The first three rounds of the Canberra Matrix have been released. The current round has issued invitations to people in the 65-110 point range. What do the results tell students studying in the ACT? We thought it’s time to take a look.

In my experience the majority of international students who come to study here are single but there is still quite a number who drag their spouses along as well. Based upon an average student doing a 2 year course in the ACT, here are some examples and how they fair on the Canberra Matrix.

Jane has completed her 2 year Masters of IT in December 2018, has Proficient English level, lived in the ACT for 2.5 years and has been working part time at Coles 20 hours per week whilst studying (>2yrs). She doesn’t have a lot of money and has no family in the ACT. There are no IT occupations on the ACT list.

Naresh has completed his Masters of Accounting, his wife is here with him and she is working at a Caltex Service Centre as the store manager. Naresh is working part time at Woolworths (20 hours per week). Naresh has Proficient English and his wife has competent. They are now on the Graduate 485 visa. They do not have a great deal of money or relatives in the ACT. Accountant is not on the ACT occupation list.

Sapna is single and has completed a two year Diploma as an Enrolled Nurse. This occupation is on the ACT list and is currently open. She has been working as an Nursing Support Worker (Skill level 4) part time for 20 hours a week for the last 12 months. She has just got a job as an Enrolled Nurse. She has Proficient English. She does not have much money or relatives in the ACT.

Matrix Scores

  Jane Naresh Sapna  
Current ACT Resident 10 10 10
English 10 10 10
Spouse English 0 0 0
Occupation 0 5 20
Employment in ACT 10 10 10
Spouse Employment 0 0 15
Study 15 15 5
ACT Study 10 10 10
Prospective Applicants 10 10 10
Assets in ACT 0 0 0
Close Family Ties 0 0 0
TOTAL 65 70 90


Firstly all of these examples will loose 10 points if they are going to complete their study after July this year. This loss of points may have a significant impact upon the ability to receive an invitation.

The Proficient English barrier set by the ACT for most of the occupations is the main issue with the Canberra Matrix. Where does that leave many of the students who can’t reach this?

Also those students who went to the ACT and only completed a 12 month course in the hope of gaining 190 sponsorship are also going to be struggling to get nominated at this time. Let’s not forget that many will still view this Matrix solution as a betrayal in trust. If the ACT had let it known, “oh yes we will sponsor you but most of you will need Proficient English”, then most students would not have moved and brought their money with them.

For those lucky enough to have proficient English the points range of a nomination has fallen fast so there is still hope. The Matrix has certainly not turned out a system to really address all of those students who moved to the ACT to study in the last couple of years as a pathway to permanent residency. Remember that if you thinking of studying in the ACT who is to say they wont change the requirements again.Karl Konrad