NEW ACT GOVERNMENT NOMINATION POLICY ANNOUNCED
On 15 November 2018 the ACT Government partially announced the detail of its new territory nomination policy.
As expected, at the centre of the policy is a matrix of 12 factors under which you will receive points on an internal ACT points system. These factors are not related to the factors required to reach 65 points on the visa points test.
How to apply
To apply for nomination you will first need to express an interest in applying and then wait to receive an invitation to apply. Every month the ACT Government will issue a set number of invitations to the people who score most highly on the points matrix. To express an interest you need to score at least 20 matrix points and the maximum points you can obtain is 170.
The program will re-open on 29 November 2018 and it is expected there may be 20 to 30 invitations issued in the first round.
You can lodge an expression of interest whether your occupation is on the OPEN list or not, and whether you are living in Canberra or overseas. You cannot express an interest if you are living in another Australian state.
The ACT Government reserves the right to limit the numbers of any particular occupation invited to apply. This discretion could be applied to Accountants, for example, to limit the number of Accountants who will be offered ACT nomination places.
You are awarded additional matrix points if your occupation is OPEN, and for your level of English, how long you have lived in Canberra, the length of your course, your employment, the assets you have invested in Canberra, your partner, and whether you have family in Canberra. Additional points will be awarded to people who were living in Canberra on 29 June 2018, the date on which the previous program was closed to those who did not have an occupation on the OPEN list.
There are 34 new occupations coming on to the OPEN list and several occupations will be removed. The ACT Government will be releasing its new OPEN list shortly.
The system has been designed so that the points required to receive an invitation are not fixed. In short, no-one, not even the ACT Government, knows how many points you will need to receive an invitation in any given round. This depends on how many other people are applying, whether they score higher in the matrix than you,and how many people are being invited to apply.
Over time the required pass mark, or what is likely to be a pass mark, will become apparent but at this stage the system will function in the matter of a lottery. In short, you can enter the ACT matrix any time you want but you may never leave.
There is a small recognition of the fact that the closure of the program in June 2018 seriously affected the rights of people who had moved to Canberra under the old rules but in the scheme of the overall matrix this is not a significant and will not in itself produce an invitation.
The fact that the legitimate expectation of students who moved to Canberra has been taken into account at all reflects the efforts of people who have agitated and protested about the closure of the program.
It is important that people understand the matrix and what it means for your visa strategy.
There are some things you can do to maximise your matrix points and VisAustralia would be happy to analyse your case and asses this with you or advise you of your realistic ACT or other state nomination options, and visa or studies options that may be better for you to pursue.
We are also meeting with the senior barrister in the week of 19 November 2018 to finalise the Legal Opinion on whether there may be a cause of action for compensation against the ACT Government based on its decision to continue promoting the ACT migration program throughout late 2017 and 2018 after it knew, or should have known, it did not have enough nomination places to offer to students drawn into Canberra by the promotion.
We will be providing a further up-date on this next week.
To arrange an appointment with VisAustralia please call our office on (02) 6247 7577 or send an email to email@example.com
Our office is located in Civic in the city of Canberra.