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Shortage Occupations List UK

Shortage Occupations List Under UK Immigration Rules.

Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) compiles the UK shortage occupation list (SOL)periodically.

Shortage Occupation List is an official list of skilled occupations or professions where there is shortage of skilled labour force within the domestic UK market. Based on MAC recommendations, the UK Government includes the jobs on Shortage Occupation List where there are not enough British Citizens or Settled Persons to fill these jobs.

The UK Government then allows some concessions in terms of allowing migrant workers to come to the UK under current Tier 2 of work visas to fill these skilled roles.

Current shortage occupation list is compiled by MAC in May 2020. There are two shortage occupation lists. One list is for entire UK and the other list is only for the Scotland.Shortage occupations list is included in the Immigration Rules as Appendix K.

UK Employers who are on the Register of Sponsors for Tier 2, who will automatically be registered under new points-based immigration scheme, have some advantages as under:

  1. Licensed sponsors / employers do not need to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)
  2. Priority allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS)

Similarly, the skilled workers who come to the UK to fill the vacancies for jobs listed on Shortage Occupation List enjoy some benefits as under:

  1. Lower visa fees for the migrants and dependants
  2. Exemption from the minimum income threshold for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application i.e. settlement.

If you are a UK employer and wish to employ a migrant worker on one of the jobs appearing under shortage occupations, you may be exempt from conducting Resident Labour Market Test. If the job in not on SOL, you must advertise the job opening or vacancy at least for 28 days to comply with Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) before sponsoring a non-EEA skilled worker from abroad and carry out full recruitment exercise before employing the migrant worker, which consumes a lot of time.

Under the new points-based immigration system from 2021 the requirement of resident labour market test will be waived so that employers will not need to advertise the job and wait for at least 1 month to complete the recruitment process.

Under the NEW PBS for Skilled Workers you may be able to score Tradeable points to reach the total of 70 points if you have already scored 50 mandatory points. Please visit Skilled Worker Points Calculator to find if you are likely to be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa for the UK.

Shortage Occupation List includes roles under Science, Technology, IT, Medicine, Education, Healthcare, Research, Creative and other sectors where there is acute shortage in the UK domestic market.

If you are interested in finding out if your job title or profession is included in Shortage Occupation List please see the list below for the SOL for entire UK and SOL for Scotland.The Shortage Occupation List keeps changing based on the demand and supply within the UK market and the current list includes the following occupations:

Shortage Occupation List

Immigration Rules Appendix K: shortage occupation list

Table 1 - United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and description Job titles included on the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List and further criteria
2112 Biological scientists and biochemists Biomedical scientist
Forensic scientist

2113 Physical Scientists engineering geologist

technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry
senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector
2114 Social and Humanities Scientists Archaeologists
2121 Civil engineers Building engineer
Civil engineer (professional)
Highways engineer
Petroleum engineer
Public health engineer
Site engineer
Structural engineer

2122 Mechanical engineers Aeronautical engineer (professional)
Aerospace engineer
Automotive engineer (professional)
Marine engineer (professional)
Mechanical engineer (professional)

2123 Electrical engineers Electrical engineer (professional)
Electrical surveyor
Equipment engineer
Power engineer
Signal engineer (railways)

2124 Electronics Engineers Avionics engineer
Broadcasting engineer (professional)
Electronics engineer (professional)
Microwave engineer
Telecommunications engineer (professional)

2126 Design and development engineers Clinical engineer
Design engineer
Development engineer
Research and development engineer

2127 Production and process engineers Chemical engineer
Industrial engineer
Process engineer
Production consultant
Production engineer

2129 Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified Acoustician (professional)
Food technologist
Patent agent
Project engineer
Scientific consultant
Technical engineer
Traffic engineer

2135 IT business analysts, architects and systems designers Business analyst (computing)
Data communications analyst
Systems analyst
Systems consultant
Technical analyst (computing)
Technical architect

2136 Programmers and software development professionals Analyst-programmer
Database developer
Games programmer
Programmer Software engineer

2137 Web design and development professionals Internet developer
Multimedia developer
Web design consultant
Web designer

2139 Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified Cyber security specialist .
2211 Medical practitioners Anaesthetist
Consultant (Hospital Service)
General practitioner
Medical practitioner

2212 Psychologists Clinical psychologist
Educational psychologist
Forensic psychologist
Occupational psychologist

2216 Veterinarians Veterinarian
Veterinary practitioner
Veterinary surgeon

2217 Medical Radiographers Medical radiographer
Therapeutic radiographer
Vascular technologist

2222 Occupational therapists Occupational therapist

2223 Speech and language therapists Language therapist
Speech and language therapist
Speech therapist

2231 Nurses District nurse
Health visitor
Mental health practitioner
Practice nurse
Psychiatric nurse
Staff nurse
Student nurse

2314 Secondary education teaching professionals secondary education teachers in the subjects of maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and Mandarin
2425 Actuaries, economists and statisticians bio-informatician
2431 Architects Architect
Architectural consultant
Chartered architect
Landscape architect

2433 Quantity surveyors Quantity surveyor
Surveyor (quantity surveying)

2442 Social workers Psychiatric social worker
Senior practitioner (local government: social services)
Social worker

2461 Quality control and planning engineers Planning engineer
Quality assurance engineer
Quality control officer (professional)
Quality engineer

3213 Paramedics
Ambulance paramedic
Emergency care practitioner

3411 Artist Artist
Portrait painter
3414 Dancers and choreographers Skilled classical ballet dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised United Kingdom ballet companies. The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales)
Skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised United Kingdom contemporary dance companies. The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales)
3415 Musicians skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras. The orchestra must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by the Association of British Orchestras.
3416 Arts officers, producers and directors Film editor
Production assistant (broadcasting)
Studio manager
Television producer
Theatrical agent

3421 Graphic designers Commercial artist
Designer (advertising)
Graphic artist
Graphic designer
MAC operator

5215 Welding trades high integrity pipe welder where the job requires three or more years’ related on-the-job experience
5434 Chefs Only the following job in this occupation code:
Skilled chef where:
• the pay is at least £29,570 per year after deductions for accommodation, meals etc; and
• the job requires five or more years relevant experience in a role of at least equivalent status to the one they are entering; and
• the job is not in either a fast food or standard fare outlet; and

The job is in one of the following roles:
executive chef - limited to one per establishment
head chef - limited to one per establishment
sous chef - limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment
specialist chef - limited to one per speciality per establishment

Table 2 - Scotland only Shortage Occupation List

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and description Job titles included on the Scotland only Shortage Occupation List and further criteria
All All job titles and occupations on the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List
2111 Chemical scientists Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• Chemical scientists within the nuclear industry
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• Gaelic Teachers
2315 Primary and nursery education teaching professionals Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• Gaelic-medium teachers


HSMP Immigration Services UK Ltd. is striving hard to provide comprehensive and accurate information - including points calculators for various visa categories - to help you in finding if you would qualify under the visa category you are interested in to migrate to the UK. While every care is taken in selecting the content for the website and calculators, you should be aware the UK Immigration Rules keep changing from time to time. The information available on this site may be relevant on the date of publication of this page however the immigration related information does not constitute the legal advice. We recommend that you seek independent immigration advice from regulated immigration advisers or law firms specialising in immigration matters.

In case of any doubt, please contact HSMP Immigration Services UK Ltd..

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