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Shortage occupation list published


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Favourite shortage occupation: meteorologists

It’s official: we don’t have enough home-grown talent in the weather forecasting department and need to import skilled weatherpersons from abroad. In order to tell us that it will rain again. The other highlight is ballet dancers.

The full list is here. It relates to the introduction of Tier 2 of the points based system at the end of November 2008. Essentially, extra points will be awarded to an applicant in a shortage occupation category, making it easier to get a visa.

The interesting entry, for my money, is ‘skilled cooks or chefs’. The way that Tier 2 has been contructed makes it all but impossible for chefs to qualify, unless they would earn over £24,000 (quite a lot for a chef). This is because the old category for entry with three years of specialist skills at equivalent to NVQ level 3 has been scrapped. However, finding home-grown skilled Indian or Thai chefs is impossible, so ‘ethnic’ restaurants have relied on getting work permits for their cooks. That looked like it was going to become unviable, but the inclusion of skilled cooks on the shortage occupation list will make it much easier for them to qualify for Tier 2 permits.

Interestingly, to qualify as ‘skilled’ they have to earn at least £8.10 per hour after deductions for accommodation and meals. To my mind, that doesn’t say much about how skilled they are, just how desperate the restaurant is. And it is strange to add another earnings criteria to the existing one already built into Tier 2. It looks a lot like the Home Office wanted to close off this route of entry for chefs, but the Migration Advisory Committee has experienced some hard lobbying by the restaurant trade.

Chicken tikka masala can continue to be the nation’s favourite food.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


4 Responses

  1. http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/consultations/immigrationappeals/

    Home office are doing a consultation on appeals.
    See above weblink.

    My comments were as follows:
    1. Time between Local decision and appeal was 18 months. – I suggest 6 months max.
    2. BHC in Ghana turned me away because there was an appeal in place. The BHC should not be able to do this to appellant cases.
    3. The Appeal I was involved in, the judge was useless, with his adjudication contained 7 (seven) MAJOR mistakes, most about “fundamental” issues concerning the case. I was advised by my lawyer not to appeal the appeal. There needs to be a “mis-trial” option for appeal without ramifications.
    4. In my case, the home office representative (in court) and the ECO “breached immigrations rules/procedures”. This indeed was the decision of the adjudicator as well as the advice beforehand of my lawyer. If this is the case, an adjudicator should be able to overturn a decision where the home office breaches immigration rules, where the applicant/appellant did not. The home office upholding immigration law should be discouraged from breaching the law by this.
    5. Where there is a need to appeal the appeal, if the decision is changed, there should be costs awarded where it can be shown that the mistake was not that of the appellant/applicant.
    6. The ECO’s Explanatory Letter of the original decision was sent to us 12 months after the original decision. The letter should be sent to the appellant swiftly. If there are any discrepancies (from a legal point of view) then the appellant should be able to get the case reviewed locally. In our case the ECO did not consider “Exclusion undesirable” and a review could have rectified this.
    Two further suggestions about the appeal process in the courtroom.
    1. The judge should go through the home office file and look at the evidence already on file before hearing further evidence.
    2. The Home Office Representative should make “honest” arguments. Making arguments they know are false, or breach immigration rules should be discouraged.

  2. If they happened to have other qualifications, the skilled chef would not necessarily need to be earning £24,000 p.a to get their points under Tier 2. If they have NVQ3, they could be earning £22,000. If a Bachelors or Masters degree, £20,000. If a PhD (unlikely, but your never know), they could be earning £17,000.

  3. Actually, scratch that. A “skilled chef” automatically gets 50 points from being in a shortage occupation, so they do not need any points at all from qualifications or salary.