If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national and you are hoping to take on a permanent, skilled position in the UK, you will need to obtain a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa. Before you can be granted this visa, the Home Office needs to make sure that the role cannot be filled by resident talent.

To test this, the job will be advertised to residents of the UK, EEA and Switzerland for a set period. This is known as the Resident Labour Market Test. After this period, if it has not been suitably filled, it can be offered to a national from out of this area. If the role you are looking to fill, however, is on the UK Shortage Occupation list, this means that the job will not need to undergo the Resident Labour Test. The UK Shortage Occupation List is a resource containing all the available jobs which the local market fails to fill on an annual basis. These professions are also referred to as having a ‘skills gap’ in the UK. The jobs on the lists do not need to be advertised before they can be offered to a non-EEA national as they are already registered as being in need of migrant talent.

IAS can help answer any questions you have about the UK Shortage Occupation List. Our highly-qualified immigration lawyers can assess whether your profession qualifies as a UK ‘shortage occupation’. We can also oversee your visa application to work in the UK. One of our lawyers can assess your career options in the UK, liaise with your UK Sponsor and complete your Work Visa application to the highest standard. Get in touch using our online contact form or call 0333 363 8577 to arrange a consultation now.


Which jobs are on the UK Shortage Occupation List?

There are many occupations which are listed on the UK Shortage Occupation List, and it is important to note that the roles which are placed on the list can vary.

They currently include:

  • Production Managers (in roles such as Managing Director, Programme Director, Site Manager, Project Manager and Site Director)
  • Physical Scientists (in roles such as Engineering Geologist, Geophysicist, Geochemist, Geoscientist, Hyrdogeologist, Geologist and Technical Services Manager)
  • Civil Engineers (in roles such as Petroleum Engineer, Reservoir Engineer, Drilling Engineer, Offshore and Subsea Engineer, Control and Instrument Engineer, Fluids Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, Process Safety Engineer, Wells Engineer, Senior Mining Engineer and Tunnelling Engineer)
  • Mechanical Engineers (in roles such as Mechanical engineer (Gas and Oil Industry)
  • Electrical Engineers (in roles such as Power System Engineer, Control Engineer, Protection Engineer, Electrical Machine Design Engineer, Specialist Electronics Engineer (Automotive))
  • Electronics Engineers (in roles such as Specialist Electronics Engineer in Automotive Manufacturing and Design, Signalling Design Manager, Signalling Principles Designer, Senior Signalling Design Checker, Signalling Design Checker and Signalling Systems Engineer)
  • Design and Development Engineers (in roles such as Product Development Engineer, Design Engineer in Electricity Transmission Distribution, Product Design Engineer, Integrated circuit Design Engineer and Integrated Circuit Test Engineer)
  •  Production and Process Engineer (in roles such as Chemical Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer (Aerospace), Technical Services Representative in Nuclear Waste Industry)
  • Other Engineering Professionals (in roles such as Project Engineer, Proposals Engineer, Aero thermal Engineer, Stress Engineer, Chief of Engineering, Advance Tool and Factoring Engineer, Operations Manager, Decommissioning Specialist Manager, Project/Planning Engineer, Radioactive Waste Manager, Radiological Protection Advisor, Nuclear Safety Case Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer (pressure vehicles), Piping Design Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer (stress) and Thermofluids/ Process Engineer)
  •  Specialist IT Managers (in roles such as IT Product Manager (minimum 5 years experience and employment in qualifying company required))
  • System Designers/ Architects (in roles such as System Engineer in Visual Effects (Animation)
  • Programmers and Software Developers (in roles such as Senior Developer (minimum 5 years experience and employment in qualifying company required), Software Developer (Animation), Shader Writer, Games Designer, Driver Developer, Embedded Communications Engineer
  •  (in roles such as Cyber Security Specialist (5 years minimum experience and employment with a qualifying company required))
  • Environmental Professionals (in roles such as Contaminated Land specialist, Geoenvironmental Specialist, Landfill Engineer)
  • Medical Practitioners (in roles such as Clinical Radiology Consultant, Emergency Medicine Consultant, Old age Psychiatry Consultant, Emergency Medicine, Specialist Special Emergency Doctors, Old-Age Psychiatrist, Paediatric, Emergency Medicine Trainee and Psychiatry Trainee)
  • Medical Radiographers (in roles such as HPC Registered Diagnostic Radiographer, Nuclear Medicine Practitioner, Radiotherapy Physics Practitioner, Radiotherapy Physics Scientist, Sonographer)
  • Healthcare Professionals (in roles such as Neurophysiology Healthcare Scientist, Neurophysiology Practitioner, Nucleur Medicine Scientist, Orthotist and Prosthetist)
  • Nurses 
  • Secondary Education Teachers (in roles such as Mathematics Teacher, Physics Teacher and Chemistry Teacher)
  • Economists and Statisticians (in roles such as Bio-informatician and Informatician)
  • Social Workers (in roles such as Children’s and Family Services Social Worker)
  • Quality Control and Planning Engineers (in roles such as Planning/ Development Engineer and Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Engineer)
  • Engineering Technicians (in roles such as Commissioning Engineer and Substation Electrical Engineer)
  • Paramedics
  • Artists (in roles such as 2D/ 3D Computer Animator (Film, TV, Gaming)
  • Dancers (in roles such as Classical Ballet Dancer and Contemporary Dancer)
  • Musicians (in roles such as Orchestra Member (depending on section))
  • Arts Officers, Directors and Producers (in roles such as 2D Supervisor, 3D Supervisor, Computer Graphics Supervisor, Producer, Production Manager, Technical Director and Visual Effects Supervisor)
  • Graphic Designers (in roles such as Compositing Artist, Matte Painter, Modeller, Rigger, Stereo Artist and Texture Artist)
  • Buyers and Purchasing Officers (in roles such as Manufacturing Engineer (purchasing)
  • Welders (in roles such as High Integrity Pipe Welder (a minimum of 3 years experience required))
  • Aircraft Maintenance (in roles such as Licensed and Military Certifying Engineer/ Inspector Technician)
  • Line Repairers and Cable Jointers (in roles such as Level 2+ Overhead Linesworker)
  • Chefs (in roles such as Executive Chef, Head Chef, Sous Chef, Specialist Chef (minimum 5 years experience required for all chef roles, excludes Fast Food Restaurants) 

Which visa do I need to apply for jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List?

A Tier 2 Skilled Workers Visa, also known as a Tier 2 (General) Visa will allow you to apply for jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List.

With this visa, you can also apply for skilled work on the Shortage Occupation List which you are eligible to do.

Once you receive a job offer from a registered Tier 2 Sponsor, you can then apply for your visa and begin the migration process.

Read more on Tier 2 Work Visas

How can IAS help?

Getting the right documents to support your eligibility can mean the difference between having your Work Visa application accepted or rejected. There are thousands of cases every year which refused down due to having incorrect or insufficient paperwork.

At IAS we can assist you with all types of UK visa and work permit applications. Our services include:

  • assessing your different options, based on your skills and professional background;
  • determining if you qualify for a professional role on the UK Shortage Occupation List;
  • guiding you through the Resident Market Test (if this is applicable);
  • performing a thorough document check to make sure there are no issues or gaps in your paperwork;
  • liaising with your UK Sponsor to arrange your Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • completing your Work Visa application to the highest standard;
  • providing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This letter contains information on your case and its merits as well as references to relevant UK immigration laws which may support you;
  • monitoring your application once it has been submitted;
  • liaising with the Home Office until a decision has been reached.

Contact IAS today to speak with an immigration lawyer who can help you find out if your profession is on the UK Shortage Occupation List and secure you UK Work Visa.

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