Have curry spices, will travel

Aficionados of Indian cuisine in the United Kingdom can relax -- the government is heeding the belly growls of the people

Published September 9, 2008 8:32PM (EDT)

A nation of curry lovers can finally breath easy. Disaster has been averted.

Attentive readers will recall a post from March, "The Sad Case of the Wiggly Chapati," in which I noted a fearful threat to the quality of Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom.

Tightened immigration requirements in the U.K., set to kick in November, will require that immigrants from the subcontinent, hitherto brought in on sponsored visas to work as cooks in the thousands of Indian restaurants that are the U.K.'s most delicious hangover from empire, must now speak fluent English and possess a "high-level" cooking certificate.

But now comes news that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Home Office has been paying attention to the throngs of curry-house owners who have been taking their grievances to the streets. The MAC, reports ExpressIndia, "has revised its list of occupations and skills that are in short supply in UK, which enables employers to recruit skilled workers from India and other countries outside the European Union."

Making the new revised list: "skilled chefs, secondary school teachers of Maths and Sciences, consultants and senior specialist nurses, some engineering occupations, including civil and chemical engineers."

Not making the grade: Indian information technology workers.

Already on the list: veterinary surgeons, hovercraft officers, and, in Scotland, filleters of frozen fish.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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