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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2904

UK’s New Visa Rules: A death Knell To Asian Curry Industry

By Glen Jenvey in London
London, 20 February, (

The new British post Brexit working visa figures says you need an annual wage of £25,600 or more and must be skilled or you will not get a visa under the new rules. the present average yearly wage is £17000 for restaurant workers.

The British curry industry workers mainly from Asia and Eastern European countries and would have to be paid £25,600 and show great skills qualifications.

The new point system going to be introduced in 2021 will completely destroy the curry industry which employs more than 10,000 eastern European unskilled laborers.

No way can Takeaways or Asian restaurant owners could afford to pay kitchen porters, Tandoori chefs, waiters an annual wage of £26500 pounds. A head chef in the north of England in a typical Asian Curry House earns annually around £21000 to £17000 below the threshold.

All workers have to demonstrate they can speak and write English the new rules seem to be aimed at scientists’ engineers’ doctors and cutting out completely unskilled labor.

Some say this could be the death of the curry industry in the UK as we know it as well as the traditional south Asian Thai food, Chinese food outlets will also suffer as the younger generation in the families of restaurant and takeaway owners brought up in the UK are not filling the shoes of their fathers and grandfather's opting themselves into academic or professional education and different skilled work.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Quote:Today is a historic moment for the whole country.

We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down.

We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country’s full potential.

The points threshold will be carefully set to attract the talent the UK needs. Skilled workers will need to meet a number of relevant criteria, including specific skills and the ability to speak English, to be able to work in the UK. All applicants will be required to have a job offer and, in line with the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations, the minimum salary threshold will be set at £25,600. End of Quote

Many family-run restaurants in the Asian curry industry struggle with the north South divide in regional wages to pay £26,000 to a chef let about waiter’s kitchen porters’ Tandoori chefs etc the new rules in the UK are going to put the Asian curry industry in ‘Dire Straits’.

The nature of the business most chefs who are Asian in the south Asian or Asian food industry want to be able to communicate in their native language in the kitchen now restaurant owners cannot afford to pay to a wash-up staff, Tandoori chefs, waiters £26000 just to get a visa it has been labeled the ax that will kill Asian curry industry as we know it in the UK.

Student visas will also be affected with the new points system adopted by the Home Office but the home office said in a statement

Quote:Student visa routes will also be points-based and be opened up to EU citizens, ensuring talent from around the globe has access to the UK’s world-class universities. Those wishing to study in the UK will need to demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, that they can support themselves financially and that they speak English.End of Quote

The new points system in the UK only wants to attract the best scientists engineers doctors with no regard to small business owners in the catering industry, the British curry industry which is worth 3.5 billion pounds and employees thousands of what the government call unskilled workers.

The curry industry employs thousands of EU workers however the rules have changed many will not qualify under the new rules the government said.

The new points-based system will also expand the skills threshold for skilled workers. Those looking to live and work in the UK will now need to be qualified up to A level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current system. This will provide greater flexibility and ensure UK business has access to a wide pool of skilled workers.

In line with the government’s manifesto commitment, there will be no specific route for low-skilled workers. It is estimated 70% of the existing EU workforce would not meet the requirements of the skilled worker route, which will help to bring overall numbers down in future.

The new figures brought out by the government of nearly £26,000 wages minimum a year will completely be destroyed by the British Asian curry industry as we know it, which is a 3.5-billion-pound industry - just the Indian food alone in the UK. Without Chinese or Thai food which is worth the same. Many Asian families will suffer as a result of the new immigration laws in the UK.

The minimum wage in the UK is £8.21 which equates to £17,000 a year earnings meaning most British born workers would not qualify for a visa to their own country under the new rules.

- Asian Tribune -

Brick Lane is a street in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. It is famous for its many curry houses. - Victor Cardoner/Getty Images
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