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Employer sponsored visa options from the Department of Home Affairs

The Commonwealth Government’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) offers employer sponsored visa pathways for employers to attract retail chefs and cooks, such as the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494) visa or the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa.

Victoria does not play any role in either the subclass 494 or subclass 186 visas. These visas are however a suitable option for employers to attract and retain chefs and cooks in their businesses when compared to skilled nominated visas. Reasons include:

  • quicker visa processing times with the Department of Home Affairs,
  • prioritisation of the occupation of chef (on the PMSOL), and
  • chefs and cooks are obliged to work with their sponsoring employer for the length of the visa.

Employers in south west Victoria may also access the Great South Coast Designated Area Migration Agreement. Further information is available on the agreement’s website.

This visa allows you to live and work in regional Victoria for up to 5 years. After 3 years, you may become eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) subclass 191 visa.

Sponsor: Your employer.

Work: You can only work for your employer (sponsor) unless you have an exemption.

Cost: There are costs associated with this visa, more information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Processing times: As at August 2021, 90% of subclass 494 visa applications are processed within 4 months.

Further information (including processing times) is available at Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa.

Skilled nominated visas via Live in Melbourne

Victoria provides visa nomination for the subclass 491 and subclass 190 visas.

Instead of an employer sponsoring you for a visa, the Victorian Government (Live in Melbourne) nominates you. Once nominated by Victoria, you are then able to apply for a subclass 491 or subclass 190 visa with the Department of Home Affairs.

Cooks and chefs are eligible to apply for visa nomination via the Hospitality Workforce Skills Pathway.

See 2021-22 Skilled Migration Visa Nomination Program for more information.

Duration: This visa allows you to live and work in regional Victoria for up to 5 years. After 3 years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) subclass 191 visa. Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula are included in the list of designated regional areas.

Work: You are not tied to a specific employer – meaning you can work for any employer and change employer at any time.

Cost: Victoria does not charge for visa nomination. There are costs associated with the visa application with the Department of Home Affairs.

Processing times:

Visa nomination with Victoria: In 2020-21, 90% of subclass 491 applications for visa nomination were processed within 51 days.

Visa application with DHA: As at August 2021, 90% of subclass 491 applications are processed within 13 months.

Further information is available at Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).

Duration: This visa allows you to live and work in Victoria permanently.

Work: You can work for any employer and change employer at any time.

Cost: Victoria does not charge for visa nomination. There are costs associated with the visa application with the Department of Home Affairs.

Processing times:

Visa nomination with Victoria: In 2020-21, 90% of subclass 190 applications for visa nomination were processed within 37 days.

Visa application with DHA: As at August 2021, 90% of subclass 190 applications are processed within 18 months.

Further information is available at Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190).

Applying for Victorian skilled visa nomination

Cooks and chefs can submit a Registration of Interest  (ROI) by selecting the Hospitality Workforce Skills Pathway.

In 2020-21, 7,157 ROIs were submitted for subclass 190 nomination and 1,403 ROIs were submitted for subclass 491 nomination. Given the lower competition and quicker processing times, cooks and chefs working in regional Victoria should strongly consider submitting a ROI for subclass 491 nomination to maximise chances of success. Subclass 491 visa holders are able to apply for the permanent subclass 191 visa after 3 years.

You can apply for Victorian visa nomination with or without the help of a migration agent.

For further information on the application process, please read the pages below:

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