Tier 2 work visas for UK car industry

Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

The UK has world-leading capabilities in automotive, aerospace and the full range of manufacturing disciplines, from advanced materials to food and drink. Investments recorded by UKTI into these high tech R&D intensive industries rose by 12{e68217344b855fcd608ed2c4c41f83644da7cd41ea524fbfa2ad06c632d3255d} in 2014/2015.


The UK’s reputation as a leading centre for the automotive industry gathered momentum during 2014/2015 as more than 1.5 million vehicles rolled off the production line, contributing to a record £63 billion turnover and establishing the UK as the as the third largest car producer in Europe. This accelerated growth reflects the UK’s unique offer to the automotive industry and presents a compelling proposition for foreign trade and investment.

The Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) works across industry and Government to promote the UK automotive sector and bring investment into the country. With a particular focus on investment into R&D, motorsport and the UK supply chain, the AIO helped attract 104 FDI projects in 2014/15 creating or securing 15,761 jobs – the most in any sector this year.

Sunderland – home to the Nissan car factory, one of Europe’s most efficient – saw two major investments from US automotive suppliers. Supported by the AIO, automotive technology company TRW committed to building new production and assembly facilities in the region, bringing 130 new jobs, while the Lear Corporation has been able to secure major expansion plans for a new foam plant, creating 100 new jobs.

However, there are still some skills gaps in the local labour market, particularly in the automobile and aerospace industries.  UKBA lists certain job roles in these sectors as “shortage occupations” or jobs that cannot easily be filled locally.

Automobile industry

In the automobile industry the listed shortage occupations are:

  • Product development engineer
  • Product design engineer
  • Specialist electronics engineers

Engineers with skills and knowledge of Team Centre Engineering (TCE), Catia v5 design, manufacturing methods and measurement point selection / documentation as well as associated metrology skills could well qualify under this category.

Aerospace industry

Shortage occupation categories include:

  • Electrical machine design engineer
  • Power electronics engineer
  • Aerothermal engineer
  • Stress engineer
  • Chief of engineering
  • Advance tool & fixturing engineer

By being included in the “shortage” occupation categories quicker visa processing times apply as there is no need for the sponsoring employer to conduct a resident worker labour market test thus saving time and getting resources more quickly to start projects in the UK.

For more information about “shortage” occupation categories please read the links below.