Up to 10,500 lorry drivers and poultry workers can receive temporary UK visas as the government seeks to limit disruption in the run-up to Christmas.
The government confirmed that 5,000 fuel tanker and food lorry drivers will be eligible to work in the UK for three months, until Christmas Eve.
The scheme is also being extended to 5,500 poultry workers.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it would “ensure preparations remain on track” for the festive season.
But the British Chambers of Commerce said the measures were the equivalent of “throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire”.