New UK immigration policy to affect Indian chefs

The new immigration policy of United Kingdom is expected to take away the taste from the Indian curries.alt


For the new rules make it impossible for specialised chefs from India to move to Britain. According to the new rules the Tier 2 skilled migrants, chefs from non-European Union countries allowed to work in the UK have to earn a minimum amount of £30,000 annually.

The recent announcement by UK’s immigration minister Damian Green about a week back on a threshold salary range of between £31,000 and £49,000 annually has also caused anger among the Indian community.

Green’s declaration means that those chefs from India, who fall under the salary limit, will now have to leave the country after five years, and will not be entitled for permanent residence.

UK’s curry industry, has been assessed at over £3 billion. But it has been harshly hit by the stringent immigration rules of the David Cameron government.

The Labour MP Keith Vaz criticizing the new rules said that the restriction has badly hit Indian restaurants in the UK. Vaz, having his family in Goa, has been a vocal critic of the new immigration rules.

As per the changed policy, non-EU migrants planning to work as chefs should have a minimum of five years’ experience in a similar job and graduate-level qualifications.

The home office rules allow only the top five per cent of chefs into the country from non-EU countries. Vaz, had at first proposed a four-year chef visa to allow foreign chefs to live and work in the UK on a non-permanent basis. He is now concerned about the impact on curry houses of the stringent policy.

Vaz asserted that Indian cuisine was very popular in the UK.  He added that it was a very old and conventional cuisine and finding skilled chefs from outside the Indian subcontinent was not easy.
Even if chefs from India start training locals in the UK, it would take some time. Vaz said till then Indian chefs should be allowed into Britain for the sake of the curry industry.
Vaz has also expressed concern for foreign students, who till now had the alternative to remain in the UK post their studies and look for work, will have to return to their home countries. The new Tier 4 rules have shut the doors on this option.

Vaz added that before the modifications for foreign students were announced, they at the home affairs committee had approached different organisations, including industry groups in India.

The groups in India talked to India to make an estimation of the impact were Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

The pattern of foreigners coming to study in the UK was basically associated to the leave to stay back and work for a few years provision. 

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