A skilled chef who has been working at Wills Domain was left heartbroken after being instructed by the Australian Government that he would have to leave the country by November.
Chef Alessio Schiabel was employed at the highly acclaimed Yallingup restaurant in November last year on a 482 visa.
Chef Schiabel said he had done everything that was required of him under the visa conditions including paying thousands of dollars so he could work in Australia.
"I would like to stay here and continue working at Wills Domain, I came here with my girlfriend," he said.
"I love living and working here, the quality of life is pretty easy, I have bought a car and a home with my girlfriend.
"We gave up everything to come here now I feel like it is a big joke. They have just taken my money and now it is like bye-bye.
"It cost me around $6000 to come here, but it is not just about the money, I just want to find a way I can stay here."
A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) enables employers to address short-to-medium term labour shortages.
The spokesperson said the visa allowed approved sponsors to employ skilled overseas workers where appropriately skilled Australian citizens or permanent residents were not available.
The cost to an employer to sponsor each overseas worker for a TSS visa includes a nomination application charge of $330 and payment of the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy.
"The amount of SAF levy payable depends on the size of the business and the proposed period of stay of the overseas worker," the spokesperson said.
"Money collected via the SAF levy supports the training of Australians.
"If a TSS visa holder wanted to continue to stay and work in Australia beyond the term of their visa, it would be open for their sponsor to lodge a new nomination, and the visa holder to lodge a new visa application. Information about eligibility requirements for the TSS visa is available on the Department's website."
Finding skilled chefs to work in the region has been an issue for many restaurants which have often invested significant amounts of dollars to sponsor potential staff.
Wills Domain managing director Darren Haunold said last time they advertised a job they received 32 applications, 29 of which required sponsorship.
Mr Haunold said one applicant had no experience or training, another one never replied to their requests and the other was simply under qualified for the role.
He said they assessed chef Schiabel's suitability to work as a chef pe partie at their highly awarded restaurant and saw he was very talented.
"We felt chef Schiabel was worthy of investing in to build and hopefully allow for a 482 skills shortage visa," he said.
Mr Hanoud estimated that after chef Schiabel's appeal Wills Domain would have potentially wasted $15,000 on failed attempts to sponsor international workers in 12 months with no hope of recovering the costs.
"The employer invests nearly $3,500 for the approval process," he said.
"The applicant must also pay for the privilege to process application."
Mr Hanoud said for many establishments in the region the fear of a costly rejection meant they could not simply pursue the opportunity by the financial investment of sponsorship.
"We miss the opportunity to bring new skills and talent to the region," he said.
"The WA hospitality industry is the loser as are tourists to our state who do not get to experience world class dining at its finest."
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said the state government's decision to remove all hospitality jobs from the state's skills list two years ago, also had a significant impact on the tourism sector.
Ms Mettam said the changes had resulted in businesses ability to employ staff resulting in drastic staff shortages, particularly in regional WA.
"This government does need to look at increasing capacity to encourage more people to take up apprenticeships, particularly in the South-West region which has a strong food industry," she said.
In 2017, the state government reduced the number of skilled migration occupations from 178 to 18 restricting the types of professions to the health sector.
Under the skilled migrant occupation list, workers on visas 190 and 489 can be nominated by the state.
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