UK Tier 2 Visas: Fewer shortage occupations from 14 November 2011

There will be further changes to the UK shortage occupation list. This will make it more difficult for some people to work in the UK under the Tier 2 visa skilled immigration route.

The UK Government has accepts changes suggested by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to reduce the number of available jobs for migrants. The number of jobs in the UK under the shortage occupation list will be reduced from 230,000 to 190,000. In practice only a relatively small percentage, anyway, of these jobs would have been filled by skilled immigrants.

Immigration Minister Damian Green had the following to say:

'Alongside our limits on overseas workers we are also taking action to provide businesses with the skills they need from the British workforce and reduce their need for migrants.

'We want the brightest and the best people from outside the EU with the skills we can benefit from in the UK.'

Occupations that MAC recommended should be removed from the list include the following:

  • secondary education biology teachers;
  • speech and language therapists;
  • pharmacists;
  • orthoptists;
  • veterinary surgeons; and,
  • rank and file orchestral musicians.

MAC recommended that the following occupations be added to the list:

  • actuaries;
  • high integrity pipe welders;
  • environmental scientists; and,
  • geochemists

l however, rank and file orchestral musicians will not be removed from the list immediately, until further discussions take place with the industry to discuss the resident labour market test.

The revised list will come into effect from 14 November 2011. If your occupation will be removed from the occupation list soon you should consider applying soon. It will be more difficult to come under the Tier 2 visa if you are not on the shortage occupation list. For a Tier 2 visa the employer will need to show that there are no suitable resident workers who can do the job.