How studying can get me residency as a chef

This is one of the most common questions we receive from our students is how studying cookery or to be a chef could lead to permanent residency. In this blog, we will explain how this “study pathway” works and also provide you with some tips on what to look for when choosing a course like this.

Choosing what to study in Australia can be confusing given the huge amount of courses available for International students. The most important thing to consider is to study something you are passionate about and also having a strong strategy to achieve permanent residency.

How a chef can get PR in Australia?

The first thing you need to know is that the process for permanent residency through skilled migration as a chef in Australia is slightly different if you are a qualified chef OUTSIDE Australia or if you study in Australia. We will break down both sides to give you a clear picture whether you are an overseas qualified Chef or someone looking to study to become a Chef and start a new career in Australia.

Permanent residency studying cookery in Australia

There are three main steps you need to successfully achieve to be eligible to apply for the permanent residency.

Step 1 – Choose the right course:

Choosing the right course at the right level is key. To be recognised as Chef in Australia you have to study a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery. This could be a stand-alone course or a package that includes this program. The most common package is Certificate IV (sometimes including Certificate III) and Diploma of Hospitality management.

In total the course (or courses) must be registered in CRICOS for at least 92 weeks. Additionally,  during your studies you must complete a 360 hours work placement as Chef. Given this occupation is in high demand, usually students don’t have any issues finding a company to undertake their placement.

At EMSA – Education and Migration Services Australia – we work with a lot of schools around Australia that offer the right cookery course. We can help you enrolling and also during your visa application. Just get in touch!

Step 2: Apply for your 485 Visa:

The next step after graduation is to apply for the 485 Visa – Graduate stream – This visa allows you to work full-time during 18 months from date of grant.

To apply for this visa you would need to provide your Commercial Cookery qualification and transcript, a recognised English test. You can sit any of the following English tests: IELTS, PTE, Cambridge, OET or TOEFL, a provisional skills assessment from TRA (hence the need for the 360 vocational placement), health insurance, and medical and police check clearances.

Step 3: Complete the Job Ready Employment

Studying Commercial Cookery doesn’t make you a Chef straight after graduation (at least not for migration purposes). For this reason, you need to have gained paid work in your occupation for at least 1 year. This is done through the Job Ready Program.

The Job Ready Program is a one year program. You and your company need to sign up and register to have the employment verified at the start of your job placement. Moreover, you need to log your hours over the year and complete an ‘on the job assessment’.

At the end of this program you get your full skills assessment as a Chef in Australia which is what you need to prove to Immigration that you are a “skilled applicant” for the next steps in your visa journey.

If you are about to finish your course, we can also help you mapping out your next step of the journey. Not only your 485 visa and job ready program but also, what state or city is better for your permanent residency process.

We also have a sister company EMSA Employment Solutions who can find help you find you a job to triple your permanent residency chances in Australia.

What happens next?

After you get your Full Skills Assessment issued, you are then eligible to apply for residency in Australia.   We say eligible, because you need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Department and they periodically send invitations to apply for residency visas. This step is key and there are some factors that you have to consider.

You need to have a minimum of 65 points to be considered for invitation. This is why factors such as English level, age, where you studied and work will play a vital role to get you more points.

It’s important that you check whether the state you are living in, can give you extra points (through state sponsorship) as this way might be easier and faster to receive an invitation. Remember, you can lodge your visa through ImmiAccount, when your EOI is accepted and you receive an invitation to apply.

Only at this point, after you have submitted your visa application, you will get a bridging visa, which allows you to stay in Australia until a decision is made.

Overseas qualified chefs

There are also possibilities to apply for residency if you studied to be a chef outside Australia. Chefs are in great demand in Australia and this ranges from Commis chefs right up to the role of Head Chef. And you can earn a salary ranging from $60,000 – $120,000 working as a chef.

The good news is that you will be able to skip step 1 and 2 from above and the skills assessment process is slightly different.

Applying for a skills assessment as a chef from overseas

The good news is that Chefs are in high demand in Australia. And this is not just entry level chefs (commis) but all the way up to sous and head chefs. A chef in Australia can earn anywhere from $60,000 – $120,000 per year depending on your skills and experience.

When applying for residency as a Chef from overseas, you’ll need to demonstrate evidence that you have 3 years full time work experience after you completed your qualification. And your qualification will need to be at least equivalent to  an Australian Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery (see example of subjects you need to have equal to Tafe Queensland here).

If you have the qualification and 3 years post qualification experience as listed above, then you’ll be eligible for a skills assessment and if successful, then then follow the ‘What happens next’ steps above.

As with all migration, strategy is key and you need to make sure you have considered factors such as state sponsorship, regional state or family sponsorship and more. At EMSA we specialise in finding pathways and strategies to help you achieve permanent residency in Australia. Contact us today and we will help you with your case.

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