Review of Shortage Occupation List - | Hudson McKenzie

Review of Shortage Occupation List

August 1, 2019 | Immigration, Latest Thinking, News

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has completed a full review of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) in May 2019.

There are currently 34 occupations with 143 job titles on the list. The main benefits it provides are priority in the event of the cap being reached for Tier 2 (General) work visas issued by the Home Office.

If an employer wishes to sponsor a migrant worker to fill a shortage occupation role, they are not required to complete a resident labour marker test, which makes it easier to obtain a Tier 2 General visa under SOL. Visa fees are slightly lower as well and the minimum salary requirement is exempt for settlement after 5 years.

Since the last review in 2013, the MAC has noted that due to economic changes it became harder for employers to recruit workers.

Prof. Alan Manning, the chair of the committee, said:

“The labour market is very different now from the last SOL review in 2013. Unemployment is lower, vacancies higher and free movement no longer providing the ready supply of workers it once did for some employers. In addition, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the future immigration system. Together these factors lead to a high level of employer concern.”

Therefore, the MAC has recommended to add new occupations to the SOL. For example, veterinarians, web designers and architects.

The expansion would mean the SOL covers around 9% of jobs in the labour market, up from approximately 1% currently. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report said that other occupations that were already listed should be extended to cover all roles within the category, including medical practitioners, artists and civil engineers. 

If you would like to discuss how the above affects you or your business, please get in touch with our UK Immigration Lawyers on 020 3318 5794 or via email at