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UNITED KINGDOM – Migration Advisory Committee Recommends Cuts to Shortage Occupation List

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) – the Home Office appointed independent immigration advisory body to the UK Border Agency – has announced recommendations for cutting the Shortage Occupation List. The full MAC report can be found here.

What Is the Shortage Occupation List?

The Shortage Occupation List is a list of occupations for which a resident labour market test (RLMT) is not required for work permission applications under Tier 2 of the UK’s Points Based System. The RLMT is a labour market search by which an employer wishing to hire a foreign national must prove that they have advertised sufficiently and have been unable to find a suitable resident worker to fill the position. Tier 2 Intra Company transfer applications are also exempt from the RLMT.

Positions listed on the Shortage Occupation List are exempt from the RLMT because they are deemed to be positions for which there are not enough qualified professionals available in the resident labour market pool (i.e. the UK and the wider European Economic Area, or EEA).

What does the MAC Recommend is Cut?

The MAC is recommending that 29 positions be removed from the Shortage Occupation List. These include secondary school biology teachers; consultants in obstetrics and gynaecology; paediatric surgery; nuclear medicine and paediatric dentistry; veterinary surgeons; and tutti orchestral musicians.

The MAC recommends that 33 positions be added to the list, including consultants in emergency medicine; actuaries; specific roles within the visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for film; television and the video games sectors; high integrity pipe welders; environmental scientists; and operations managers in the decommissioning areas of the nuclear industry and geochemists. Although the number of additional positions recommended is greater than the number of positions to be removed, the positions recommended for removal equate to a greater percentage of the UK workforce. In total, the MAC estimates that the new list would cover 190,000 employees in the UK, as opposed to 260,000 currently, or approximately one million before the MAC’s first review of the list in autumn 2008.

What Happens Next?

The cuts are recommendations only. The government will consider the recommendations and respond in due course. It is likely that the cuts will be accepted.

Action Items

  • No action is necessary at this time; however, employers currently using the Shortage Occupation List to bring foreign national employees to the UK should note that it is likely to be changed in the near future.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by the UK Border Agency

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.