The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has updated its latest changes to the Tier 2 work permit immigration route, creating some significant restrictions for the hospitality sector.
Following the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee's latest recommendations, the UKBA has imposed further limits on the hiring of chefs sponsored by an employer in the UK.
The only job now available in this code is the position of a skilled chef, where the pay is at least £28,260 a year after deductions for accommodation and meals are taken.
Furthermore, the individual is required to have five years or more relevant work experience in a role of at least equivalent status to the one they are entering.
The position cannot be in a fast food outlet, a standard fare outlet or an establishment which provides a take away service and the job must be defined as either an executive chef, head chef, sous chef or specialist chef.
In making these restrictions, the government has imposed rules which fail to take into account the fact that different kitchens follow different hierarchy structures by ruling that sponsored positions for executive chefs are limited to one per establishment along with the role of head chef.
Sous chefs, meanwhile, are limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment, while only one specialist chef can be sponsored per speciality, per establishment.
In addition to these restrictions, the UK immigration rules will impose an annual limit on work permit applications from overseas, as well as further salary and skill thresholds for the Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) categories.
The changes will come into force on April 6th this year, along with the latest revised list of shortage occupations at graduate level.