Yes it’s true! Under a recent concession sheep shearers are welcome to come to the UK for up to three months without any formal application process.
Although non-British parents of British Citizen children and non-British partners of British Citizens have to battle through the complexities, delays, frustrations and expense of the entry clearance application process (all too often including the appeals process) before even getting on a plane to (hopefully) enter the UK to be reunited with their loved ones, sheepshearers (and potential sheep shearers) are welcome without any application process at all.
A person arriving in the UK before 30th June 2013 with a contract to work as a sheep shearer should be given leave to enter the UK for a maximum of three months without any formal application process, subject to some conditions.
The work contract must state the nature of the work and the rate of pay. As the individual must be genuinely seeking entry for the purpose of undertaking employment or providing services as a sheepshearer it would appear that intended self-employment in this capacity is also possible.
The individual must intend to leave the UK at the end of the period of stay granted. The maximum period of stay is three months and no switching is allowed, other than to visitor status (e.g. a maximum of six months in total).
Individuals whose applications would be refused under the general grounds for refusal will not be eligible for leave to enter under this concession.
Please see UKBA website for further details: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/2013/march/44-sheep-shearers
This article does not constitute advice to any individual and is not intended to do so. In light of the increasing complexities of UK immigration law individuals may wish to consult a specialist immigration law practice for advice on their specific circumstances before attempting to enter the UK under this concession (or indeed any other route).