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UK Shortage Occupation List (SOL) 2022

What is Shortage Occupation List?

The UK Shortage Occupation List (SOL) contains skilled worker jobs that the UK Government deems are in short supply within the UK labour market. For jobs on the SOL, the UK immigration rules for work visas are relaxed to make it easier for overseas workers with the required skills and experience to come to the UK. For instance, Skilled Worker visa applicants only require a salary at 80% of the normal ‘going rate’ if they have a job on the SOL.1 Furthermore, application fees are typically lower if applicants have a role on the SOL.

UK Shortage Occupation List in 2022

The UK skills shortage list is regularly updated each year based on the latest developments in the job market. It currently contains over 30 shortage occupation types, including welders, graphic designers, musicians, artists, architects, vets, engineers, and scientists.

The most recent update to the SOL in February 2022 saw the addition of the skilled occupation code (SOC) 6145 for ‘care workers and home carers’, for which there has been a significant shortage in the UK. The recent changes have allowed more foreign workers to qualify for the UK Health Care Worker visa, Senior Carer visa, Nanny visa, as well as other highly skilled migrant visa.

Under the current immigration rules, a person with a job offer for a role on the SOL is awarded 20 points under the UK PBS (UK Points Based System). The PBS is used by UK Visas and Immigration to determine if an applicant is eligible for a sponsored UK work visa (e.g., Skilled Worker visa).

Eligible applicants must score 70 points, with up to 50 of these being awarded for sponsorship (20 points), having a job at an appropriate skill level (20 points), and meeting the English language requirement (10 points). To gain the extra 20 points needed, this can be done by meeting the standard minimum salary requirement (typically £25,600, £10.10 per hour, or the ‘going rate’ for the job).

The ‘going rate’2 is the average gross (i.e., before tax) annual amount that the UK government assesses that is paid for each eligible occupation. If an applicant does not meet the minimum salary requirement, they can still score 20 points if they have a job on the SOL UK list, as long as their salary is at least 80% of the going rate (it must be above £20,400).

Visa applicants with a job on the SOL also benefit by paying a lower application fee of:

  • £479 if staying in the UK for up to 3 years (normally £719 for applications made in the UK)
  • £943 if staying in the UK for more than 3 years (normally £1,423 for applications made in the UK)

It is important to note that there are 2 separate tables within the Shortage Occupation List3:

  • Table 1 - Shortage occupations for which applicants can be paid 80% of the going rate
  • Table 2 - Shortage occupations in the area of health and education with going rates based on national pay scales

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in making it as easy as possible for overseas workers to gain the immigration permission they require. Our immigration solicitors can:

For assistance with the skilled worker visa application, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

References

1 GOV.UK: Skilled workers jobs on SOL

2 GOV.UK: Going rates for shortage occupations

3 GOV.UK: Immigration rules appendix shortage occupation list

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