Certain foreign citizens who can drive fuel tankers can enter the UK without a visa until 15 October under a new immigration concession.
The Home Office published the Concession for temporary leave to allow employment as HGV fuel drivers on Saturday 2 October. It allows entry outside the normal Immigration Rules until 15 October, with permission to stay until 31 March 2022, for people who:
- Are not visa nationals
- Have an EU licence to drive HGV fuel tankers
- Have an “endorsement letter” from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Will be employed as a fuel tanker driver
- Will not need to claim benefits
- Intend to leave the UK afterwards
How does this fit with the announcement a week earlier of 5,000 “HGVisas” for drivers? The scheme has been split up: 4,700 Seasonal Worker visas for drivers in the food haulage sector (expiring on 28 February 2022, not Christmas Eve as previously announced), and 300 places for fuel drivers under this concession. The terms of the concession itself do not mention such a limit, but presumably the business department will only issue 300 letters.
Meanwhile, the 5,500 Seasonal Worker visas for poultry workers will expire on 31 December (again instead of 24 December). Both they and the food haulage drivers “will arrive from late October”; or not, as it might be. It is not clear whether the application process will be in place any earlier than late October.
Ministers are also discussing whether “to allow up to 1,000 foreign butchers into the country”, according to the Times.
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