Visa rules eased for building and fishing industry

Visa rules are being eased for overseas builders, carpenters and people working in the fishing industry, the Home Office has confirmed.

Roofers and plasterers have also been added to the Shortage Occupation List, which temporarily eases visa restrictions in areas where employers are struggling to fill vacancies.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advised adding builders to the list.

Advisors on MAC recommended five jobs for inclusion on the shortage occupations list:

  • Bricklayers and masons
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Plasterers

The Home Office also added jobs in the fishing trade to the list, alongside connected "elementary agriculture occupations".

People on the shortage occupation list can apply for a skilled worker visa to work in the UK.

Those working in a shortage occupation pay lower visa fees and can be paid 80% of the job's usual rate and still qualify for a visa.

Applicants will still need a sponsored job offer from an employer and to meet English Language requirements.

The shortage list is reviewed every six months, with another review is expected by the autumn.

Advisors on MAC did not recommend any hospitality occupations be included, although it said Brexit and the pandemic had "significant effects" in both sectors.

Vacancies are 65% higher in construction compared to pre-pandemic levels, the report found. This compares to an increase of 42% in the overall economy.

Adding construction workers to the shortage list would not make a major difference to overall migration figures, MAC found.

Posted on Jul 17, 2023.

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