30 April 2009

Shortage occupation list for UK visa applicants revised

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The revised shortage occupation list for UK visa applicants has been published for those nationals moving to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Because of the economic condition settling into the UK, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has made key revisions to the shortage occupations lists for UK visa applications, including the temporary removal of quantity surveyors and construction managers.

Further, all social workers are removed from the list except for those working for children and families, care assistants and chefs have had their skill threshold changed, and orchestral musicians, visual effects and computer animation technicians and contemporary dancers have been added to the list.  The healthcare profession has also had some removals and additions.

Autumn of this year will see the release of further amendments to the lists, after the MAC have conducted further reviews.    All results are based on the MAC's judgment that there is a shortage of workers in a sufficiently skilled occupation, and that it is sensible to fill this shortage with workers from outside the EEA.  The MAC also takes evidence from a variety of stakeholders.

"The points-based system, including the shortage occupation list, has to operate for the benefit of United Kingdom workers, especially given the current economic climate," said the Chair of the Committee, Professor David Metcalf.

"These latest recommendations take account of the impact of the worldwide recession on the United Kingdom. We have looked critically at the evidence regarding the occupations under review and made recommendations which balance the needs of the UK workforce against those of employers.

"It is important to note that some shortages of skilled labour will still exist in a recession. This can be where there is a long-term structural shortage of skilled workers, where workers provide key public services, or in areas such as culture where the United Kingdom needs to maintain global leadership."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

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