Posted on July 19, 2023

UK Relaxes Visa Rules to Attract Foreign Construction Workers

Reuters, July 17, 2023

Britain has added a number of construction roles to its “shortage occupation list”, allowing the building industry to bring in staff from abroad more easily to help employers struggling to fill positions.

Bricklayers, masons, roofers, roof tilers, slaters, carpenters, joiners and plasterers will benefit from cheaper visas and more relaxed employment criteria under the changes.


But, doing so causes a political headache for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s governing Conservative Party, which has been promising to cut net migration for the last decade.


The independent Migration Advisory Committee recommended in March that the construction jobs be added to the shortage occupation list. The list already includes care workers, civil engineers and laboratory technicians, plus healthcare roles.

Net migration to Britain reached a record high of 606,000 last year, data published in May showed, drawing fresh promises from Sunak to reduce arrivals.