ACT State Nomination Update (Including 128 New Skilled Occupations!)

On Thursday, 20 April, ACT Migration released information about its state nomination process, including the expansion of its skilled occupation list. 

Easing of state nomination requirements

The ACT is easing its nomination requirements for the Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491).

Key changes for visa applicants from overseas:

  • Employment Criteria: 
    • It is no longer necessary for visa applicants to be employed at the date of the Canberra Matrix submission.
    • Applicants for ACT nomination of a Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491) must now only have one year of relevant overseas work experience in the last five years.
    • It is no longer necessary for applicants for ACT nomination of a Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) to have a job offer. Instead, applicants must have three years of relevant overseas work experience in the last five years as an employability statement.
  • English Criteria:
    • The minimum required English level has been lowered for applicants applying for ACT nomination for a Subclass 491 visa. It is now only necessary to have ‘Competent’ English at the date of Canberra Matrix submission.
  • Relationship Criteria:
    • Visa applicants can claim points for a partner or spouse if they are in a de facto relationship if it is illegal for them to obtain a relationship certificate in their country of origin. It would be necessary for these applicants to request a waiver beforehand.
  • Points for Relevant Overseas Work Experience:
    • Visa applicants with three to five years of relevant overseas work experience can now claim 10 points instead of 5, and those claiming five to eight years of relevant experience can now claim 15 points instead of 10.
  • Job Offer Points:
    • It is now easier for applicants to claim points for an ACT job offer.
  • Spouse/Partner Employment Points:
    • It is no longer necessary for the spouse or partner of the visa applicant to be employed at the date of Canberra Matrix submission.
  • The renomination policy has been amended.

Key changes for visa applicants living in Canberra:

  • Employment Criteria:
    • The required weekly work hours minimum for Subclass 491 applicants have been reduced from 20 to 15 hours, while the requirement for Subclass 190 applicants has been reduced from 35 to 30 hours.
    • Employment does not need to be fully continuous. Applicants must instead meet the employment requirements for a set number of weeks in a given period, which is 13 weeks out of 15 for Subclass 491 applicants and 26 out of 30 for Subclass 190 applicants.
  • English Criteria:
    • Subclass 491 applicants can now obtain ACT nomination with ‘Competent’ English at the date of Canberra Matrix submission.
  • Minimum Threshold Criteria:
    • Subclass 482 visa holders who apply for ACT nomination now only need 60 points to receive an invitation to apply.
  • Length of ACT Residence Criteria:
    • Applicants claiming more than two years of ACT residence can be away from Canberra for up to 12 weeks in a year.
    • Applicants can claim Canberra Matrix points for the length of ACT residence when they’ve previously worked in Regional New South Wales, within commuting distance from the ACT, while living in the ACT. Please note that the eligibility criteria have not changed – applicants must still work in Canberra at the date of Canberra Matrix submission to be eligible for ACT nomination.

Changes expected in future

It’s expected that the changes highlighted above aren’t the last ones we’ll see from the ACT.

Firstly, it’s likely that the minimum Canberra Matrix score required to receive an invitation to apply for ACT nomination of a Subclass 190 visa will continue to drop. Secondly, it’s also expected that overseas residents are more likely to receive invitations for the Subclass 491 visa.

The ACT skill occupation list now includes an added 128 occupations!

Due to the continuing skills shortages in the ACT, ACT Migration added 128 occupations to the state’s skill occupation list. These occupations are across several industries ranging from ICT and life sciences to healthcare and trades.

ACT Migration used a wide range of indicators when deciding what occupations to add, including but not limited to vacancy rates, employment levels, projected employment growth, and industry and stakeholder feedback.

Please see the ACT Government website to see the skill occupation list in its entirety.

Want to know if you can apply for a Subclass 190 or 491 Visa?

To find out if you’re eligible to apply for a Skilled Nominated Visa or a Skilled Work Regional Visa, go ahead and book a consultation call with our licensed advisor.

You’ll submit your personal details, including your CV, and our advisor will determine if you meet the either visa’s requirements.

You’ll also get to ask any questions you may have during your consultation call.

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