Applications now open for poultry and horticulture Seasonal Workers’ Scheme operators

In December 2021 the government extended the Seasonal Worker visa route until the end of 2024 and as announced on 13 June 2022 in the Government food strategy the visa route currently allows up to:

  • 38,000 temporary migrants to work in the UK edible and ornamental horticulture sectors
  • 2,000 visas for temporary migrants to work in the UK poultry sector

The government has concluded that the appropriate number of operators to manage the recruitment of seasonal workers through this visa route is 5 horticultural operators and 2 poultry operators. Defra will now complete a ‘request for information (RFI) process’ to tender new licences to achieve these numbers. The full details for this may be found here Seasonal Worker visa route request for information (RFI) – GOV.UK (

The full details and timetable for application can be found here, but the key next dates are:

11 July 2022 – Deadline to request clarification of questions

18 July 2022 – Deadline for poultry potential operator responses

8 August 2022 – Deadline for horticulture potential operator responses

Through this process, Defra will select:

  • 3 organisations as horticultural operators – 2 licences to refresh expiring licences and 1 new licence
  • 2 organisations as poultry operators – 2 new licences

Subject to Home Office approval, these organisations will join the 2 continuing operators

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