Urgent calls for the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List to be expanded

Following the Migration Advisory Committee’s (“MAC”) recent review of the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List, it has recommended that the UK needs to add more occupations under Appendix K of the Immigration Rules, such as vets, web designers and architects. The purpose of this would be to fill the gaps in the UK labour market. Our Business Immigration Team specialises in preparing successful applications for Tier 2 migrants applying for Shortage Occupation roles, and therefore would be happy to arrange a consultation to discuss our application process in more detail and how we can assist with the application.

What is the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List?

The Shortage Occupation List is under Appendix K of the Immigration Rules. It sets out specific jobs which are deemed to have ‘skills shortages’ of settled workers in the UK. Therefore employers of Tier 2 visa Applicants applying for one of these positions are exempt from the annual Certificate of Sponsorship (“CoS”) cap, Immigration Skills Charge and Resident Labour Market Test. Applicants will also not need to meet the salary threshold requirement. Furthermore and importantly so, the Shortage Occupation List highlights that there are serious gaps in the UK job market, particularly in health services and engineering.

There are two separate tables under Appendix K which outline the current shortage occupations and that is occupations in the UK and occupations in Scotland. Both tables include the Standard Occupational Classification (“SOC”) code as well as the job title and brief description of the job role. Applying for the correct role is crucial in ensuring that the Home Office is able to grant the CoS. This can be a complex aspect to understand and get right, therefore Tier 2 Sponsors and Tier 2 visa Applicants should contact our specialist Immigration Team as soon as possible, to ensure the application has the greatest chance of success.

Why should the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List be expanded?

The MAC review has suggested that there needs to be a big expansion of jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. Under these proposals, the list would cover 9% of jobs in the labour market, compared with approximately 1% as it currently stands.

Significantly, the MAC Chair Professor Alan Manning has said:

“Today’s labour market is very different to the one we reviewed when the last SOL was published in 2013. Unemployment is lower and employers in various industries are facing difficulties in finding skilled people to fill their vacancies. That is why we have recommended expanding the SOL to cover a range of occupations in health, information and engineering fields. However, our recommendations are clearly only applicable under the current immigration system, while EU free movement remains. We are recommending a full review of the SOL once there is a clearer picture of what the future immigration system will look like.”

The review also recommends:

  • a consideration of medium-skilled occupations which may become eligible for the Shortage Occupation Lisr in the future system;
  • the inclusion of Gaelic teachers in the Scotland-only Shortage Occupation List;
  • pilots to expand the evidence base on what might work in migration policy for remote communities; and
  • removing the restriction on chef visas, which currently excludes those offering a takeaway service. This is in recognition of the changing nature of the hospitality sector and with the aim of future-proofing the list.

Therefore expanding the list of shortage occupations will benefit both skilled non-EEA migrant workers who wish to work in the UK, as well as the UK economy.

Using Legal Representation to apply for a Tier 2 Visa Shortage Occupation Job

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to apply for a Tier 2 Overseas Work visa and the application of the Shortage Occupation list.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully apply for a Tier 2 Visa Shortage Occupation Job

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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