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Chefs Migrating to Australia


Arnela Tolic


May 24, 2022


06:13 PM

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One Australian immigration pathway is for those looking for employment as a skilled occupant. The Skilled Occupation list outlines which occupations are sought after, then you go through the process to ensure you fit the criteria. This article focuses on chefs and how they may migrate to Australia.

How is a chef defined in Australia?

He or she is responsible for planning and organising the preparation and cooking of food in catering establishments or dining venues.

Chefs may have one of the following titles:

  • Commis Chef
  • Chef De Partie
  • Demi Chef
  • Second Chef
  • Sous Chef

What is the skill level?

The entry requirement for this occupation is an Australian Qualifications Framework diploma or higher qualification.

Chefs must have verification of an apprenticeship as a cook or a minimum of three years’ experience as a chef.

How do I migrate to Australia as a Chef?

Migration is a three-step process. To be eligible for migrating as a chef or any occupation on the skilled occupation list and in demand list, you must hold the formal qualifications. In the next step, you need to obtain the Australian standards skills assessments for chefs and become recognised in Australia. This is through the governing bodies VETASSESS and TRA. The next step is to lodge the EOI and the visa.

This is more complex than it sounds, and it is advisable to seek professional assistance such as from experienced migration agents such as Direct Migration Experts. We have ample experience and know how to make decision ready valid visa and skills assessment applications. We get you the results in a fast turnaround time. We provide the skills assessing authority for chefs a solid decision ready application, which means the case officer can make a fast decision for stage one of your skills assessment.

What is the VETASSESS TRA Skills Assessment procedure?

Step 1: Documentary Evidence

Must be able to show:

  • Full-time employment for a minimum of 12 months in the last 3 years
  • Full-time employment for more than three years
  • Formal qualifications / apprenticeship or equivalent
  • Evidence of working including, pay slips, tax returns, references.

(Please note this is just a guideline and there is more information required)

The cost for stage one with VETASSESS is currently $1280.00.

The processing time is up to six weeks. However, at Direct Migration Experts, we do receive stage one within 5 working days. We always assist our clients by reviewing documents provided and lodging decision ready applications.

Step 2: Technical Assessment

Once you pass stage one and receive a positive outcome, you will be required to obtain a technical assessment of your skills and knowledge, conducted by a case officer in your nominated occupation.

The cost for stage one with VETASSESS is currently $2200.00.

Is the commercial kitchen at your work more familiar to you than your own at home? Do you spend most of your hours at work?

Have you been handling kitchen utensils and been working as a leader in your place of work for many years? Your employer knows that you hold excellent planning and management skills and you often plan and cost basic menus and carry out basic workplace calculations. Or you may already be your own boss and run your own restaurant or food business. Yet, you know that there is a better quality of life in Australia, and it is your dream to migrate to live and work permanently. Australians value eating out in restaurants and cafes highly, therefore there is plenty of work for skilled and qualified chefs in Australia. The hospitality and food industry in Australia, whether it be Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Brisbane, or Cairns, is huge due to the love of Australians of eating in restaurants as well as the tourism industry.

You know that you can easily plan and create new menus either from reading and interpretations of recipes or being creative with your mind. Developing menus for those with special dietary requirements is easy for you. You know you work effectively with others and can coach others and monitor their work operations in a kitchen environment. Well, we got good news for you at Direct Migration Experts: Chefs are desperately needed in Australia as skilled migrants.

Whether you work in a five-star hotel, Michelin star restaurant, medium sized restaurant, or a small café, if you are familiar with working and using your cooking skills, then migrating as a chef to Australia is for you. A chef, no matter his or her place of work, will use the same cooking skills such as preparing dishes using basic methods of cookery, preparing poultry dishes, preparing seafood dishes, preparing meat dishes, being able to prepare stocks, sauces, and also soups, appetisers, and salads.

Chefs must be able to prove that they can work using hygienic practices for food safety, be able to implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices, and be able to work in a clean kitchen, premises, and with clean equipment. Australian standards are high when it comes to health and safety as well as working in a clean environment. Why not use your planning and management skills and your years of experience as a qualified chef to obtain your permanent residency in Australia? Being a permanent resident gives you endless work opportunities as well as lifestyle opportunities.

Do I need to find a sponsor or a work visa to stay in Australia as a chef?

So, you are in Australia and you thought your employer was going to sponsor you and it has fallen through. We hear this too often from our clients onshore who loved their time here so much on their working holiday visas that they do not want to return home. The employers often promise them to sponsor them so they can stay here. As this article shows, this is only a temporary pathway to stay in Australia. However, being a chef, there is a pathway to permanent residency in Australia. Direct Migration Experts have assisted hundreds of chefs in obtaining their visa and permanent residency.

Do I need a job to obtain permanent residency?

You do not need a job. However, depending on if you are onshore and offshore, this will differ. It also depends on which state and territory in Australia you are going to live in. Generally, in most cases you do not need employment to apply for permanent residency. Permanent residency and the skilled occupation list are based on points and meeting the points criteria. This is not limited to chefs but concerns all occupations on the skilled occupation list.

Do I need experience in Australia as a chef to obtain permanent residency?

You do not need to have experience as a chef in Australia to apply or obtain permanent residency. Nor do you have to have completed your studies in Australia. However, you do need formal qualifications and to hold a valid skills assessment in Australia as a chef to obtain permanent residency.

Do I need to be in Australia to apply for my permanent residency?

No, this is a misconception. We have helped many clients at Direct Migration Experts over the years in obtaining permanent residency from all over the world, including but not limited to the UK and Ireland, Asia, and South Africa.

Is it difficult to find a job once I arrive in Australia as a chef?

Once you have your permanent residency, it is extremely easy to find work as a chef. Many employers in Australia want staff and workers in all fields that hold permanent residency. It is particularly important that you understand that the reason you will obtain your permanent visa is because the occupation of chef is in high demand. This means that there are NOT enough local people to fill the number of vacant hospitality positions and chef positions in Australia. Carpenter and joiners are well paid as permanent residents in Australia. There are many vacant positions ranging from working for hotels, large restaurants, catering companies, to small and medium sized businesses, restaurants and cafes, all looking to employ chefs. Not to mention the freedom of being a permanent resident and having the opportunity and flexibility of starting your own business. Having your own business, you will be able to find as much work as you can handle.

Do I need a skills assessment as a chef for a sponsorship 482 visa?

A requirement for the work sponsored visa 482 is for persons of the countries listed and who are passport holders to have a positive skills assessment.

If you are from the following countries, a TSS skills assessment is required: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, SAR, India, Macau, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

If you are from any of the above countries, if you are being sponsored on a short-term visa although your occupation does fall under the MTSSL.

Generally, applicants for 482 visas must demonstrate that they hold at least two years relevant work experience.

Where do I start on my migration journey to Australia? How do you help?

The good news is that you are in safe hands. We will guide and support you every step of the way.

1. Your CV – The first step is to send us your CV, we can then assess you and ensure that you meet the Australian qualifications framework for the skills assessment. This is part of our Free Preliminary Visa Assessment. We will review your formal qualifications, age, work experience, English level, and ensure that you meet the basic criteria.

2. Consultation – We will then contact you to arrange a consultation with you. We will provide you with individual legal advice and guidance on the process. If you are serious about migrating to Australia, we suggest you start as soon as possible, as the skilled occupation list changes and requirements can become more difficult.

Find out more about Skilled Immigration to Australia

Direct Migration Experts provides expert advice and migration services and solutions for businesses and individuals in Australia. Staffed by Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents with over 20 years’ experience, Direct Migration Experts connect businesses to international talent and help individuals navigate the complexities of visa applications to ensure a speedy outcome.

Connect with Arnela to discuss your Australian immigration options.


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