New guidelines on the ACT’s 190 nomination program

Interim Allocation of ACT Nomination Places 2022-23

ACT allocation for this year has been decided on an interim basis. This means that, for the moment, ACT have 800 nomination places for the Skilled Nominated (190) visa subclass, 1,920 nomination places for the Skilled Work Regional (491) visa subclass, and 10 nomination places for the Business Innovation and Investment Program. The Department of Home Affairs has advised that this allocation will be revisited after the first quarter of 2022-23 and should not be taken as an indication of the full year’s quota.

The allocation split of 491 and 190 nomination places has remained the same. As such, clients are more likely to be invited under the 491 pathway. Depending on the occupation, demand, and our final allocation, we expect minimum scores for an invitation for 190 nomination to remain high (i.e. around 85 points) while the 491 minimum score required will be lower (i.e. likely 65 points or above). Note that these scores are not guaranteed. Depending on final allocation, the number of Matrix submissions we receive, and the scores of those submissions, these indicative minimum scores may increase or decrease. As the financial year progresses, we hope to get more clarity on average minimum score per visa category.

Invitation Rounds

You may have  noticed that the number of invitations per invitation round have increased significantly while the minimum scores have not decreased commensurately. This is due to a sustained influx of (suspected) fake Canberra Matrix applications, artificially increasing demand. As a consequence of this, the minimum scores currently published on ACT website may not be indicative of actual demand. ACT are working on ways to mitigate the impact of this on our program.

ACT current aim is for fortnightly invitation rounds. Note that this is only an indication. The actual number of invitation rounds may differ based on a range of factors, including the issue of fake Canberra Matrix submissions, the final allocation, demand, and processing capacity.

Reasons for Refusals

One of the main reasons for refusals continues to be the evidence of current employment. All applicants must successfully demonstrate that they are currently employed in a genuine position, which is separate from demonstrating the matrix points claimed for employment. Other recurring reasons for refusal include that: ACT do not receive evidence for the entire duration of claimed ACT residence or that documents are missing / no longer valid. Please make sure that you have successfully substantiated all claims before submitting applications.

Application for Renomination

ACT maintains a strict one nomination place per person policy. ACT have limited nomination places available and a growing demand for skilled workers. If an ACT nomination goes unused, the Territory has a reduced capacity to fill workforce shortages. Moreover, it is not fair to the thousands of applicants in the Matrix queue if their chance of ACT nomination is lost because someone else was given two nomination places. As such, please think carefully before accepting an invitation. In particular, make sure that the Skill Select EOI responses are correct before submitting the application for ACT nomination. This can avoid serious issues down the track.

To conclude, please do not attach unnecessary documents to the applications and label all documents you do attach correctly.

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