Australian immigration routes still available for chefs and cooks

26 May 2010

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans has said recently that that there are still a number of immigration options available for highly qualified chefs and cooks. Immigration Minister Evans went onto say:

'The removal of the classifications for chefs and cooks from the Skilled Occupation List will not affect the ability of restaurateurs to bring in qualified staff to meet demand in the industry.'

'We have reformed the skilled migration system to allow employers to target the skills they need in their businesses.

'Employers can nominate chefs and cooks on 457 visas, employer-sponsored visas and the new State migration plans.'

The Immigration Minister said that in the one year period to 30 April 2010 employers had recruited about 1,000 cooks on chefs on employer-sponsored visas. In the period 2007-08 420 cooks and chefs had been sponsored.

'Despite more than 4000 chefs and cooks being granted visas under the independent skilled migration program in 2007-08, there were critical shortages in the industry,' Senator Evans said.

'Clearly the majority of these people were not working as either cooks or chefs.

'The changes we have introduced will ensure that only those who have real jobs to go to in the industry will be granted visas.'

Immigration Minister Evans said that the Government was wanted to focus on employment based migration to Australia. On 31 march 2010 there were 3210 cooks and chefs in Australia working on employer-nominated 457 visas. It is also possible for States and Territories to include cooks and chefs for inclusion in their own immigration programs. Immigration Minister Evans went onto say:

'The Government has streamlined the processing arrangements for the employer and state-sponsored visa programs to make it easier and quicker for employers to recruit workers from overseas.'