Get permanent residency through studying commercial cooking


Dream of starting a new life in Australia? Got a fiery passion for cooking? Then Commercial Cookery and Culinary Arts courses are your tickets towards achieving the Australian dream. The best part about this is that you can achieve this dream by working in a field that you are passionate about as well. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it as well?

Before you start applying for Commercial Cookery or Culinary Arts courses in Australia, there are a few things you should keep in mind before proceeding:

1. Apply for a skilled visa if you already have experience working in the kitchen
For those who have some experience working in the kitchen, you may be qualified for a skilled visa. Those with both experience and qualifications as a cook or chef would have an easier time to apply for this visa. However, due to the temporary shortage of skills, the government has made it complusory for cooks to have their skills assessed and have at least two years of working experience first prior application.


2. Pay attention to occupations listed under flagged occupations
Before applying for your visa, do take note of occupations listed under flagged occupations. Flagged occupations are jobs that could possibly be removed from the skilled occupations list or demoted from medium-long term strategic skilled list (MLTSSL) to short term skilled occupation’s list (STSOL). It is advised to aim for jobs listed under the MLTSSL because they allow for individuals who are taking up two-year courses to obtain a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa. This visa enables students to search for jobs for 18 months after graduation. This is, however, no longer possible for those studying to become cooks as the occupation has recently been demoted to the short-term list. This results in the 485 visa no longer being an option to this particular occupation. Chefs, however, still maintains their MLTSSL status.

3. Choose to study to be a Chef
As previously mentioned, cooks are now classified under STSOL so those studying to be cooks can no longer obtain a 485 visa. However, what you can do in this circumstance is to proceed to acquire Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery as the minimum requirement to become a chef.You can then study Diploma in Hospitality or any other courses related to their occupations. The total time required to study all three of these courses should only take up roughly 2 years of study.

After 2 years of studies, one can apply for Trade Recognition Australia(TRA)’s Job Ready Program (JRP). If an individual is able to acquire 65 points or more under the program he/she is able to apply for the General Skilled Migration Visa. This is why chefs has it eaier compared to cooks when it comes to obtaining permanent residency.


4. Work while you study
Working while studying is a great way to acquire the number of working hours necessary for certain visas. Do remember to make full use of the 20 hours per week working hours in order to achieve this. While the demand for chefs in metropolitan areas and regional areas are high, it is also important to know your rights when working. Should you feel abused, underpaid or working conditions does not feel fair then do consider moving on. In order to obtain your visa, you do require proper paperwork from your employers.


5. Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) and other visa options may be available to you after graduation
For those who finished their studies, there are also different options available to if they wish to stay in Australia. For cooks and chefs, there is the Nothern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA). This allows the state to take in occupations that is considered as semi-skilled, but not listed under the Commonwealth’s skilled occupations list. The best thing about this agreement is that it allows the state to do away with the English requirements and income thresholds required for employer-sponsored visas. This is essential especially when it comes to the eligibility for the aforementioned visa. The only requirement needed to acquire this visa, is that you posses the minimum skill level requirements of 20 hours per week of work for the duration of 1 to 2 years depending on the occupation. This is also applies for Urana, New South Wales and Warrnambool, Victoria.

The other option available to culinary students after graduation is the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189). Ideally, you must finish Certificate III & IV, and a Diploma in order to qualify for the Australian student requirement which will give additional points towards the General Skilled Migration. Those who study in a regional area or in areas such as South Australia will be awarded an additional 5 points. A total of 65 points is needed to be eligible for the General Skilled Migration.

Should you require any assistance in making your migration dream happen, Kitson Migration Advisory provides strategic advice on skill assessment and visa requirements necessary to ease your journey to Australia. Drop us your enquiries at