Leading maître d’ and television presenter Fred Sirieix said that he has been made to feel like a “second-class citizen” after having to jump through hoops in applying for permanent residency in the lead up to Brexit.
He told The Caterer that despite providing all the information to the Home Office that was requested of him, he is now being asked for evidence of five years continuous residency in the UK, despite having lived in the country for 27 years.
The information he provided included his national insurance number which Sirieix said would have enabled the Home Office to work out exactly how long he had been in the UK.
Sirieix, who is general manager of Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows at the Hilton on Park Lane, arrived in the UK at the age of 20 to become chef de rang at La Tante Claire in London, under chef-proprietor Pierre Koffmann. As well as being the driving force behind National Waiters Day, he has carved out a broadcasting career for himself as a presenter on Channel 4’s First Dates and the BBC’s My Million Pound Menu.
Hundreds of people came out in support of Sirieix after he posted his experience on social media. Harry Murray, chairman of Lucknam Park, Colerne, Wiltshire, wrote on Instagram that Sirieix “works tirelessly to promote the industry as a career choice to young British people. Why is he and so many others being treated in this abhorrent way?”.
Sirieix’s experience of applying for settled status follows on from that of chefs Richard Bertinet and Damian Wawrzyniak who were denied permanent residency in the UK, despite having lived and worked in the country for 31 and 15 years respectively. Wawrzyniak has since been granted permaent residency, but Bertinet is still waiting to hear from the Home Office after initially being granted pre-settled status, which would result in him after to apply for permanent residency after five years.
Hundreds of other EU hospitality workers have since spoken of their difficulties in being granted settled status despite meeting all the relevant criteria.
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