Don’t Deprive Ukrainian Refugees of Fair Work and Family

Target: Priti Sushil Patel, Minister of UK Home Office

Goal: Permit Ukrainian farm workers to work freely and migrate family with expanded visas.

Farm workers doing seasonal employment outside of Ukraine could only watch in horror as their homeland was invaded. For the past few weeks, they have witnessed Russian soldiers arbitrarily taking over and stealing from Ukrainian farms. These acts, combined with the severe blow the invasion has dealt to the global agricultural industry, has severely diminished these workers’ prospects. Compounding the problems, they are reportedly being exploited and deprived of needed aid by the regions they are temporarily calling home.

The United Kingdom (UK) has long been a gathering ground for Ukrainian seasonal workers. In 2021 alone, an estimated two-thirds of seasonal farm workers in the UK hailed from Ukraine. Since the invasion, these individuals are now stuck…unable to return to their war-torn country but unable to live a full, free life in their host nation.

While other Ukrainian refugees have been granted visas that give them broad liberties, farm workers are by and large chained by their existing visas. These visas have been extended until 2024, but unlike so-called family scheme visas, these permits do not allow workers to bring their families to stay with them. In addition, the workers are prohibited from seeking work outside of their current employer or outside of the farming industry. Unscrupulous entities have allegedly taken advantage of this plight by underpaying, overworking, and otherwise exploiting the entrapped workers.

Advocates have called on enhanced visas and greater protections for these at-risk individuals. Sign the petition below to echo the calls for urgent reform.


Dear Minister Patel,

Prime Minister Johnson recently toured war-ravaged Ukraine and pledged additional support. Please do not leave anyone behind in this effort. Currently, an estimated 6,000 Ukrainian seasonal farm workers are in the UK for the foreseeable future. These individuals cannot return to a dangerous situation, yet the UK is giving them little hope or options.

Under the farm workers’ visa, Ukrainians cannot bring their families to safety, nor can they leave a potentially abusive and exploitative employment situation. This entrapment is untenable, especially for individuals who have historically provided such a boon to the UK’s agricultural industry. Do not betray their service now.

Grant these human beings safety and security through a family scheme visa or a similar protective option.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mark Stebnicki

One Comment

  1. It is damn stupid to deny Ukraine’s from working the farm land in the UK. How ignorant can the UK be a? These people have suffered so much. When the UK came pleading for the Us to help them in WW2 they were not denied.
    Can they do less for people who want to work, the care of their families, and be part of the country allowing them shelter. Is’t the UK suppoesed to be civilized? Show it!

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