visas and immigration


Entering the UK as a 'general visitor' (tourist)

Recently, changes were made to the UK Immigration Rules which clarify the type of activities visitors to the UK are permitted to undertake, and for how long. These changes took effect on 6th April 2015  and it will take a long time for everyone to learn the new rules (including Immigration Officers), so we recommended you print out the relevant text and carry it with you. Pages 209/210 of the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules Hc1025 26 February 2015 says:


A visitor may undertake incidental volunteering (i.e. the main purpose of the visit is not to volunteer), provided it lasts no more than 30 days in total and is for a charity that is registered with either the Charity Commission for England and Wales; the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland; or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.'

WWOOF UK  is a charity registered in England and Wales 1126220  and in Scotland SC045524.

The section of the Immigration Rules which applies especially to visitors is here Appendix V, and the full set of rules is here Immigration Rules.

The full Statement of Changes document can be found here.

We cannot offer any advice on individual circumstances – our website tells you all we know!

Tier 5 (Charity Workers) visa

We are frequently asked about the Tier 5 (Charity Workers) visa. We believe that this visa cannot be obtained for WWOOFing. Neither WWOOF UK nor its host farms can act as sponsor for Tier 5 visa applications.

Youth Mobility Scheme

If you are from Australia, Japan, Canada or New Zealand and aged between 18-30 years old, you might be eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme. You can only get this kind of visa once in a lifetime, and if you have previously visited the UK on a working holidaymaker visa you will not be eligible for this scheme.

Visiting the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme entitles you to stay in the UK for up to 2 years, and undertake whatever work you like, including voluntary placements – such as WWOOFing. To be eligible you must satisfy the following criteria:

  •  Aged between 18-30
  •  Have no dependents
  •  Be from a participating country
  •  Demonstrate that they have at least £1800 in available funds
  •  Obtain entry clearance

For more details, read:

To download an application form, visit the UK Border Agency website:

Other visas for volunteering in the UK from outside the European Union or EEA*

If you are coming to the UK principally for an activity other than volunteering (such as employment, studying, or as a spouse), it is possible that you will be able to volunteer with WWOOF as an additional activity. Please make sure to check your visa or entry clearance requirements, and make sure that you are allowed to volunteer on your visa.  

You can also check the UK border Agency website for the details of your specific visa or entry clearance:

* The European Economic Area (EEA) comprises the countries of the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.