Update on the ACT’s 190 nomination program

ACT Nomination Places 2022-23

In 2022-23, the ACT received an allocation of 4,050 nomination places, split evenly between the 491 and 190 visa subclasses. The ACT successfully reached its full allocation.

ACT Migration – Allocation update 2023-24

The Department of Home Affairs has recently announced the 2023-24 Migration Program, as part of the annual budget process. A planning level of 190,000 places has been announced, a slight reduction from the 2022-23 planning level of 195,000 places.

Of the 190,000 places,

The State and Territory Nominated planning level is 30,400 places and the regional planning level is 32,300 places. This means the overall number of visas the Government plans to grant in these programs in 2023-24 will be broadly similar to the number of visas granted in 2022-23.

  • Note: Migration Program planning levels refer to the number of visas delivered under the Migration Program each year for each category and count not only the primary applicant but any accompanying dependents they may be include on their application.

As a result of a successful State and Territory nomination program in 2022-23, the Department of Home Affairs has commenced this program year with a high volume of visa applications on-hand in these programs, including many from the ACT. The Department of Home Affairs has reduced the allocations for ACT nomination back to pre-pandemic levels. This allocation is intended to support an ongoing pipeline of visa applicants, without unduly impacting on visa processing times and the potential to delay the arrival in Australia of those already in the pipeline.

The allocations for the ACT in State and Territory nominated visa categories for 2023-24 are as follows:

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) 600
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) 600
Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) 0
Total 1,200

I appreciate that this allocation is smaller than the allocation in 2022-23. It is also significantly smaller than the allocation that the ACT requested from the Department of Home Affairs. We acknowledge the impacts this may have on your business and on skilled migrants, living in or wishing to migrate to the ACT.

The Australian Federal Government has committed through National Cabinet to providing a greater role for states and territories to contribute to Australia’s migration settings as part of the development of the new National Migration Strategy (the Strategy). Engagement has already commenced with our jurisdiction in the development of the Strategy. We look forward to the release of the Strategy later in the year.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)

The Department of Home Affairs has allocated no new nomination places for the BIIP in the 2023-24 program year for the ACT or any jurisdiction.

The Department of Home Affairs has advised this decision is due to the limited number of BIIP places available within the 2023-24 Migration program and the high number of applications already on-hand. Existing first and second stage visas are still being processed under the BIIP.

The ACT BIIP is closed to new applications for 2023-24.

ACT Nomination Guidelines and ACT Critical Skills List

There are no further changes at this stage to either the ACT Nomination Guidelines or the ACT Critical Skills list. However, ACT anticipate a review later in the year and will advise any significant changes in due course.

Invitation rounds

ACT aim is to continue with regular invitation rounds. The frequency may differ this year based on a range of factors, noting the lower allocation. ACT will provide updates on invitations rounds.

The next invitation round will be undertaken before 29 September 2023.

Given the lower allocation this year, you can expect the number of invitations to decrease, which will also likely result in higher minimum scores meriting an invitation.

The Process

  • Intending applicants will be required to express their interest by completing the Canberra Matrix

– No documents are required to be lodged with the Canberra Matrix

– There is no application fee for completing and submitting the Canberra Matrix

  • Either once or twice a month (to be decided) the ACT Government will determine which Canberra Matrix applicants, based on the Matrix points test (has no relationship or impact on Home Affairs points test) will be issued an invitation to apply for ACT Government 190 nomination

– The ACT Government reserves the right to use other levers to select applicants based on economic benefit to Canberra

  • The Canberra Matrix points are frozen upon submission and cannot be updated

– If points allocation change, for any reason. a new Canberra Matrix will be required to be submitted

  • A Canberra Matrix will remain valid for 6 months before it is removed from the system
  • The matrix scoring for Canberra residents has 12 factors
Canberra Matrix for Canberra Residents
Category Option Points
Current ACT Residence 4 + years 20
3 – 4 years 15
2 – 3 years 10
1 – 2 years 5
Less than one year 0
English Proficiency Superior 15
Proficient 10
Competent 0
Spouse/Partner English Superior/Proficient 5
Nomination Occupation In demand or ‘Open’ on the ACT Occupation List 20
Length of current ACT employment Employed for 12 months + 10
Employed for 6-12 months 5
ACT Employment Type Working in ‘open’ nominated occupation 15
Working in ‘open’ but not nominated the occupation 10
Working in ANZCO Skill level 1 to 3 occupation 5
Previous ACT employment in nominated occupation – minimum one year 4
Spouse/Partner Employment Working in the ‘open’ Occupation in the ACT 15
Skill assessment relevant to the current occupation 10
Tertiary qualification relevant to current occupation 5
Currently working in any occupation 5
Study Level at Tertiary Institution Doctoral Degree 20
Master’s Degree 15
Bachelors Degree or 3-year trade certificate 10
Diploma (at least 2 years) 5
Study Completed at an ACT tertiary institute 3 years or more 15
2 years 10
1 year 5
Prospective Applicants Canberra Resident 10
Assets in Canberra ACT property (min. $250,000 investment) 5
2 years ACT business activity, majority ownership & minimum $100,000 5
$200,000 investment in a start-up ACT business 5
Close Family Ties Australian citizen/permanent resident spouse/partner, child 20
Australian citizen/permanent resident parent, grandparent, brother, sister 10
Temporary resident spouse/partner 5
  • The Matrix for overseas residents has essentially the same factors except the grandfathering factor mentioned above
  • Intending applicants who live in Canberra and commute to Sydney, for example, for study and/or work, regardless of the time spent in or out of Canberra will not meet the requirements for an invitation
  • To meet the Canberra residence requirements, the intending applicant can live in Canberra (this goes without saying) or live within a 30-minute commute radius of Canberra (for example, live in Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra, Bungendore, Murrumbateman)
  • Intending applicants who work in Queanbeyan, for example, are also ineligible to receive an invitation

Key points to note

  • There will be no requests for further information (applications not complete will be refused)
  • If the documents provided at the application stage do not support the information provided in the Canberra Matrix, the application will be refused
  • There are no waiver provisions
  • The ACT Government will not respond to requests for special treatment based on

– Expiry of English language results, skills assessments

– Change of age

– Visa expiry, etc

  • ACT Government will not respond to requests about an individual’s ranking, selection or invitation process

Source: Migration Institute of Australia (MIA)

Book a meeting for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.

190 visa

190 Visa

See here

Skilled visas

a list of Australian Skilled visas

See here

Skilled Visa Points Test (189/190/491 Visa)

Skilled Migration Point Test

see here