In the Spring Budget 2023, the Government announced upcoming changes to the Shortage Occupation List which should be of benefit to employers in the construction sector.
Most non-UK resident workers will need to apply for a visa to work in the UK. The most common form of work related visa is the Skilled Worker visa, which allows employers to recruit non-UK resident workers for certain eligible, skilled roles. UK Visas and Immigration will only grant a Skilled Worker visa for roles that are on the list of eligible occupations which are contained within the Immigration Rules.
The Shortage Occupation List (also known as the ‘SOL’) is a separate list of roles which are eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker visa route, but where it is recognised by the Government that there is a particular shortage of suitable labour and therefore employers are more likely to need to fill those roles with workers from outside the UK.
Occupations on the SOL are given concessions within the Immigration Rules, which are designed to make it easier for employers to employ migrant workers to fill those vacancies.
These concessions include a reduced minimum salary requirement (currently £20,480), as well as reduced visa application fees for the worker.
The Government has announced that a number of roles in the construction industry will be added to the SOL. These are:
This update to the SOL will be welcome news to the construction industry, where there remain significant labour shortages. The changes will allow businesses to sponsor workers in roles where previously the higher minimum salary requirements may have been prohibitive.
The Government has not yet confirmed what date these changes will come into force, but is expected it will be in summer 2023. If your business would like to benefit from these changes, but does not yet have a Sponsor Licence in place, we recommend making a Licence application now, so that you can take advantage of these changes once they become effective.
For advice on sponsoring migrant workers, or any other immigration matters, please contact our Immigration team.
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