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In a statement of changes presented to Parliament on 9 September, the Home Office has laid down a number of amendments to the Immigration rules and regulations. Significantly, the Government has finally recognised that restaurants offering takeaways need to be able to recruit chefs from overseas. Restaurants rely on foreign chefs to work in their kitchens; the chefs provide regional knowledge and expertise in the preparation and creation of international dishes.

The historic influx of foreign chefs helped to improve the reputation of the UK and change it drastically from a place with stereotypically poor food to one of a vibrant melting pot of international cuisines. The UK is therefore reliant on allowing foreign chefs to continue to be able to work in the UK to build upon its increasingly improved reputation.

In recent history there has been a restriction on chefs that could come to the UK to work such that if a restaurant provided a takeaway service, they were not able to hire foreign chefs. This severely impacted the way many restaurants could operate. Many were not able to function without both takeaway services and the expertise of foreign chefs, forcing them to close. Further, with the explosion of delivery services such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, these companies are now providing restaurants that traditionally did not offer takeaway options the ability to do so. This restriction severely impacted the ability of these restaurants to grow and thrive.

As a reaction to the changing landscape, the Home Office has now removed the restriction preventing chefs from working for a sponsor that provides a takeaway service. This change of policy will be welcome news to many as the change provides restaurants which serve takeaway food, the ability to recruit head chefs and specialists chefs from overseas so that they can continue to expand their businesses in the UK. This will no doubt help to ensure the UK continues to build upon its reputation as a global hub for international food.

Should you wish to employ foreign chefs for positions in the UK, or wish to learn more about how the new policy could assist you or your business, please contact Dhruti Thakrar or George Curie from our Immigration team

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