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Tier 2 Shortage Occupations List changes start today | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has announced that Tier 2 changes will come into effect from today.

The agency said:

‘18 October 2011 the government announced that it was accepting recommendations from the Independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on changes to the shortage occupation list. Specialist jobs that are no longer required in the UK have been removed from a government-approved list that helps to ensure the UK only accepts migrant workers that the country needs.’

The official shortage occupation list is part of the Tier 2 working visa immigration route which is part of the points based system.

Highly skilled migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) seeking to work in the UK must apply for visas via this route.

Employers can only bring someone into the UK under Tier 2 if the job is on the shortage occupation list or if they pass a resident labour market test (no suitable resident workers apply after advertising the job in the UK first for 4 weeks).

Occupations that the MAC recommended be removed from the list include:

  • secondary education biology teachers;
  • speech and language therapists;
  • pharmacists;
  • orthoptists;
  • veterinary surgeons; and,
  • rank and file orchestral musicians.

Added to the list will be:

  • actuaries;
  • high integrity pipe welders;
  • environmental scientists; and,
  • geochemists

Although the government has accepted the MAC’s recommended list in full, rank and file orchestral musicians will ‘not be removed from the list until further discussions take place with the industry to discuss the resident labour market test’.

The changes do not affect EU workers, but employers should be aware that it is illegal to employ a Bulgarian or Romanian worker without permission, even though they are members of the European Union. For further information see:

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

As the newest members of the European Union, Bulgarians and Romanians also have ‘visa-free’ access to enter the UK, but do not enjoy the same rights to work as the earlier ‘A8’ Eastern European EU accession countries.

Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who exercise their Treaty Rights (under Article 39) and apply for an accession card as students taking vocational or sandwich courses (e.g. NVQ/QCF in Health and Social Care), are allowed to work full time, as stated on their Yellow Cards

See also:

Shortage occupations list for Tier 2 gets shorter

Health care workers needed in UK now

Restrictions on Romanian workers in the UK labour market are ‘discriminatory’, says Keith Vaz MP

UK Border Agency issues new policy guidance on age 21 marriage visas following Quila and Bibi judgement

Immigration News weekly round up 13 November 2011

UK Border Agency announce further changes to the student visa system

Points Based System appeals ‘new evidence’ Upper Tribunal ruling 

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email

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