How to sponsor a chef on a TSS visa


May, 2018

Justin Browne

Justin Browne

Justin Browne is the CEO of Four Points Immigration.

How to sponsor a chef on a TSS visa

So, you’re a restaurant or hotel owner and you need to find a chef. However, it’s been hard to find an Australian that matches your needs and requirements, and you’ve begun to look outside Australia to find someone suitable. The field looks promising. You settle on the perfect person, but you’ve got a problem.  You need to sponsor your preferred candidate and they need to meet the requirements secure a TSS (subclass 482) Visa in either the short-term or long-term category.

How do you sponsor someone to come to work for you in Australia?

The process of sponsoring someone’s visa isn’t easy, but luckily there are clearly defined steps and factors that will make this process possible.

The first step is to become an approved Standard Business Sponsor.  To meet the requirements, you must be a lawfully operating business and show that you employ Australian workers as well as non-discriminatory recruitment practices.

As part of becoming a Standard Business Sponsor, you must contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund each time you sponsor an overseas worker on a TSS Visa.  The table below outlines the Levy paid for each Visa category.

For more information about the Skilling Australia Fund, download our Skilling Australians Fund Fact Sheet.

You must also meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of A$53,900 per year which is the minimum requirement to access the 482 visa program.

The second step is to nominate the candidate for your position. You need to meet some essential criteria before you nominate them which includes:

  1. Document their qualifications, skills and experience

There are strict criteria to determine if the candidate qualifies as a Chef or Cook. The position of Chef is listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Cook is listed on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

Candidates that meet the requirements for Chef are able to apply for a 4-year visa which has the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after 3 years. Cooks are eligible for a 2-year visa but are unable to apply for permanent residency.

Candidates must undertake a skill assessment to determine if they meet the requirements.  For more details about the skill assessment, you can download our guide to skill assessments for Chefs and Cooks which provides more detail.

Skilling fund image

  1. Determine the salary to be paid to the sponsored employee

You need to nominate the salary to be paid to the prospective employee which must be at or above the income threshold of A$53,900.

  1. Meet Labour Market Testing requirements

For a nomination to be approved, the Department must be satisfied that a suitable, qualified and experienced Australian worker is not available to fill the nominated position.

Under the policy, the Department would generally be satisfied that this requirement is met provided the advertising meets all of the criteria below:

  • the nominated position has been advertised in Australia
  • the advertisement was in English and included the following information:
    • the title, or a description, of the position
    • the name of the approved sponsor or the name of the recruitment agency being used by the sponsor and
    • the annual earnings for the position (unless the annual earnings will be greater than the Fair Work High Income Threshold)
  • at least two advertisements were published:
    • on a national recruitment website (for example Note: a general classifieds website is not an acceptable method
    • in national print media
    • on national radio or
    • if the sponsor is accredited – on the businesses’ website.
    • For at least 28 days for each ad in the past 4 months

What are the requirements the candidate must meet for a TSS visa? 

To qualify for a TSS visa, the candidate must demonstrate the following:

  1. Skill requirements – Meet the skill assessment requirement for a Chef or Cook.
  2. English skills – Chef applicants in the medium-term category must achieve an overall IELTS score of 5 and Cooks in the short-term category must achieve an overall score of 4.5 unless they are exempt from these requirements.
  3. Health requirement – Applicants must be in good health and make a declaration regarding their health and medical history.
  4. Character requirement – Applicants must be of good character and may be required to provide evidence to prove the character requirement.

Summary of the application process

Stage One: Standard Business Sponsor Application

In the first stage, Edupi Migration submits an application with the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) on your behalf. In this stage, the main goal is for you to meet all the requirements mentioned above for your business, position and the application. The good news is that once you are approved, you are able to sponsor multiple TSS visa applicants.

Stage Two: Nomination Application

The second stage is where you begin the process of bringing your chef to Australia. You nominate your applicant with DOHA, which can be done at the same time as the Sponsorship Application if this is your first time sponsoring a visa applicant or within five years of your sponsorship application approval. The visa applicant must also adhere to the requirements outlined above to be eligible.

You, as the employer, must also prove that the position itself is within your business or an entity associated with your business. If your business isn’t Australian but overseas, you can only employ the nominee within your own business.

Stage Three: TSS Visa Application

The application for the visa itself can be turned in at the same time as the nomination application, or within 12 months of your chef’s approval as a candidate for a work visa. The nominated applicant must fulfil all the requirements, including health insurance arrangements, and pass any necessary character checks.

What happens when the applications are approved?

Once all three applications are approved, your chef will be granted his or her TSS visa. It doesn’t matter yet if he or she is in Australia or outside of the country. The visa itself will be valid for up to four years for chef’s or two years for cooks depending on what your needs and requirements are for the position.

Do I have any obligations once approved?

If you are approved to sponsor temporary visa applicants, there are a few things that you must keep in mind. You must fulfil all the obligations as set by the DOHA because these are designed to protect workers from exploitation and to make sure that the visa program is used correctly.

You must never seek to recover the costs required in the application process, including migration agents. This also includes costs associated with the recruitment process as well. It is entirely acceptable however for the Visa Applicant to pay the costs of both the DOHA and Migration Agent to process the Visa component of the application.

You can, however, possibly recover GST and claim a tax deduction for payment of fees and costs associated with the visa process, though you should consult a trusted tax professional for advice if this is relevant to you.

How long does the process take?

The actual time to complete the visa and become eligible varies from case to case depending on factors in each application package. Processing times are different for the employer’s circumstances, or the nominee’s, the area of employment, the nominated position, and even the DOHA officer assigned to complete the case.

At Edupi Migration, we take care of this whole process of finding suitable international chefs or helping you sponsor and retain your current chefs on relevant visas. We can also manage your Labour Market Testing so you are never caught out if you find the right candidate.

For more information, contact me, Justin Browne on 02 9235 0919 or email

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