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And a vindaloo visa please…

Priti Patel had recently announced the introduction of the ‘vindaloo visa’, which came into effect on 6 October 2019. But what exactly is this visa? The vindaloo visa is not actually a new visa, but an amendment to the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List. The amendment followed the recommendation of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

The reality is that a lot of restaurants rely on their EEA workers as they are unable to sponsor non-EEA workers on a Tier 2 visa. This may be because the job roles are not considered to be ‘highly skilled’. However, there are a limited number of roles which the Home Office recognises as being skilled which includes:

  • Executive chef – limited to one per establishment
  • Head chef – limited to one per establishment
  • Sous chef – limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment
  • Specialist chef – limited to one per speciality per establishment
Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

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+44 118 960 4605

The reality is that a lot of restaurants rely on their EEA workers as they are unable to sponsor non-EEA workers on a Tier 2 visa.

Even if the job role falls under one of the above, the second obstacle that restaurants tend to face is that they are unable to sponsor a worker because their restaurant offers a takeaway service. The Shortage Occupation List has a category for skilled chefs, but this category is restricted due to the conditions it imposes, which include:

  • There is a minimum salary requirement which is £29,570 after deductions such as accommodation, meals etc
  • The chef must have 5 or more years of relevant experience in a role of at least the equivalent level as the current
  • The job must not be in outlet which produces fast food or a takeaway service.

Fortunately, the so-called vindaloo visa now allows more restaurants to sponsor non-EEA national chefs as it has removed the takeaway service restriction. This is good news as it finally recognises that many high-end restaurants also provide a takeaway service, but still require skilled chefs. Although it is to be pointed out that they must still meet the other eligibility criteria.

About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

View profile

+44 118 960 4605

About this article

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