Immigration Law: Recent Changes

This is the third of a series of blogs which will cover all of the recent updates made to Immigration Law. Written by our director and experienced barrister, Ghulam Mustafa, these blogs cover the changes made and what impact they will have.

Extension of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL)

The Government made changes in the Budget to the points-based system and the SOL, to address labour shortages.  The SOL is a list of jobs which the Government considers to be in short supply within the UK labour market. Currently, if a job is listed on the SOL, lower application fees and reduced salary requirements apply to the sponsored worker’s visa application. 

In short, the Budget confirmed that the recommendations of the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) would be accepted, and will add five construction occupations to the SOL. This will take effect later this summer ahead of the MAC’s wider review of the SOL reporting in the autumn.

Right To Work Check Updates

The Home Office updated the Employers’ Guidance on Right to Work checks on 28 February 2023, covering the use of ID Service Providers (IDSPs).  On 6 April 2022, changes came in which enabled employers to use Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT)via the services of an Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to complete the digital identity verification element of right to work checks for British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport.  

The recent guidance states that some IDSPs offer services in relation to manual checks. However, employers should note that it is not possible to establish a statutory excuse (and thus limit the risk of prosecution for illegal working) if the manual document-based check is performed by an IDSP. 

Importantly, employers cannot therefore outsource the right to work checks to IDSPs completely. Companies should still conduct the checks themselves on all employees who are not British or Irish citizens.

Need Help? Book Your Appointment with our Immigration Barrister or Immigration Team

For expert advice and assistance in relation to a UK visa application or immigration appeal, contact our immigration barrister on 07970286466 or call the office at 02078704870. You can also book the appointment online here.

Written by:

Ghulam Mustafa

Director, Barrister