Up to 800 pork butchers eligible to apply for visas to work in the UK for temporary period
New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules made to allow pork butchers to come to the UK on Seasonal Worker immigration route
01 November 2021
A very brief new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules has been released today by the Home Office.
It has a singular main purpose: "The changes being made allow pork butchers for specified pork processing activities to come to the UK on the Seasonal Worker immigration route for a limited time."
The changes take effect at 4pm today.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) explained on 14 October: "Until 31 December up to 800 pork butchers will be eligible to apply for visas from the existing allocation in the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme, allowing them to travel and work in the UK for a period of 6 months. This temporary adjustment is in addition to foreign butchers already being eligible since December 2020 to apply to come to the UK through the Skilled Worker Route as part of the point-based immigration system."
As was widely reported by news media last month, there is a substantial shortage of butchers at slaughterhouses in the UK.
ITV News reported last month that farmers have already been forced to cull thousands of healthy pigs due to the butcher shortage. According to ITV News, it is hoped that the relaxation of immigration rules will prevent up to 120,000 pigs being culled and wasted.
Today's statement of changes also corrects an error in Appendix AR: administrative review of the Immigration Rules which inadvertently limited the grounds on which applicants can challenge a previous decision.
ILPA reported last month that Emma Daykin at One Pump Court had spotted that by bringing into force an amendment to the Immigration Rules set out in Statement of Changes HC 617 on 6 October 2021, the Home Office had substituted the whole of paragraph AR2.11 in Appendix AR with a new section. A list of types of case working error in AR2.11 was removed.
IPLA later reported that the Home Office had confirmed that the removal was an error.