Chef Claude Bosi grapples with immigration rules

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chef Claude Bosi grapples with immigration rules

Related tags: Chefs, brexit

Claude Bosi has become the latest high-profile figure in the hospitality industry to fall foul of immigration rules.

Earlier today (24 January) the French chef posted a letter from the Home Office on Instagram​ stating his application for permanent residency in the UK had been denied, despite having lived in the country for 23 years.

"It's very sad and frustrating," the chef told BigHospitality​.

But a Home Office spokesperson told BigHospitality​ Bosi had instead been encouraged to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, which guarantees the rights of European citizens who have lived in the UK for five years to remain in the country indefinitely after Brexit. 

“Mr Bosi made an application for a permanent residence card – something which EU citizens living in the UK are not required or encouraged to do," the spokesperson said.

"His application for permanent residence was not successful because he did not provide sufficient evidence to show he met the criteria. We have spoken to him to help him to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme which has already guaranteed the rights of over 2.5 million people.”

Bosi told BigHospitality​ the initial Home Office letter had made him feel “unwanted”.

“If this had happened after I sold Hibiscus and hadn’t moved to [his two-Michelin-starred restaurant] Claude Bosi at Bibendum, I would have thought I wasn’t wanted here.

“I love Britain, it’s a beautiful country. I’m not going to spit on it. I can understand the political side of it and why they want to come out of the EU. It’s fine, but don’t rush it.

“It’s like creating a dish in the morning and putting it on the menu that night and using the customer as a guinea pig. Just sort it out properly.”

The chef is not the first industry figure to grapple with the settlement scheme. Fred Sirieix was mistakenly asked for proof of residence, despite having lived in the UK for 27 years. Bath-based chef Richard Bertinet also initially had his application refused despite having lived in the country for 31 years.

Bosi said the Home Office needed to make the process clearer and provide more information to EU citizens applying. “I’m lucky to have a bit of a profile and help [to raise the issue], but how many people getting these letters don’t have that chance? This is a big thing.”

The chef joked that he had asked his parents in France to keep his room ready in case his application was not a success.

“I just called my parents to make sure they don’t turn my bedroom into an office in case I need it. Don’t take a lodger, I might be coming back.”

Related topics: Chef, People, Restaurant

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