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Acceptance to MAC’s expansion to Shortage Occupation List

The Government has announced that it has accepted the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in respect of the expansion of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). The Shortage Occupation List is an important exemption for Sponsors when sponsoring migrant workers under Tier 2 of the Points-Based System. It provides an exemption to the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT), an exemption from the minimum £35,800 when applying for settlement, lower visa fees and priority allocation for a Restricted CoS, if the monthly cap is reached.

The current SOL list was updated in 2013, and the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) considers that the labour market has undergone significant changes especially in light of Brexit. Therefore, in May 2019, they provided an updated list of occupations which would fall within SOL.

This updated list includes important revisions, such as the addition of numerous roles under the Medicine, Engineering, Teaching and Technology roles. This announcement is excellent news for businesses in these sectors  The recommendations for the Tech sector include proposals to include entire roles onto SOL. These recommendations have now been accepted by the Government. In his statement to the Houses of Common on 23 July 2019, the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“I am today making an announcement on a number of issues related to immigration. These include an expansion of the shortage occupation list (SOL) in line with the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)…The MAC recommended a number of changes to the main UK-wide SOL, expanding the list to cover a range of high-skilled occupations, including a number of health and social care, engineering and digital technology occupations…The Government are happy to accept all of the MAC’s recommendations on the composition of the SOL and the necessary amendments will be made in the autumn immigration rules changes.

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

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+44 118 960 4605

This updated list includes important revisions, such as the addition of numerous roles under the Medicine, Engineering, Teaching and Technology roles.

…The MAC also suggested that, in order to combat the particular challenges faced by some remote communities, the Government should pilot a scheme that facilitated migration to these areas. The Government accept that this is an idea worth pursuing. Further details will be given in due course.?”

The announcement is welcome news for Sponsors and would lead to reduced times to sponsor for various occupations. The changes require a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules which we expect to be in the coming weeks. Whilst we do have a new Home Secretary since this announcement was made, we expect her to implement these changes in due course.

About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

View profile

+44 118 960 4605

About this article

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