UK Welcomes Overseas Sheep Shearers

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) is delighted to announce that international sheep shearers will be able to enter the UK this year, in a time-limited window, providing a vital source of professional and experienced staff to assist UK contractors in removing the wool of millions of sheep this summer.


A special Home Office concession will continue to allow this very specific group of non-visa nationals to travel to the UK, particularly coming from Australia and New Zealand, between 1 April and 30 June. All those entering will only be allowed to stay for a three month maximum period (i.e. the latest expiry of leave would be 30 September), after which they are required to leave.


Commenting, Jill Hewitt Technical Consultant at the NAAC said, ‘it is important that shearers overseas know that they are welcomed by the UK and that contractors can assist them in organising their paperwork to join the shearing teams, with minimal hassle and cost.


We have continued to work with the Home Office and are pleased that UK shearing contractors can continue to access this source of expertise. Shearing is a highly skilled, physical task, and we rely on the additional labour from overseas to compliment UK teams and ensure that the national flock can be shorn professionally and efficiently. Adult sheep must be sheared each year to reduce the risk of external parasites and heat stress and it is important this is done compassionately to protect the welfare of the animals.’


Shearers arriving in the UK in 2019 will need to satisfy an immigration officer they are here, for a temporary period, to be employed as a sheep shearer. The NAAC is supplying its members with the necessary paperwork to smooth the entry process and is requesting that the NAAC is notified of all shearers visiting the UK so that rapid assistance can provided if any issues arise at customs.


Specific entry requirements include:

  • The applicant is genuinely seeking entry for the purpose of undertaking employment, or providing services, as a sheep shearer, and must supply an appropriate contract of employment and
  • The applicant will be able to maintain and accommodate himself without recourse to public funds, and
  • The applicant will leave the UK at the end of their stay, and
  • The applicant arrives in the UK for this purpose between 1 April and 30 June.



For further information contact:

Jill Hewitt, NAAC Technical Consultant Tel: 07889 511245 email:

Issued by: Springtime Consultancy