01 December 2010

UK Visa cap could destroy businesses, hospitality industry warns

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The UK Home Office is expected to meet with representatives of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) soon to discuss the impact of the new UK Visa cap on the hospitality sector.

UK Visa

Chefs of non-European cuisines will be particularly hard hit by the UK Visa cap and immigration changes, says the British Hospitality Association.

The UK is already suffering from a shortage of specialised ethnic chefs, and it is feared that the changes to UK Immigration rules and the introduction of a UK Visa cap will further impact on the sector.

New immigration rules mean that only graduate occupations will be allowed to apply for a Tier 2 work permit for skilled migrants – effectively preventing specialised non-European chefs from entering Britain as skilled workers.
The change is bad news for the UK’s 13,000 ethnic restaurants, which rely heavily on chefs from outside Europe.

Industry leaders say a formal graduate level educational qualification is a misguided and irrelevant criterion, and one that even very few top restaurant British chefs would be able to meet.

BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim has sent a letter to the Home Secretary, Theresa May about the impact of the changes.

According to BHA data, for every specialised chef in the UK, a further 11 other jobs are created.

“In the twelve months to this June, 2,412 Certificates of Sponsorship were issued for chefs, essentially for specialised Asian and Oriental chefs whose lifetime skills cannot be replicated in the EEA workforce,” Ibrahim wrote in her letter.  

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  UK immigration applications to the British Embassy.

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