Today the ACT government today released a new set of requirements for the sponsorship for the 491 and 190 Visa.

The ACT released a statement today saying; “The Australian Government has directed the ACT to restrict nominations to Canberra residents with skills critical to supporting the ACT’s post-pandemic recovery”

These requirements are very different from those in effect just a short time ago. The Main changes are, now potential applicants will only be selected from the ACT’s own Critical Skills List, or those who have been working on a 457 or 482 Visa with an ACT employer.

This news will be a blow to many international students whose occupations are not on the Critical Skills List. Many would have moved to the ACT in the hope of obtaining visa sponsorship. The ACT government has also closed applications to overseas applicants.

There has been no transition period offered for those students who moved to the ACT earlier, with the hope of gaining sponsorship. Even those who have already submitted a Canberra Matrix application and who are not on the Critical Skills List will be not be ranked or invited. Those overseas applicants who have submitted a matrix will automatically lapse after 6 months.

After today the ACT will have separate invitation rounds for the 491 and 190 visa and only the highest-ranked candidates will be invited to apply for ACT nomination. All Critical Skill List Occupations have capped numbers each month and an invitation may not be issued once this cap is met.

Even those applicants who have already applied to the ACT for the nomination, and you do not meet the new guidelines, according to the ACT government, your applications will be now closed and refund offers will be sent out to return the application fees.

We can only say that the ACT government actions are not a good example for other states or Territory to follow.

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