UK and Portugal hope new visa fixes can solve lingering labor shortages


Staffing issues in the hospitality industry persist. Now two countries are aiming to change visa regulations to counter them.

A petition has been started in the UK to allow EU nationals to come to the UK to work in hospitality for up to two years.

“The government should create a special visa for people from EU countries who come to the UK to work in the hospitality industry for up to 2 years, similar to the seasonal work visa for workers from horticulture. Some countries have visas like this to support the hospitality industry,” the petition reads.

“There is a massive shortage of skilled labor in the UK to fill vacancies which in many cases were previously filled by EU staff. For years people in EU countries have been the backbone of the hospitality industry and many have been impacted by COVID and then by the final terms of Brexit. Many restaurants struggle to find people who are experienced and willing to work.

As of September 2, it had obtained more than 16,400 signatures. Once a petition reaches 10,000, the UK government is obliged to respond. At 100,000 signatures, the subject is considered for debate in Parliament.

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, with free movement between the United Kingdom and the European Union ending on January 1, 2021, when a new points-based immigration process was put in place in place, much more restrictive than before Brexit.

Brexit is blamed for a lot of things, but staff shortages seem to be the biggest problem.

“Supplier labor will continue to be an issue,” Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said in May this year. “The UK will continue to be very challenged. The labor market is very rigid after Brexit. You cannot bring in young Europeans.

Portugal, meanwhile, must speed up the deadline for granting visas to citizens of other Portuguese-speaking countries, including Angola and Brazil, according to reports.

The other countries of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries are East Timor, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe.

Immigrants from these countries have had to obtain a visa if they plan to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, Reuters reported, and often have to wait several months for visa approval.

Employer confederations said there were no workers available in key sectors such as hospitality, agriculture and construction.


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