UK Eases Visa Restrictions for Foreign Builders to Address Post-Brexit Labour Shortages

In response to labour shortages, partly influenced by Brexit, the UK government has included bricklayers, plasterers, and various construction positions in the government’s “shortage occupation list.” This measure aims to simplify the process for foreign builders to enter Britain.

The government has also eased visa restrictions for multiple sectors experiencing significant worker shortages, and it now encompasses bricklayers, masons, roofers, roof tilers, slaters, carpenters, joiners, plasterers, and other construction roles. Furthermore, fishing jobs have been added to the list as well.

According to the Home Office, these changes are intended to “aid the delivery of key national infrastructure and stimulate growth for related industries”.

Individuals working in occupations experiencing a shortage can qualify for a skilled worker visa and receive 80% of the job’s standard pay, along with a reduced application fee. To be eligible, applicants must secure a sponsored job offer from an employer and meet English language requirements.

In March, the independent migration advisory committee recommended adding construction workers to the shortage occupation list. The existing list already includes care workers, engineers, web designers, laboratory technicians, and various healthcare roles. Employers can now hire staff from abroad with salaries as low as £14,880 for senior care workers and £15,120 for lab technicians.

Rishi Sunak’s decision to implement this change has sparked backlash from Conservative MPs due to previous promises to reduce immigration. Conservative governments have pledged to lower net migration since 2010.

Last year, overall migration to the UK reached a record 606,000, a 24% increase from the previous year, while the backlog of asylum cases also reached an all-time high.

The UK’s construction industry has faced ongoing challenges in filling worker vacancies, which have been exacerbated by Brexit, preventing EU citizens from working in the UK without visas as they did before. The Covid-19 pandemic further led to many EU workers returning to their home countries.

Suzannah Nichol, the chief executive of Build UK said: “It is vital that construction is able to fill vacancies and quickly address shortages around particular roles.

“So we welcome the news that five occupations will be added to the shortage occupations list, which will help the industry continue to deliver the schools, homes, hospitals and infrastructure that we need.”


  1. Zakari usman Muhammad

    I’m zakari I’m seeking for a job with my bsc in building

  2. Ibrahim madaki

    I’m a professional Builder from Nigeria and I need to work outside Nigeria

  3. Paul odike

    I watch videos online about Nigerians that relocate to UK and so many of them said all they promised them were not Truth Mosley those who relocated with the care visa

    • There are some people out there who are taking huge amount of money for certificate of sponsorship. There are also genuine sponsorship opportunities too. You just need to be careful and not fall victim to scammers.

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