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Agricultural Work Permits

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme permits have been issued during 2003 (a) in total and (b) from the United Kingdom embassy in Ukraine. [118355]

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme is quota-based. The Home Office issues work cards to the operators of the scheme (agricultural businesses in the United Kingdom.) The work cards are then issued to prospective participants (who must be aged between 18–25 and in full-time education) by the operators of the scheme on behalf of the Home Office.A total of 25,000 work cards were made available to operators of the scheme for 2003. Our embassy in Kiev has issued visas to 2,338 holders of work cards under the scheme this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made with the issuing of Seasonal Agricultural Worker Scheme permits from UK embassies overseas. [118356]

Our overseas posts deal with the entry clearance applications of visa nationals who hold SAWS work cards as and when they are submitted. Non visa nationals holding SAWS work cards need to seek entry clearance before travelling to the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many days the UK embassy in Ukraine was open in May 2003 to issue Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme permits. [118357]

The British embassy in Kiev was open for 19 working days in May, and worked an additional Saturday as overtime in order to facilitate the issue of Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme visas.