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Updates to new Immigration Salary List (ISL)

Published 12 April 2024

Following its commission in late January, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has finalised the rapid review of the shortage occupation list and recommended that 21 occupations be included in the new ISL.

We’re breaking down these changes following the Statement of Changes that was published on 14th March 2024 – read our breakdown of this update here.

Occupations recommended for the ISL

The 21 occupations recommended by the MAC represent a reduction in the number of jobs eligible for the Skilled Worker Route currently on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), soon to be abolished.

This brings an increase from the initial 8 jobs, plus an additional 2 for Scotland, recommended in October 2023. The MAC states that the increase in Skilled Worker salary thresholds is the reason for this jump to 21 occupations, stating that it will make it “more challenging for these occupations” to use the Skilled Worker Route.

Recommendations made in October 2023 remain, and are as follows:

  • Managers and proprietors in forestry, fishing and related services (SOC code 1212, Scotland only, only “fishing boat masters”)
  • Laboratory technicians (SOC code 3111, UK-wide, must have three or more years experience)
  • Pharmaceutical technicians (SOC code 3212, UK-wide)
  • Boat and ship builders and repairers (SOC code 5235, Scotland only)
  • Stonemasons and related trades (SOC code 5312, UK-wide)
  • Bricklayers (SOC code 5313, UK-wide)
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters (SOC code 5314, UK-wide)
  • Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified (SOC code 5319, UK-wide, only “retrofitters”)
  • Animal care services occupations not elsewhere classified (SOC code 6129, UK-wide, only “racing grooms”, “stallion handlers”, “stud grooms”, “stud hands”, “stud handlers” and “work riders”)
  • Care workers and home carers (SOC code 6135, UK-wide, private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor skilled worker applicants in non-health and care worker eligible jobs)
  • Senior care workers (SOC code 6136, UK-wide)

Additional occupations now recommended for the list are:

  • Chemical scientists (SOC code 2111, Scotland only, only jobs in the nuclear industry)
  • Biological scientists (SOC code 2112, UK-wide, all non-health and care worker eligible jobs)
  • Social and humanities scientists (SOC code 2115, UK-wide, only archaeologists)
  • Artists (SOC code 3411, UK-wide)
  • Dancers and choreographers (SOC code 3414, UK-wide, only skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required)
  • Musicians (SOC code 3415, UK-wide, only skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required)
  • Arts officers, producers and directors (SOC code 3416, UK-wide)
  • Graphic and multimedia designers (SOC code 2142, UK-wide)
  • Welding trades (SOC code 5213, UK-wide, only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years related on-the-job experience)
  • Carpenters and joiners (SOC code 5316, UK-wide)

What happens now?

At this point, it’s yet to be seen the updates that will follow this announcement.

With the salary discount offered by inclusion on the list now being abolished, the MAC states that the Home Office will need to provide an updated list of benefits to the list itself.

The MAC suggests that it carries out analysis and shares its recommendations of what these benefits of list inclusion should be, with the Government agreeing to this before a full review is completed. At this point, stakeholder input would be requested to fully allow the MAC to provide concrete recommendations.

We’ll continue to share all relevant Home Office updates on the ISL and any further news from the MAC.

If you have concerns about your Sponsor Licence or Skilled Worker Visa, speak to the Five Star team and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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