One of the main pathways to Australian permanent residency for skilled migrants has traditionally been to seek nomination for a visa by a State or Territory government. The migration system makes provision for states and territories to sponsor visa applicants with needed skillsets for permanent visas as a means of attracting and maintaining a suitably competitive workforce.  Visa applicants who are nominated usually have an expedited pathway to a permanent visa.

Each state and territory publishes an ‘occupation list’ outlining the professions they are open to nominating.

Recently in August 2020 the ACT Government released its updated ‘Nomination Guidelines’ for skilled visas. The previous occupation list, which contained a wide variety of professions and trades, has now been replaced by the ‘ACT Critical Skills list’. The ACT Critical Skills list significantly shrinks the number of professions available for nomination. The list is heavily weighted towards medical, engineering and IT related professions, which have been judged as priority professions in the current economic climate. Moreover, each profession has a specific number of places allocated, which will function as a cap (which was previously not the case).

Moreover, in the 2020-21 financial year overseas applicants will not be eligible to apply for an ACT nomination.

This list applies to both:

  • Skilled Regional (provisional) subclass 491 visas; and
  • Skilled Nominated (permanent) subclass 190 visas.

If you are considering this pathway we urge you to seek advice about your eligibility as soon as you can, given the recent changes.

For more information, contact our Migration team on 02 6285 8000 or by email.