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'It makes you feel unwanted': French chef rejected for UK residency after 23 years

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Claude Bosi said he will now apply for the European Settlement Scheme
Claude Bosi said he will now apply for the European Settlement Scheme   -   Copyright  AP   -   Lionel Cironneau
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A two Michelin star chef who has lived in the UK for 23-years has had his request for permanent residency rejected.

Claude Bosi, who is originally from Lyon, told Euronews: "They make you feel like they don’t want you to be here."

"The issue is not about what you can bring to the table, it’s about the work you’re going to do to... It's a p***take."

In more than two decades in the UK, the 47-year-old has run a string of high-profile restaurants, including Hibiscus, which was awarded two Michelin stars. It closed in 2016.

He now runs Bibendum in London's affluent borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

On Friday, the chef posted his rejection letter from the Home Office to his 28,000 followers on Instagram.

"I love Britain," he wrote. "I considered until today like home but they just told me after 23 years of tax paid/Vat paid I'm not welcome-anymore."

Speaking to Euronews, he said his first reaction upon opening the letter was to laugh: "I couldn't believe it," he said.

He said he received a phone call from the Home Office less than an hour later - after his post began attracting attention - to say he had been rejected due to not providing enough documentation.

Bosi was surprised, as he had paid £65 to have a prior meeting with the Home Office to go through his documents and take his photo, only for them to tell him later this wasn't sufficient.

He added: "I've gone to see someone. They've got me on file. They have gone through my file and taken a picture of me, but when I left, they didn't tell me I was missing something."

AP
Bosi says he will now apply for settled statusAPLionel Cironneau

Bosi is now going to apply for settled status - a scheme in place for EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit - but says "it is a shame we have to make this much noise to get some help."

"How many people like myself are out there who don’t have the power of social media to help?" he asked.

"If you don’t have social media and you’re a normal family with two or three kids and you spend £65 on a meeting, only to get rejected..."

"Come on guys," he said.

Euronews reached out to the Home Office, which said: "Mr Bosi has not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme. He made an application for a permanent residence card – something which EU citizens living in the UK are not required or encouraged to do.

"His application for permanent residence was not successful because he did not provide sufficient evidence to show he met the criteria.

"We have spoken to him to help him to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, which has already guaranteed the rights of over 2.5 million people.

"It’s free, there is plenty of support available online, on the phone or in person and EU citizens and their families have until 30 June 2021 to apply."