UK employers are able to sponsor overseas migrants to work for them if they are in possession of a Home Office sponsor licence. There are many aspects to consider when a UK business is looking to sponsor a migrant worker including skills and salary thresholds. The Home Office operates a shortage occupation list (SOL) and this list covers those occupations which the Home Office considers to be in short supply. These occupations are considered to be important to the UK’s economy and there are benefits to UK employers for sponsoring migrants to work in a position contained within the SOL including the ability to pay lower annual salaries.

Currently, the SOL covers many occupations including engineers, bricklayers, carpenters, certain IT specialists, roofers, plasterers and construction workers. Care workers and senior care workers are also covered within the current SOL however, there has been talk recently of the SOL being abolished altogether especially bearing in mind the recent figures announced by the Government in terms of net migration to the UK. Currently, the SOL is firmly in place, but the Government is in consultation with the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and it is certainly possible that the shortage occupation list may well be abolished altogether and the current minimum salary thresholds for sponsorship of skilled workers may well be significantly increased from the current level of £26,200 per annum. There are likely to be many changes afoot in the immigration landscape and it is therefore very much a question of watch this space.

For advice on the above or any other immigration matters, please do not hesitate to contact Sohan Sidhu.