UK Government rejects petition for EU hospitality worker visa scheme

Alex South

Alex South


The uK government has rejected a petition calling for hospitality visas for EU workers after it collected more than 17,000 signatures.

Responding to a petition, the UK government has “no plan” to allow EU nationals into the country to work in hospitality for up to 2 years.

After reaching over 10,000 signatures earlier this month, the UK government has rejected a petition which seeked to change laws preventing EU nationals from joining Britain’s hospitality workforce.

In their response, the Home Office said there were no plans to introduce a visa route for recruitment "at or near the minimum wage with relatively short training" and that businesses "should invest in and develop the UK's domestic labour force".

"Our Plan for Jobs is therefore focused on helping people across the country retrain, build new skills and get back into work, rather than providing alternatives to this via immigration policy," concluded the statement.

The petition, created by Thiago Luz Togni, was created earlier this month and will be live until 18 Febraury 2023.

A statement on the petition said: “There is a massive shortage of qualified labour in the UK to fill vacancies that were in many cases previously filled by EU staff.”

It added: “For years people from the EU countries were the backbone of the hospitality industry and many were affected by Covid and subsequently by Brexit’s final terms. Many restaurants are struggling to find people with experience and willingness to work.”


Following the quick response to the petition, in a post on his Facebook page Thaigo commented: “As we passed the 10000 signatures yesterday the UK government will have to respond to the petition within 14 to 21 days.”

He added: “[It] is important to carry on with it and get 100k signatures if we want it to be debated in the Parliament. We have 6 months to get to this number and I believe we can do it. If we get close to this number, I will ask people on the streets to sign it if I have to.

The Great British Hospitality Squeeze

Support for the creation of an EU hospitality worker visa follows an industry survey released in August, which suggested that UK hospitality businesses have lost nearly 200,000 international workers since the end of 2019.

The new findings reveal there were around 172,000 EU citizens working in the UK hospitality sector, down around 41 per cent compared to a pre-pandemic total of nearly 293,000.

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 6th September 2022

UK Government rejects petition for EU hospitality worker visa scheme