UK expands Shortages of Occupation List

The UK government has announced an expansion of the Shortages of Occupation List (SOL) following changes to the immigration rules.

The changes mean that occupations such as veterinarians, architects and web designers will be added to the SOL, giving people coming to the UK to work in these industries priority in securing a Tier 2 work visa, over occupations not on the list.

It also means that employers can advertise job vacancies for the listed occupations to all nationalities as soon as they become available, making it easier for companies to access the international talent they need.

“Giving British based businesses the access to the brightest and best global talent is a key priority for this government,” said Immigration Minister Seema Kennedy. “That is why we have made it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers, such as vets and web designers, that this country needs to flourish.”

The Tier 2 Shortages of Occupation List is a list of occupations recognised by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) as being in national shortage, which they assess would be sensible to fill, in part, through non-EEA migration.

Reflecting recommendations by the independent Migration Advisory Committee in its review of the shortage occupation list in May 2019, the Immigration Rules have been amended accordingly, putting the changes into law.

When reviewing the shortage of occupation list, the MAC considers a range of factors including whether the role is in national shortage and whether it is sensible to fill with migrant workers.

The Home Office has also streamlined English language testing ensuring that doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives who have already passed an English language test accepted by the relevant professional body, do not have to sit another test before entry to the UK on a Tier 2 visa. This change will make sure that hospitals and medical practices across the country will be able to access the staff they need more quickly.

Article published 10th September 2019