ACT 190 Permanent Migration - Update to Guidelines and Occupation List

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ACT 190 Permanent Migration – Update to Guidelines and Occupation List

The ACT government sponsors potential permanent migrants through the 190 Visa and they have recently published an update to their guidelines and occupation lists that took effect on 1 July 2019. 

Under the system that was introduced by the ACT at the end of 2018, the ACT guidelines have both minimum conditions for eligibility and a competitive “Canberra Matrix” which awards points and ranks applicants by priority. A potential applicant has to meet all the minimum requirements and also be ranked above other candidates to get an invitation in a particular month.

The latest changes announced by the ACT change how points are calculated slightly, but the changes may affect some applicants. While the minimum points required varies from month to month, recently a minimum of 65 in the ACT Matrix has been required for new applicants.  

Also changes have been introduced to the ACT occupation list affecting occupations that are now on the “open” list. Open list occupations attract extra points in the Canberra Matrix. However caveats have been introduced that require applicants for these occupations (e.g. in the sciences and IT) to have an employment contract for at least a year with an ACT employer in their nominated occupation. However if an applicant doesn’t meet the caveat, they can still apply but the occupation is then treated as in the “closed list”. In other words it can still be the basis of an application for state sponsorship, but the extra points for an open occupation in the Canberra Matrix will not available. The ACT government has not published information on the number of hours that any such employment would have to be for. Applicants that can find a position in their nominated occupation (where a caveat applies) will be able to benefit from the open category.

Streamlined beneficial nomination criteria for students who have completed a PhD in Canberra, have not changed.

While the ACT is not the only state or territory offering “state sponsorship” (and each state or territory has its own criteria) the changes are particularly relevent to ANU international students who are planning to use ACT state nomination.  

From November the 190 Visa will become a more important pathway as numbers are being reduced in the 189 Visa category (skilled independent migration) and transferred to the 190 system. This increases the impact of the overall reduction of total migration numbers to 160,000 per year. Additional federal government immigration points will be available for state sponsorship from November for the 190 Visa.

(This article is general information only, and does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice and would like to make an appointment with the ANUSA Legal Service contact the ANUSA Office on 6125  2444 or email  The ANUSA Legal Service is a community legal centre operated by ANUSA and provides legal advice to ANU students and student clubs and societies. MARN 1385248)


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