Concession for temporary
leave at the border
for HGV drivers
5 October 2021
The UK government announced last week that it would offer up to 5,000 temporary visas to allow overseas HGV drivers to come to the UK to help tackle the ongoing driver shortage. Initially, the offer presented would allow temporary workers to stay in the UK and fill shortage roles until 24 December 2021.
However, following widespread criticism about the short-term nature of the visas on offer amid the ongoing fuel crisis in the UK, the government has since agreed to amend the scheme to expand the range and duration of visas available.
The amended scheme will now allow 300 fuel drivers to arrive immediately and stay until the end of March 2022. A further 4,700 visas will be available for foreign food haulage drivers, allowing them to enter from late October and stay until the end of February 2022.
To help facilitate the entry of HGV drivers into the UK, the government has introduced a new concession allowing non-visa nationals coming to work in the UK as HGV fuel tanker drivers to seek permission to enter at the border. The concession applies to drivers arriving between 1 October 2021 and 15 October 2021.
If approved, non-visa nationals will be granted permission to enter and work in the UK as a fuel tanker driver until 31 March 2022. However, there are several eligibility criteria that HGV drivers must satisfy and evidence that must be presented to Border Force officers upon arrival at the UK border.
Eligibility requirements for the concession
You will be eligible to be considered under the concession if:
- You are a non-visa national
- You hold an EU, EEA or Swiss licence to drive HGV fuel tankers (HGV category C or C+E plus current accreditation for the transport of fuel further to the international convention about dangerous goods transport)
- You have been issued with a HGV fuel driver’s endorsement letter by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
- You arrive in the UK for the purpose of undertaking employment, as a HGV fuel tanker driver between 1 October 2021 and 15 October 2021.
When deciding whether to grant permission under the concession, Border Force officers will consider:
- Whether you meet the eligibility requirements listed above
- Whether they are satisfied that you are genuinely seeking entry for the purpose of undertaking employment as a HGV fuel tanker driver
- Whether you will be able to maintain and accommodate yourself in the UK without recourse to public funds
- Whether you intend to leave the UK at the end of your period of permission.
If you are granted permission to enter and work in the UK, that permission will only permit you to work as a fuel tanker driver for a specified employer. You will not be permitted to do any other work.
If the Border Force officer assessing your case is satisfied that you are eligible for the concession, you will be granted permission to enter and to work in the UK as a fuel tanker driver for the specified employer until 31 March 2022.
The concession does not allow you to bring in any dependant family members unless they otherwise meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules.
If the Border Force officer is not satisfied that you meet the requirements to be granted entry under this concession, you may be refused.
In particular, if any of the grounds for refusal under the Immigration Rules apply, you may be refused entry. These include:
- Criminal convictions
- Where it has been deemed non-conductive to the public good.
There is no right of appeal if you are refused permission to enter under this concession.
Endorsement letter and employment in the UK
To be considered under the concession, you must provide a HGV driver’s endorsement letter by BEIS confirming that you are approved to work under this scheme.
Before providing you with an endorsement letter, BEIS will carry out checks with your employer and will require information such as:
- Your intended employment
- Your qualifications
- Your date of birth
- Your date and port of arrival
Relevant information will be provided to Border Force before your arrival to facilitate consideration of your request for permission to enter the UK.
At the border
Upon arrival at the UK border, you must show a valid national passport and your HGV fuel driver’s endorsement letter to a Border Force officer. You must not go through an e-gate.
You may also need to show further evidence such as your driving licence and proof that you have funds to support yourself while in the UK and that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your period of permission.
Once you have entered the UK under this concession, your permission will expire if you leave the Common Travel Area (CTA). Where you leave and wish to re-enter, you must present your passport and endorsement letter again and you will be granted permission to enter until 31 March 2022.
Advice on temporary UK work visas
If you need support in applying for a temporary work visa under the scheme, or if you are an employer looking to hire temporary workers, Smith Stone Walters can help.
To discuss your requirements with an immigration consultant, please contact us today.