Special visa for Chinese cooks is open to abuse, inspectors say

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

A special visa to allow Chinese, Japanese and Indian restaurants to bring in skilled kitchen staff is being abused on a wide scale, the NRC has quoted social affairs ministry inspectors as saying.

The deal was agreed in 2014 and has so far resulted in over 5000 visas being granted, by far most of which – 4,330 – were for Chinese cooks, the paper said.

The inspectors launched an investigation in 2021 following reports that some cooks were being treated as virtual slaves. And justice ministry figures show 600 work permits for Asian kitchen staff were withdrawn in the past five years, the paper said.

Liping Lin, chairman of the Dutch Chinese hospitality industry body VCHO said the organisation ‘did not recognise’ the claims of widespread exploitation and that restaurants are often wrongly accused of fraud.

The special visa system was stopped last June, but a spokesman for the social affairs ministry told the NRC talks are underway with the sector about starting it up again, as long as additional measures are taken to prevent abuse.

Delivery service

Earlier this week, the labour inspectorate said that the fast food delivery sector is also open to risk and exploitation.

Delivery firms are not checking to make sure if foreign riders have the proper paperwork and identity documents to be able to work in the Netherlands. ‘This,’ the inspectors said, ‘leads to the risk of abuse.’

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