Chef is one of the most in-demand occupations in Australia at the moment. Even after the impacts of COVID last year, the domestic tourism industry in Australia has recovered and is booming. This has led to many shortages in regional areas of Australia where some restaurants are still not able to open due to lack of Chefs.

And while there is a great shortage in regional Australia, it has become harder to gain residency as a Chef in the big cities of Australia, especially Melbourne. but why?

Reason 1: It’s very hard to get an invitation for the 189 visa

Skilled independent migration (subclass 189 visa) has been closed since Covid started. 5 years ago, this visa used to be the most popular for people when applying for residency in Australia. But now, due to a reduction in the numbers allocated to the 189 visa invitations being closed to Chefs for the past 18 months since Covid started, it has meant that there is a big backlog of people in the pipeline (many with a 80 points+ that have not been invited to apply). This makes it a lot more competitive and challenging (even when the 189 visa reopens to Chefs).


Reason 2: Chefs are not in the Victoria occupation list

State Sponsorship is not possible. Victoria has recently released its State Sponsorship List for 2021/22. This list currently only includes STEMM occupations (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical) meaning that it is not possible for Chefs or other occupations to pathway to residency through the skilled migration program.

Reason 3: Employer Sponsorship is hard because of COVID.

Employer sponsorship is limited due to lockdowns. Unfortunately, COVID has had a big impact on the Victorian hospitality industry. Lockdowns have made businesses in Melbourne more unlikely to sponsor and with less businesses operating, it means competition for businesses willing to sponsor is high.

How moving to a regional area can help

Unlike Victoria, many areas of Australia are still sponsoring chefs as part of the skilled migration program. This is for both the 190 and the 491 Visa. By moving regional, chefs have the ability to qualify for the 189, 190, and 491 visas greatly increasing the chances of being invited to apply for residency. In the last 2 months, we’ve received state sponsorship success for 491 and 190 visas for Chefs located in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania! Coupled with this many of the employers in regional areas are willing to sponsor which also provides a pathway to permanent residency.

Through our partner organisation, EMSA Employment Solutions, we work with reputable companies in regional areas helping connect graduates from the city to regional opportunities. If you are about to finish your cookery course, you can signup for this program and boost with us your chances to get permanent residency in Australia.

Read more about EMSA Employment Solutions