Visiting the UK / Visa

Information for WWOOFers from abroad

IMPORTANT: 

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO VISIT THE UK AS A WWOOFER, you should read and try and follow, as far as possible, the steps that we believe, as at August 2023, will make it less likely that you will have any trouble at all in legally crossing the Border into the UK:

  • With the exception of the Republic of Ireland, all foreign persons coming to the UK from abroad, will require a passport to do so. An Identity card is insufficient.
  • The main reason for your visit to the UK must be for tourism or to visit friends or relations. So, assuming you do not have a visa which you know will allow you to enter the UK to volunteer as a WWOOFer, WWOOFing should always be incidental to your visit, and not the main reason for it.
  • As a visitor or tourist, you can usually stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months
  • You do not need a visa to enter the UK as a tourist or to visit friends or relatives unless you are from certain countries. Further information is available at www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.
  • It is your responsibility to understand the rules and ensure you do not fall foul of them. For further information see Immigration Rules.

Visas and Other Restrictions

If you intend to stay in the UK for longer than six months, are visiting for some reasons other than tourism and permitted activities, or are from certain countries, it will be necessary to obtain a visa before coming to the UK.

 Unfortunately, neither WWOOF staff nor WWOOF hosts can help with obtaining visas. Each country has different visa requirements and it would be impossible for us to help individual volunteers regarding their own particular needs. We have added as much immigration information above as we can. However it is ultimately your responsibility to determine the correct requirements for your visit, depending on the country you are coming from. In particular please remember:

  • WWOOF offers advice only. We cannot be responsible for any problems you may experience with immigration.
  • WWOOF is not a work agency, nor should it be seen as providing a long term solution to meeting housing / employment needs
  • WWOOF is not paid work: it is an informal cultural and learning exchange. You should not join WWOOF in the expectation of obtaining paid work in the UK

Important advice

1) Your primary reason for visiting UK should be to travel and do tourist activities, however

WWOOFing is an informal learning experience: WWOOFers live with their hosts as guests receiving food and accommodation. Your time WWOOFing with a host family or other group will include lots of hands-on learning as you find out about ecological growing and sustainable ways of living and, if you’re not a native speaker, improve your English language skills

WWOOFing is a partnership based on mutual trust and respect. WWOOFers (visitors) live with the host as a guest, sharing in a cultural exchange for limited periods of time. In their leisure time, when not volunteering, WWOOFers participate in tourist activities both on their own and along with the host.

2) If questioned by a Border Force officer be polite

Don’t be nervous as you have nothing to be nervous about. Note that Border Force officials can – and have – demanded mobile phones and have checked emails to identify who you have been contacting. They also may go through all your belongings, including any documents you may be carrying. It’s important that all electronic and print records you may have do not give the officers any cause to suspect the reasons you’ve given for visiting the UK are incorrect.

3) Make sure you have enough money

You may be asked to demonstrate you have enough money or access to funds to cover all your expenses while in UK including travel costs. It’s important that you can easily show this if asked to do so.

4) Have a ticket to return home or to another non-UK destination