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Posted on December 17 2019

ACT State Sponsorship under 190 & 491: New guidelines

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
ACT State Sponsorship

According to Australia’s Migration program, there are a total of 160,000 places available for 2019-20.

The Migration program is set on an annual basis.

Of the 160,000 allocated for 2019-20, the majority of the places belong to the Skill stream. About 69.5% of the total, or 108,682, are to be utilized for filling the skill shortages in the labour market in Australia.

How many will be welcomed by Australia in 2019-20 under the Skills stream?

In 2019-20, Australia plans on adding the following number of migrants under the Skills stream –

Skill Stream & Category Places  
Employer-Sponsored 30,000  
State/Territory Nominated 24,968  
Skilled Independent 16,652  
Regional – Skilled Work Regional 15,000  
Regional – Skilled Employer Sponsored 10,000  
Business Innovation & Investment program   6,862  
Global Talent   5,000  
Distinguished Talent      200  
Skill Total 108,682

What are the Australian states and territories?

Australia has 6 states and 2 territories.

State / Territory Capital
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Canberra
New South Wales (NSW) Sydney
South Australia (SA) Adelaide
Victoria (VIC) Melbourne
Western Australia (WA) Perth
Northern Territory (NT) Darwin
Tasmania (TAS) Hobart
Queensland (QLD) Brisbane

Canberra is the national capital of Australia as well as the territorial capital of ACT.

What is the ACT Skilled Migration Program?

The ACT Skilled Migration Program is specifically designed for attracting as well as retaining talented people to the Australian Capital Territory, commonly called ACT, for building up the workforce therein, thereby diversifying and strengthening the economy.

An important part of the ACT Skilled Migration Program is establishing a genuine commitment to be a part of the ACT community. This commitment is to be proved by a long-term residence in the ACT.

The ACT offers territory nomination to skilled migrants under –

Do keep in mind that prior to applying for ACT nomination, you will be expected to complete the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) SkillSelect and secure 65 points.

How can I apply for ACT nomination?

STEP 1: Expressing interest

For this, you will have to complete a points-based Canberra Matrix. Points are awarded on the basis of – benefit, economic contribution, and/or a genuine commitment to be part of the ACT.

At this stage, you can select either of the 2 options – ACT 190 or ACT 491 nomination.

Highest ranked candidates in each of these streams will be selected and sent an invitation to apply for being nominated by ACT.

STEP 2: Applying

If you are invited, you will have to submit an online application, along with the service fee, within 14 days. Required documents will have to be attached. Your Canberra Matrix score will also be needed.

What are the ACT guidelines for 491 and 190 that will be effective January 1, 2020?

  1. To apply for Subclass 190, an applicant must have a job offer from an ACT employer (with 50+ employees) OR have stayed in ACT for 5 years in the last 8 years.
  2. Streamlined PhD Nomination. Those eligible to apply for ACT streamlined PhD nomination include –
Canberra residents Lived in Canberra for minimum 1 year at the time of invitation and completed a PhD at any ACT university.
Interstate resident If living in another state or territory, are eligible to apply for ACT streamlined PhD nomination if they were awarded a PhD from an ACT university within the last two years.
Overseas applicant If living overseas, are eligible to apply for ACT streamlined PhD nomination if were awarded a PhD from an ACT university within the last two years

With a streamlined PhD nomination, an applicant stands to benefit by –

  • Priority processing,
  • Waiver of the service fee, and
  • Minimal supporting documentation.

What are the common requirements for subclass 190 and 491?

Common requirements to be met by the applicants applying under subclass 190 & 491 for ACT nomination include –

  1. Meeting the specific requirements of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
  2. Possess proficiency in English.
  3. To be employed full time, along with a minimum of 1-year of continuous experience within the last 3 years in any nominated occupation relevant to the economy of ACT. [Do note that experience in manufacturing, mining, heavy industry, shipping, railways, head office banking, heavy industry, production, and oil/gas are not generally considered as relevant industries.]
  4. Provide employment opportunities for nominated occupation in the ACT through advertisements.
  5. Applicants to be overseas on the date of submission of Canberra Matrix. If invited, the applicant is also required to be overseas at the time of submitting the application for ACT nomination.

Applicants can apply even if the application is with a ‘Closed’ status in the list.

Those applicants are not eligible for ACT 190 nomination if the applicant or spouse/partner or children are living/have lived in another Australian territory/state within the last 1 year at the time of Canberra Matrix submission.

What is the change in the Matrix?

If an applicant has 10+ years of continuous employment in the nominated occupation in the relevant ACT industry, the applicant will be given 20 points.

This was not there earlier.

The new changes in ACT sponsorship for subclass 190 and 491 will be effective from January 1, 2020.

The documentation required, however, remains the same.


Also, read:


If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate Overseas, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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