Readers of today’s blog will find a list of “Shortage Occupations” in the UK, which may be filled by eligible applicants for Skilled Worker visas. If you apply for a position that is defined as a shortage occupation, you will be eligible for the visa even if you do not meet the usual salary requirements as defined under the new UK points-based immigration system. Continue reading for a brief overview of the UK points-based system, Skilled Worker visa requirements, and for a detailed list (including required salary percentages) of all the represented shortage occupations in the UK. 

UK Worker Immigration Overview 

If you are applying for any kind of UK work visa, you will have to fulfill certain qualifications in order to be eligible for immigration. As a basic precondition, all would-be immigrants to the UK must already have a job waiting for them in the country in order to apply for any kind of work visa there. However, it is not enough to simply to have a UK job offer—the employment offer you receive must fulfill certain conditions in order for you to qualify for enough points under the new UK points-based immigration system. This is particularly true for applicants pursuing Skilled Worker visas, who must obtain 70 points under the system, which also has certain minimum salary requirements in addition to other preconditions. This means that if you are applying for a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to have an offer for a job in the UK that satisfies the minimum salary requirements. For a more thorough overview of the UK points-based immigration system, click here; for information on how to apply for a Skilled Worker visa, click here

Shortage Occupations 

  • One way of getting around the minimum salary requirement for Skilled Worker visas is by having a job offer in a field defined as a “shortage occupation.”
  • Shortage occupations are categories of jobs in areas that are under-represented in the UK. Because the UK doesn’t have enough people in the country working in these positions, they are looking to attract foreigners who are able to fil them. 
  • If you are a foreigner who is applying to come to work in the UK in a shortage occupation, you may be exempt from the minimum salary requirements for a Skilled Worker visa. This means that because you are working in a shortage occupation, you will still be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, even if the job does not offer enough money to meet the minimum salary requirement.
  • Instead of paying you the minimum salary required for jobs outside of the shortage occupations, your employer can instead pay you (at minimum) 80% of the average salary for the specific occupation. In this way, you will meet the eligibility requirements for a Skilled Worker visa. 

Shortage Occupations List

  • The list of the below shortage occupations also includes the respective annual salary for each job (in all cases, the stated salary is representative of 80 percent of the occupation’s average salary), as well as the occupation code. Note, this blog does not address the list of shortage occupations in the areas of health and wellness, which will be discussed in a subsequent post. 
  • Applicants can look up more information about the below occupations by entering its respective occupation code in the ONS Occupation Coding Tool.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the shortage in a particular occupation affects the entire UK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland). 
  • Occupations are listed alphabetically below: 
    • Actuaries, Economists, Statisticians (exclusively informaticians)
      • £26,240; £12.94 per hour; 80% of average field salary 
      • Occupation code: 2425
    • Architects (all positions) 
      • £28,000; £18.81 per hour
      • Occupation code: 2431
    • Artists (all positions) 
      • £16,800; £8.28 per hour; 
      • Occupation code: 3411
    • Arts officers (all positions, including producers and directors) 
      • £24,000; £11.88 per hour; 
      • Occupation code: 3416
    • Chefs (highly trained sous, specialist, or head chefs who meet specific conditions relating to experience and work environment. Chefs must have a minimum five years of relevant work experience. Job offer must be for a restaurant that does not serve either fast food or basic cuisine). 
      • £29,570
      • Occupation code: 5434
    • Choreographers and Dancers (highly trained ballet or contemporary dancers, who meet specific standards outlined by reputable companies, who dance for companies endorsed by national or international Arts Councils or other industry entities.  
      • £23,840; £11.76 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 3414 
    • Engineers (Civil) (all positions)
      • £28,000; £13.81; per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2121
    • Engineers (Design and Development) (all positions)
      • £27,280; £13.45 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2126
    • Engineers- (Electrical) (all positions) 
      • £29,600; £14.60 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2123
    • Engineers– (Electronics) (all positions) 
      • £27,760; £13.69 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2124
    • Engineers– (Mechanical) (all positions) 
      • £26,720; £13.18 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2122
    • Engineers– (Production and process) (all positions) 
      • £26,480; £13.06 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2127
    • Engineers (Quality control and planning) (all positions) 
      • £24,400; £12.03 per hour
      • Occupation code: 2461
    • Engineers  (Other Engineers not specified above) (all positions) 
      • £26,160; £12.90 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2129
    • Graphic designers (all positions) 
      • £18,800; £9.270 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 3421
    • Information technology/communications workers (Other professionals not specified above) (exclusively specialists in cyber security)
      • £25,440; £12.54 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2139
    • IT Business Analysists, including Architects and System designers (all positions) 
      • £29,280; £14.44 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2135
    • Musicians (orchestral musicians, who are highly skilled and leading figures in their orchestras, who are judged to play at a high level, and who have a job offer from an orchestra that is validated by the Association of British Orchestras)
      • £22,000; £10.85 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 3415
    • Programmers and software developers 
      • £26,640; £13.14 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2136
    • Scientists (Biological and Biochemists) (all positions) 
      • £23,760; £11.72 per hour
      • Occupation code: 2112
    • Scientists (Chemical) (exclusively those working in the field of nuclear energy)
      • £21,360; £10.53 per hour 
      • Exclusively in Scotland 
      • Occupation code: 2111
    • Scientists (Physical(Exclusively for the following jobs in the engineering construction and oil and gas sectors: geophysicist, engineering geologist, hydrologist, geoscientists, geochemist, service manager certain sections of nuclear energy field)
      • £29,200; £14.40 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2113
    • Scientists (Social and Humanities fields) (exclusively archeologists)  
      • £20,720; £10.22 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2114
    • Web developers and designers (all positions) 
      • £20,800; £10.26 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2137
    • Welders (exclusively those who work with high-integrity pipes, who have a job offer in a position necessitating 3+ years of actual experience)
      • £18,240; £8.99 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 5215
    • Veterinarians (all positions) 
      • £26,000; £12.82 per hour 
      • Occupation code: 2216

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