this sounds like something that would be small claims kind of issue, if not international of course. Anyway, it sounds like the restaurant was saying things, that the chef reasonably relied upon. The fact that the offer was made, and the restaurant knew he was in thailand, but still kept speaking with him, negotiated visa payments and living arrangements, accepted a payment (knowing where this was going) and followed up a second time to get more money (strengthening the belief the chef had of thinking this was leading to a job). Although there was no express promise, the circumstances are pretty strong in the chef's favor, though not all the way. I would bet that a judge would decide that much of the chefs money would be returned, not on fraud grounds though. There was a lot implied and constructively shown to the chef, the restaurant knew what they were doing. I would vote that perhaps some money would be kept for the restaurant if it was honestly true that paperwork was burdensome and costly, but only enough to cover that to the T. And I should also state, that under your facts, it is certainly a FACT that the restaurant never said "well we have to charge for this process, but we can't guarantee a job at this time." Now that is a very powerful fact, that is what SHOULD have been said, and it is their responsibility to say that one way or another (a judge might say). It is reasonable to say that, and unreasonable not to.