Monday the 1st December 2014
Volume 354

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Today we look at the issue of whether cookery students who cannot use the Post Study Stream of the 485 visa can nominate their occupations as Chefs in the Graduate Stream. 

Can cookery students apply for the 485 visa? 
Which of these cooks can apply for the 485 visa? 
By Jee Eun HAN  (RMA)
Australian Immigration Law Services                    


Since the revised Skilled Occupation List in arrived July 2014, many Cookery students are happy as they think they can be eligible to apply for the 485 - Temporary Graduate visa under the Graduate Stream as "Chef" is on the list. Also many education agents advise students if they do this particular course you can get an assessment as a "chef" and advertise the course as a "Pathway to the Permanent Residency". Is this true? Can Cookery students be eligible for 485 visa?


In order to apply for a 485 visa as a Chef under the Graduate Stream, you will need a Provisional Skills Assessment (PSA) from Trade Recognition Australia (TRA). This involves TRA examining that your qualifications meet the relevant skill level requirements along with the demonstration of your 360 hours of work experience.


Relevant Qualification as a Chef


According to ANSZCO dictionary, Chefs (ANZSCO CODE 351311) require at least an AQF Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma. On first glance one may think that a Diploma in Hospitality should be enough to meet this minimum skill level, however that may not be the case.


To the best of our knowledge there does not exist in Australia a "Diploma or Advanced Diploma of Commercial Cookery", so office asked TRA to clarify the relevant qualification for Chef and received the following reply.


Dear Jee Eun Han


Thank you for your further enquiry to TRA and we apologise for the delay in responding.


We confirm that TRA will currently consider the following three trade qualifications for the occupation of Chef:   

  • Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
  • Certificate IV in Asian Cookery
  • Certificate IV in Patisserie

 Where an applicant presents with any other trade qualification aligned to this occupation, or a combination of qualifications, they need to ensure they have completed the relevant competencies in one of the Certificate IV qualifications listed above. Applicants must also ensure that they meet all the other program criteria before submitting an application.





Skills Assessment

Trades Recognition Australia

Skills Policy Division


There are not many vocational colleges that offer Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery), Certificate IV in Asian Cookery or Certificate IV in Patisserie course. The common program they are offering is a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery packaged with a Diploma of Hospitality course.


Is your Certificate III + Diploma enough to obtain a positive Chef PSA result from TRA?


It is important to investigate whether your Certificate III and Diploma qualification is aligned with the relevant competencies in one of the Certificate IV programs. Remember we are discussing about obtaining a skill assessment for a Chef, not Cook. A Certificate III in Commercial Cooking would be fine as a qualification level to obtain a PSA from TRA as a Cook.


Please find here for the example of relevant Certificate IV competencies units. We checked with Certificate III in Commercial Cookery with Diploma of Hospitality package courses from some vocational colleges whether their courses are aligned with a Certificate IV. Unfortunately, the units of most courses don't seem to cover the units of competency of Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery/ Asian Cookery or Patisserie Course. It is advised that if you are not sure about this issue, contact your course co-ordinator to check the competency units for you.


It is important that you realise that if you only study a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery with a Diploma of Hospitality, your qualification may not be considered as a Chef. IT MEANS you are NOT eligible for 485 Temporary Graduate visa under the Graduate Stream.


Work experience as a Chef?


The Provisional Skills Assessment (PSA) of the JRP is the skills assessment for the 485 Temporary Graduate visa under the Graduate Stream.


In order for the PSA, you need 360 hours of employment, work experience and /or vocational placement undertaken in an Australian workplace.


Of course most international students work hard in the kitchen to obtain these 360 hours. However most of them are working as Cooks. The task of cooks and Chefs are slightly different and you must be aware of the differences. You can check the tasks of Chef and Cooks from ANZSCO dictionary.


Generally speaking, if you don't have previous work experience as a cook, it will be hard for you to complete your 360 hours as a chef. Realising this difficulty we asked TRA again to clarify that type of work is required for the experience in a kitchen can be considered as work experience for a Chef for the PSA. The TRA replied;


Dear Jee Eun Han


Thank you for your enquiry to Trades Recognition Australia (TRA).

As indicated in the JRP Participant Guidelines, PSA applicants are required to demonstrate they have had exposure to a range of tasks and duties relevant to their nominated occupation in an Australian workplace.


Please refer to the JRP Participant Guidelines for detailed information regarding the PSA eligibility requirements.

We trust that this information is of assistance.


All replies to this email must be forwarded to 


Trades Recognition Australia

Skills Mobility and Asian Connections Branch


If you have been exposed to a range of a tasks and duties as a Chef in your 360 hours, your experience will be considered and it is possible for you to have a suitable Provisional Skills Assessment from TRA for 485 visa.


However, you need to remember that this PSA is only for 485 Temporary Graduate visa under the Graduate Stream. If you wish to complete the JRP for a full assessment for PR later, you will need one year full time work experience as a skilled level of Chef.


We will discuss later all the necessary steps required to complete the full Job Ready Program by TRA.


This photo on the right in our last edition was incorrectly attributed to Tanaya Das when it should have been to Rika Mitra. You can check out the excellent quality of Rika's photography on her web site
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Australian Immigration Law Services






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