UK Shortage Occupation List
The Government uses the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List to decide who can get Tier 2 Visas to come and work in the UK.
There is a separate Shortage Occupation List for Scotland.
The Shortage Occupation List is “a list of available jobs that the local labour market fails to fill. These are the positions that are open across industries in the entire United Kingdom. These roles are available to all foreign nationals, regardless if they’re from a European Union (EU)-member country or not”.
Migration Advisory Committee
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAP) decide which jobs go on it. They update it annually.
If a company has a vacancy which it cannot fill in he UK then it can hire someone from anywhere in the world to fill that vacancy.
That’s provided the skill is in on the UK Shortage Occupation List.
There are currently more than 30 jobs on it.
Skilled Migrant Workers
Any migrant worker from outside the EU can come and work in the UK – provided they have a salary of at least £159,000 a year.
As you can imagine, this would exclude most skilled migrants.
If they are not able to earn that salary then they would have to apply to get a Tier 2 visa.
Also, the skills that a UK company seeks must be on the UK Shortage Occupation List.
They issue 20,700 of these Tier 2 Visas every year. That is the current limit.
Doctors and Nurses Exempted
Doctors, nurses, IT workers and engineers are the main employment categories to get Tier 2 visas.
However, because of a shortage of 30,000 nurses and 10,000 doctors in the NHS, these occupations are not now under restriction by that number.
As they issued around 8,000 visas for those professions this means that more companies can apply for visas for non-EU workers through this route.
Tier 2 Visas for IT Workers and Engineers
The main ‘beneficiaries’ of the extra visas available will be in IT and engineering.
It will affect Locums and agency nurses.
EU skilled workers leaving the UK after Brexit has exacerbated the problem. So employers are looking for skilled migrants from outside the EU to fill those vacancies.
When companies hire migrant workers visas via the Shortage occupation list they must pay them a minimum salary of £30,000 a year.
However, this depends on demand for visas.
Demand for Tier 2 Visas
When the demand is greater than the supply of Tier 2 visas, then they select applicants for visas by how much they earn. The more you earn the more likely you are to get a visa.
So, for some occupations this had gone up to a minimum of £55,000 if you wanted a visa.
Most Tier 2 Visa Applications Turned Down
The teaching profession was affected too.
How to get a Tier 2 Visa for a Skilled Migrant
Employers must advertise a role first before applying to get a visa for a skilled migrant.
Rate Cuts for IT Contractors
Doctors and Nurses Now Outside the Shortage Occupation List Cap
More Visas Freed for IT Professionals and Engineers
Pressure for Migrant IT Professionals and Engineers
Skills on Shortage Occupation List
Production managers/directors (mining and energy)
- Civil engineers
- Mechanical engineers
- Electrical engineers
- Electronics engineers (railway)
- Design and development engineers
- Production and process engineers
- Engineering professionals (electricity transmission and distribution)
- IT analysts, managers, architects and systems designers
- IT and communications professionals (cyber security)
- Programmers and software development professionals
- Environmental professionals (construction-related ground engineering)
- Medical practitioners (consultancy/emergency)
- Medical radiographer
- Secondary teachers (maths, chemistry, and physics)
- Social Workers
- Quality control and planning engineers
- Engineering technicians
- Dancers and choreographers (ballet/opera)
- Musicians (orchestra)
- Graphic designers
- Buyers and purchasing officers (aerospace)
- Welding trades (pipe welder)
- Aircraft maintenance and related trades
- Chefs (after deductions for room, board, etc.)
- Line repairers and cable jointers (overhead line workers)
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