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Changes to the Tier 2/work permit visa category

21 October 2011

Earlier this week the government accepted the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s recommendations, which were submitted for consideration in September 2011. In its report, the MAC focused in particular on those industries and sectors where it deemed that resident workers are now available to fill the vacancies.

Although the MAC’s report advised the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to remove a total of 29 job titles from the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), the government has only approved removal of the following positions: secondary education biology teachers, speech and language therapists, pharmacists, veterinary surgeons and rank and file orchestral musicians. It is important to note that although these positions no longer appear on SOL, a UK employer or business can continue to sponsor migrants in these positions under the Tier 2 General scheme by meeting the Resident Market Labour Test.

In addition, following the MAC's recommendations the following positions will be added to the shortage occupation list: actuaries, high integrity pipe welders, environmental scientists and geochemists.

The revised list will come into effect from 14 November 2011. This means that for applications covered by the annual limit, the new list will apply to all applications by Tier 2 sponsors for restricted certificates of Sponsorship made on or after 14 November 2011. For applications outside the annual limit, the new list will apply to all unrestricted certificates of sponsorship assigned to migrants on or after 14 November 2011.

On 6 April 2011, the UKBA introduced the requirement for Tier 2/Work Permit migrants applying for settlement in the UK to show that they are still needed by their employer and that they are being paid in accordance to the standard code of practice. However, according to the Statement of Changes, the government plans to introduce enhanced verification procedures whereby migrants will have to prove that they are being paid at the appropriate amount by producing mandatory documents when applying for settlement. Please note that at this stage there is no further information available as to what documents applicants will have to present as part of the application. Further details will be disclosed when the rules are being introduced and the guidance will be updated accordingly.



Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.