introduced as a two-year pilot starting in the second quarter of 2019, running until the end of December 2020. The pilot will be reviewed after this period.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].