Maria Fernandes Supports Ethnic Restaurants Facing New Immigration Changes

The view that was forcefully expressed by several attendees was that a requirement for Chefs to speak English, as well as university students, is totally unnecessary and indicates a lack of understanding. 
There were also concerns that Immigration officers were routinely raiding restaurants throughout the country during peak hours, causing chaos within restaurants, and by these actions were criminalising employers.   Maria Fernandes, who is also a member of the Law Society Committee on Immigration and its former Chair stated, “Chefs are the lifeblood of the restaurants. 
There has been a sea change in the manner in which the work permit system is being operated and if this continues with the introduction of the new points based system, restaurants on high streets will simply disappear.  This will spell the end of UK as the recognised capital for high quality multicultural cuisine.” Maria Fernandes accompanied the Minister for Immigration on a recent trade delegation to India and, on 30th January 2008, also chaired a public meeting which the Minister spoke at on the impact of proposed policy changes to visitors’ visas.
The delegation of community leaders, dignitaries and high profile guests that joined Liam Byrne went with the purpose of objectively assessing and reporting the implications of the UK’s new immigration regulations for the communities involved to the minister.
 With strong links to both the UK and India, all of the delegation members were able to offer an impartial assessment, by meeting with communities in Delhi that will be affected by the rule changes.