What is the change? The government has added foreign chefs, bricklayers and tilers to its Skilled Occupation List.

What does the change mean? Workers in those categories may now apply for permanent visas without employer sponsorship.

  • Implementation timeframe: 1 July 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: Independent or Family Sponsored Points Tested visa or Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) – Graduate Work Stream.
  • Who is affected: Employers hiring foreign chefs, bricklayers and tilers.
  • Impact on processing times:
  • Business impact: This will assist hiring in these industries.

Background: Citing labour shortages in those areas, the Abbott government has lifted the employer sponsorship requirement for foreign chefs, bricklayers and tilers. With the 3 per cent cap, up to 2,283 foreign chefs could be accepted; the 6 per cent cap for bricklayers and tilers would mean up to 1,401 and 948 openings, respectively. Candidates must file an expression of interest with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, which evaluates them on a points system. If candidates are then invited to apply for visas, they have 60 days to do so.

The government sets a limit on the number of available jobs on the skilled occupations list to 6 per cent of the total workforce in each of its 188 job categories. The cap for foreign chefs was set at 3 per cent for an initial six-month period, and then it could be raised.

BAL Analysis: The addition of these three job categories to the skilled occupations list will make it easier for employers to hire in these sectors without going through extensive immigration procedures, but the expansion of the list is unpopular with unions who argue there is no shortage of local workers in these job categories.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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