To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason restaurants that offer a takeaway or home delivery service have been precluded from becoming Tier 2 visa sponsors since 2011; and what assessment he has made of the effect of that policy on the strength of the south Asian and east Asian restaurant sector since that date.
Tier 2 (General) supports non-EEA high skilled workers taking up employment with UK based employers. The MAC has consulted widely with the restaurant industry on a number of occasions and they have concluded that the current criteria adequately identify the very best chefs whilst providing measures for preventing abuse of the system. In order to define what constitutes a skilled chef, the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Home Office developed criteria designed to identify the top 5% to 8% of chefs. Only chefs who meet these criteria are able to qualify under Tier 2 (General).
Part of the qualifying criteria is that the job must not be in an establishment which provides a take-away service. We believe that the finest quality restaurants are generally not associated with the provision of takeaway services. We recognise that there may be a small number of high quality exceptions, but the immigration system has to apply clear, objective and verifiable criteria equally to all applications.
We are carefully considering a range of options for the future immigration system and will set out initial plans in the coming months. The Government is clear that we will make decisions on the future immigration system based on evidence and engagement. That is why we asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU and also on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy. The MAC’s report is due to be published in September.