ACT Sponsorship 491 and 190 Visas

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ACT Sponsorship 491 and 190 Visas

Most you will have heard by now that the ACT offers a nomination pathway for the new 491 TR visa for the first time thanks to the new Designated Regional Area list. It has always offered 190 PR sponsorship and this still exists.

Is it easy to gain sponsorship approval from Canberra? Well that depends upon their appropriately named, Canberra Matrix. I say appropriately for their system reminds me of the movies bearing the same name where Keanu Reeves valiantly tries to find his way through his own version of The Matrix.

Obviously the DOHA visa points system wasn’t confusing enough for the ACT government so they added their own two versions. One version is for those living in Canberra and the other is for those who are living overseas. This tells you that if you are currently in Australia and not residing in Canberra, you cannot apply.

The Matrix system is designed to offer places who reach the most points. Each month the ACT will dribble out some data about how many places were offered and what points those lucky people had. How long you may have to wait for your turn will then just be a nail bitting, anxiety filled worst period of your life.

491 Visa Basic Requirements for Canberra Resident
  • You must be living in Canberra for at least 3 months
  • You must be working in Canberra for at least 3 months
  • You can nominate any occupation from their list even if it is showing a “closed” status
  • Those in the Professional Group 1 or 2 ANZSCO occupations have to have at least Proficient English
  • If you have a partner then if they are in Australia they too have to be living in Canberra for 3 months (they do not need to be working)
190 PR Visa Basic Requirements for Canberra Residents
  • You must have lived in Canberra for at least 6 months (including your partner if they are in Australia)
  • Those in the Professional Group 1 or 2 ANZSCO occupations have to have at least Proficient English
  • You must be working in Canberra for at least 6 months. In addition to this one of the 3 additional work criteria must be met;
  1. Your occupation has an “open” status on the list; or
  2. If you hold a 457 or 482 visa working for an ACT employer, your occupation can be either “open” or “closed” status on the list; or
  3. You have lived in Canberra for at least 5 years. In this case you can be working in any occupation (not restricted to any list). Your nominated occupation can have either an “open” or “closed” status on the list.

There is a great deal of detail to the requirements we have listed above and you can read through it all here. If you are thinking of moving to Canberra to study then of course the difficulty is the compulsory employment factors for both visas.

If you are an international student or potential student thinking of studying in Canberra we would have to recommend other regions such as the Northern Territory, Tasmania or South Australia to consider first. These regions offer a better deal for students who study there.

However if study or working in the ACT is your thing, then good luck fighting through the competition in the “Canberra Matrix”.

Are you interested in applying to the ACT for state sponsorship? Speak to us here at Australian Immigration Law Services. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.

Karl Konrad