PER-International is happy to report that recent changes to the UK’s visa policy mean that electrical engineers and electronics engineers have now been added to the Shortage Occupation List. The changes, as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), mean that from 6 October 2019, Certificates of Sponsorship can be assigned for a range of electrical engineering roles.
What is the Shortage Occupation List?
The Shortage Occupation List is an official list of occupations drawn up by the Home Office that do not have enough resident workers to fill the vacant roles. The Migration Advisory Committee regularly reviews the list and calls for evidence about which occupations should be added or removed. It then makes recommendations to the Home Office.
What electrical roles have been added to the shortage occupation list?
The former home secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that the government would be implementing all the changes to the UK-wide Shortage Occupation List as recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee.
That includes roles in quantity surveying, quality control, IT and medicine. However, more importantly for our readers, electrical engineers and electronics engineers have also been added to the list for certificates of sponsorship assigned on or after 6 October 2019.
All engineering roles that have been added to the list are included in the official excerpt below:
All jobs under the civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, electronics engineers, design and development engineers, production and process engineers and engineering professionals not elsewhere classified codes – not just certain occupations within the code in specific sectors, as is currently the case.
You can see a full list of professions included on the Shortage Occupations List here.
What are the benefits of inclusion on the Shortage Occupation List?
For employers looking to recruit skilled workers from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), a number of strict requirements apply that must be met. However, if the profession is included on the Shortage Occupation List, it makes it much easier, faster and less expensive for those workers to be hired.
The advantages of hiring for roles on the Shortage Occupation List include:
• Not having to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)
• Exemption from the minimum income threshold for settlement
• Reduced visa fees
• Priority allocation if the visa cap limit is reached
How do you hire for a role on the Shortage Occupation List?
If you want to recruit a worker from outside the European Economy Area (EEA), then if that profession is on the Shortage Occupation List, you must first assign them a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship as their licensed sponsor. The Certificate of Sponsorship is an electronic record with a unique number that the worker can use to apply for their Tier 2 Visa.
Migrants coming to the UK to fill a Tier 2 role on the Shortage Occupation List do not have to prove their prospective earnings or their qualifications. However, they must meet all the criteria for a Tier 2 Visa and have a job offer in place before they can apply.
If an occupation is not on the shortage occupation list, employers can still recruit from overseas but they will be subject to the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).