Government eases visa rules for construction and fishing industries

Bricklayers, plasterers and other roles within the building industry are to be added to the Government’s “shortage occupation list”. This means that visa restrictions are being temporarily eased to assist employers in areas where they have been struggling to recruit.

This follows recommendations from the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee, to add five roles within the building industry to the shortage occupation list. These cover the following:

  • Bricklayers and masons
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified
  • Plasterers

Dryliners will also be reclassified to the same occupation code as plasterers, meaning that this role will also be covered.

The following roles within the fishing industry will also be added to the shortage occupation list:

  • Agriculture and fishing trades not elsewhere classified.
  • Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations not elsewhere classified.

These changes will come into force on 7 August 2023 and the additions of these roles to the shortage occupation list will mean employers can sponsor workers carrying out these roles via the skilled worker visa route. Lower salary requirements and lower visa application fees then also apply.

The following documents can be accessed here:

  • for a full statement of the changes click here
  • for an explanatory memorandum click here 

If you have any questions about these changes, or would like any further information about business immigration, please contact Catherine Hope at or on 0191 226 3801.

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