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Migration Advisory Committee to carry out a rapid review of new immigration salary list


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The Home Secretary has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to carry out a rapid review of the new immigration salary list, which will be the new name for the shortage occupation list. This follows the committee’s previous recommendation that the list be abolished and the government’s subsequent commitment to reform the list. The committee is expected to produce their initial report and recommendations by 23 February 2024.

The Home Secretary has asked the committee to consider which occupations from the current shortage occupation list and/or the committee’s recommended list in their October 2023 report should be included on a temporary basis on the new immigration salary list, pending a wider review to be commissioned in the near future.

The Home Office will also start using the National Statistics’ Standard Occupational Code 2020 coding system, as recommended in the committee’s October 2023 report. The 2020 codes will be used by the Home Office to update the going salary rates for occupations in April 2024. The committee provided the SOC 2020 equivalents to their new recommended shortage occupation list at page 128 of their October 2023 report.

In responding to the request for the review, the Chair said that:

Given the significant time constraints we are working to as part of this rapid review, we have made Home Office officials aware that we will not be able to undertake the stakeholder consultation we usually carry out in response to government commissions. In the interim, we can utilise available data and the extensive stakeholder engagement carried out as part of our major review of the SOL in 2023, in order to perform robust analysis. As part of a fuller review of the ISL starting later in the year, we intend to carry out extensive stakeholder engagement, including a Call for Evidence, alongside a renewed assessment of labour market conditions and available data.

The Chair also said that the committee “will also take the opportunity in the rapid review to highlight the details of the new salary thresholds and the potential benefits of the ISL that will need to be clarified prior to a full review.” The amended list is to be introduced in the spring immigration rules, to take effect from April 2024. The ability for employers to recruit people on a discounted salary for roles on the list will be abolished at the same time.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.