A 16:00 p.m. today – 11 October 2021, changes to the immigration rules will come into force enabling seasonal workers in poultry production and haulage drivers to apply to work in the UK through the Seasonal Workers route. Obviously, there has been well-publicised news showing the UK is short of workers in the poultry and haulage sectors. This follows on from an earlier announcement by the Government that it would allow 5500 poultry workers and 5000 haulage drivers to work here.
The changes will allow:
It rare to see the immigration rules being changed in such a way and it has usually been the case for proposed changes to be first referred to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to consider whether any changes should be made. However due to Christmas looming and perhaps the urgent need to act has forced the Home Office into taking this action.
It will be interesting to see whether there will be significant take up for these visas by mid-November for poultry workers, or 1 December for haulage workers. It is possible the Home Office is confident there will be significant take up for these positions to avert shortages over the Christmas period, but time will tell.
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