UK offers thousands of visas to ease truck driver shortage – South Africans in high demand

The UK government is seeking to make thousands of visas available to foreign workers in response to the escalating crisis over fuel shortages and empty supermarket shelves.


Nicola Digby, senior consultant at immigration firm Sable International, said applications would open in October 2021 and visas would be available for truck drivers to come to work in the UK between October and December 2021.

“Workers of all nationalities are welcome to apply, the majority coming from the EU. Although the exact criteria for the program have not yet been released, visas are expected to fall under the T5 temporary worker category. ”

Click here to learn how to apply for a T5 Seasonal Worker Visa

Digby said the government should also make 5,500 additional visas available to seasonal workers in the poultry industry.

“The Seasonal Worker Visa (T5) is valid for six months and generally allows a person to come to the UK to work in the agricultural industry.”

To apply for this visa you will need a sponsorship certificate from a UK sponsor and enough money to support yourself in the UK, she said.

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“A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is an electronic document that contains a reference number containing information about the job and your personal data. The company that offered you the position will first need to obtain and issue your CoS before you can apply for your T5 visa. You must add your CoS reference number to your visa application.

“Your certificate is valid for three months from the date it was issued to you, so you will need to apply within that time. “

South African truck drivers are in high demand internationally, according to a BusinessTech report.

Arnoux Mare, CEO of Innovative Solutions Group, said RSG that this is not a new trend as South Africans have been in demand for many years.

Mare’s company specializes in outsourcing professional functions, including hiring logistics and drivers for companies, and it has also employed local drivers to work for international companies.

He said local South African workers are wanted in countries such as the United States, all of Europe and England.

Although Mare could not give an exact figure on the number of truck drivers working overseas, he said there is a clear shortage and demand.

Despite this, South Africa is still on the UK’s red list of countries where travel is prohibited.

Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he had had a call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss the issue. I presented him with the case of South Africa, which he understood very well.

“We both agreed that decisions of this nature should be informed by science and we hope for a positive outcome when the matter is considered in the coming days.”

The UK has imposed a travel ban on South Africans by putting our country on the red list.

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Ramaphosa said the Red List put South Africa at a disadvantage as the UK is South Africa’s largest source of tourism from the northern hemisphere and an important trading partner.

“While British scientists were concerned about the presence of the beta variant in South Africa, the reality is that the Delta variant is now by far the dominant variant in the country.”

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