The UK Border Agency has announced that it will allow sheep shearers who have been contracted to work in the United Kingdom this year from 1 April 2013 until 30 June 2013 to enter the UK without an employment visa as a temporary concession to fill an urgent void in the domestic labour force.

Non-visa nationals seeking admission under the concession will not be subject to an entry clearance requirement and will therefore not need to apply for a visa in advance of travelling to the UK.

On arrival in the UK, the individual will need to be ready to satisfy an immigration officer that they are genuinely seeking entry for the purposes of undertaking employment, for a temporary period, as a sheep shearer. Those seeking admission on this basis should therefore be in possession of a work contract from their prospective employer confirming the nature of their employment in the UK and giving details of their pay.

It would be advisable for individuals hoping to gain entry into the UK as a sheep shearer to have a pre-paid return ticket in order to convince the border officials that it is their intention to leave at the end of their stay.

The maximum grant of leave to remain will be three months and individuals will be restricted to working for a specific employer or contractor only. There will be no provision for granting an extension of stay under this policy or to switch into another category of stay, other than as a visitor, without first leaving the UK. No admission to the UK will be granted to dependants of workers admitted under the concession.