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Skilled Occupations for nomination by Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

ACT Nomination Guidelines issued January 2018 being shared for added and fast access to the guidelines,


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Skilled Occupations for nomination by Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Written by Crispin Aranda.
Updated March 20, 2018 | Australia

GUIDELINES FOR APPLYING FOR AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT) NOMINATION:

SKILLED NOMINATED (SUBCLASS 190) VISA.

19 January 2018

Why Canberra?

Canberra - Confident, Bold and Ready. If you’re looking for a place to create your future – one that is full of brilliant possibilities – Canberra is your city.

Canberra, the national capital of Australia, is located within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Big things happen here: in politics, science, research, education, business and the arts – creating the potential for exciting careers and opportunities.

Canberra also has the power to surprise people – with food and wine, with art and culture, with our heritage and with our warm welcome. We look to the future, not the past, and we actively pursue our dreams. Are you ready to pursue yours?

You must apply for ACT nomination of a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa after completing an Expression of Interest on the Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect. Before lodging an application for ACT nomination, it is recommended that you obtain specific migration advice relevant to your circumstances from the Department of Home Affairs or a Registered Migration Agent.

The ACT Skilled Migration Program is managed by Skills Canberra within the ACT Government’s Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.

About these Guidelines

These guidelines explain how to lodge an application for ACT nomination of a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa.

You must demonstrate that you meet the nomination criteria and have a genuine commitment to live in Canberra for at least two years from date of permanent arrival / visa grant.

You must sign a declaration that you acknowledge and agree to meet the obligations attached to the offer of ACT nomination at Attachment A.

 Department of Home Affairs Criteria

Before you submit an application for ACT nomination, you must be satisfied that you meet the Department of Home Affairs criteria for a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa.

The Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa is a points-based visa for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory because their occupations are in demand in that jurisdiction. ACT nominates eligible highly skilled workers with occupational skills needed in Canberra to drive economic growth.

You must apply for ACT nomination of a subclass 190 visa. If your application is successful and you are nominated by the ACT, you are awarded five additional points towards your overall points score. You only need 60 points to be eligible to apply for a subclass 190 visa.

Skill Select

Before you can apply for ACT nomination, you must complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) through Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect. 

  • You must select the ACT as your preferred location to live in Australia.
  • You must have a minimum 60 points.

Once the EOI is submitted on SkillSelect, you must apply for ACT 190 nomination by completing the online ‘Application for ACT nomination’. 

If your application for ACT nomination is approved, your EOI will be confirmed on SkillSelect and the visa invitation will be automatically issued by Department of Home Affairs. You will be unable to update the EOI once ACT nomination is confirmed.

You will then have 60 days to apply for a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa. ACT nomination does not guarantee that the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa will be granted.

Applying for ACT nomination from overseas

If you are living overseas, you may be eligible to apply for ACT nomination if your occupation is in demand and ‘open’ on the ACT Occupation List; and you meet the nomination criteria.

If your occupation is ‘closed’ on the ACT Occupation List, you may still be eligible to apply for ACT nomination if you have close ties (job offer or family) in Canberra; and you meet the nomination criteria  that is in effect on the date you lodge the application for ACT nomination.

NOTE: If you, or any dependents, are living or have lived in another Australian state or territory within the last twelve months, you are not eligible to apply for ACT nomination.

If you do not have a genuine job offer, you must research the ACT labour market and provide evidence that there are sufficient employment opportunities (at least five and no more than eight opportunities) in your nominated occupation in Canberra; and that you have:

  • Skills and recent experience relevant to the researched employment opportunities;
  • Skills and experience relevant to the ACT economy. Experience in heavy industry, manufacturing, production, mining; shipping, gas and oil, head office banking and railways are not generally considered relevant industries;
  • A genuine commitment to settling in Canberra for at least 2 years from date of permanent arrival in Australia;  
  • Access to sufficient financial assets to fund your migration and settlement in Canberra while you seek employment.

Applying for ACT Nomination while in Australia – Canberra residents

If you are currently in Australia, you must be living in Canberra before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination. If your immediate family (spouse/partner and children) are currently in Australia, they must also be living in Canberra before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination.

NOTE: You are not eligible to apply for ACT nomination if you, or any members of your immediate family
are living, working or studying in another Australian state or territory.

Your nominated occupation does not have to be ‘open’ or in demand in Canberra. You may nominate any occupation on the Department of Home Affairs List of Eligible Skilled Occupations as long as you have the relevant skill assessment for the nominated occupation; and you meet the nomination criteria that is in effect on the date you lodge the application for ACT nomination.

Eligibility for ACT nomination will vary depending on which visa you currently hold, or last held if you are on a bridging visa:

Subclass 457 visas

If you are the holder, or the dependent of the holder of a subclass 457 visa, you must meet the following criteria before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination:

  • If you have NOT lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
    • You have lived in Canberra for the last three months; and
    • You are working for an ACT employer in a skilled occupation (as defined by ANZSCO skill level 1 to 4).
  • If you HAVE lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
    • You have lived in Canberra for the last 12 months; and
    • You are working full time for an ACT employer in the nominated occupation.

Other temporary residence visas

If you are the holder, or the dependent of the holder of a temporary resident or provisional  visa including subclass 400 series (excluding 457 and 485 ), diplomatic, business or a provisional spouse visa, you must meet the following criteria before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination:

  • If you have NOT lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
    • You have lived and worked in Canberra for the last six months; and
    • You are working for an ACT employer in a skilled occupation (as defined by ANZSCO skill level 1 to 4).  You do not have to be working in your nominated occupation. The employment does not have to be full time. You must provide at least two current payslips to evidence your employment.
  • If you HAVE lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
    • You have lived in Canberra for the last 12 months; and
    • You are working for an ACT employer in your nominated occupation for at least six months.

Visitor visa

If you are the holder of visitor visa, you must meet the following criteria before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination:

  • If you have NOT lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
  • You are living in Canberra and you have a genuine job offer with an ACT employer in your nominated occupation.
  • If you HAVE lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
  • You have lived in Canberra for the last 12 months and you have a genuine job offer with an ACT employer in your nominated occupation.

Student or temporary graduate visa

If you are the holder of a student or temporary graduate visa you must meet the following criteria before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination:

  • You have lived in Canberra for the last 12 months; and
  • If you have NOT lived or studied in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
    • You have completed and graduated (or you are the dependent of a graduate) from a CRICOS registered course at Canberra institution. The course must be, at minimum, a Certificate III or higher qualification; and have a minimum duration of one academic year (40 weeks); and
      • You are working for an ACT employer in a skilled occupation (as defined by ANZSCO skill level 1 to 4). You do not have to be working in your nominated occupation. The employment does not have to be full time. You must provide at least two current payslips to evidence your employment.
  • If you HAVE lived or studied in another Australian state or territory within the last two years:
    • You are working full time for an ACT employer in your nominated occupation for at least six months immediately before applying for ACT nomination. Student visa holders (with visa condition 8105) working 20 hours per week are deemed to meet the full time criterion. You must provide payslips to evidence six months employment.

or

  • You have completed and graduated (or you are the dependent of a graduate) from a CRICOS registered course at Canberra institution. The course must be, at minimum, a Certificate III or higher qualification; and have a minimum duration of one academic year (40 weeks); and
    • You must be working full time for an ACT employer in a skilled occupation (as defined by ANZSCO skill level 1 to 4). Student visa holders (with visa condition 8105) working 20 hours per week are deemed to meet the full time criterion. You must provide at least two current payslips to evidence your employment.

Postgraduate course – Canberra tertiary institution

If you are the holder, or the dependent holder, of a student visa (subclass 500 series) who is currently studying, or has completed a postgraduate course at a Canberra university, you must meet the following criteria before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination:

  • You have lived in Canberra for the last 12 months; and
  • You are either:
  • In receipt of a stipend and / or scholarship from the University / government agency(that covers your living expenses) that is ongoing for at least 3 months from ACT nomination application date; or
  • Working an ACT employer in a skilled occupation (as defined by ANZSCO skill level 1 to 4). You do not have to be working in your nominated occupation. The employment does not have to be full time. You must provide at least two current payslips to evidence your employment.

ACT Occupation List being reassessed 

The ACT Occupation List will be updated on a regular basis to reflect the current demand in Canberra for each occupation. Once it is determined that the demand for an occupation has been met, the occupation will be closed without further notice. The demand for all occupations will be reassessed in 2018.

The ACT Occupation List identifies the skills that are currently in demand, or ‘open’ in Canberra. The demand for each occupation is used to determine availability of ACT nomination for that occupation.

While a major analysis of the demand for occupations will be undertaken twice a year (in February and August) the demand for each occupation will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Once it is determined that the demand for an occupation has been met, the occupation will be closed without further notice.

The ACT Occupation List is not linked to specific job vacancies and it is not a guarantee of a job in a nominated occupation. You must be satisfied that there are sufficient employment opportunities in your nominated occupation before you apply for ACT nomination.

You must also understand that the demand for your particular occupation may change before you arrive permanently in Canberra. You will compete for jobs with all people in the labour market as part of a normal selection process. Your success will depend on employer requirements, your relevant skills, your experience and your level of English language ability.

Open Occupations

You are eligible to apply for ACT nomination if your occupation is in demand and listed as ‘open’ on the current ACT Occupation List; and you meet the nomination criteria.

Closed Occupations

If your occupation is listed as ‘closed’ on the ACT Occupation List, you are not eligible to apply for ACT nomination unless you meet the following criteria:

Canberra residents:

You are eligible to apply for ACT nomination of a ‘closed’ occupation if you meet the nomination criteria.

Overseas residents:

You are eligible to apply for nomination of a ‘closed’ occupation if you meet the nomination criteria and you have close ties to Canberra; either a:

  • Genuine offer of employment in the nominated occupation. The employer must be actively operating in the ACT. The employment contract must in accordance with Australian legislation and the salary paid at market rate. While it is expected that the offer is for a full time position, a part time position may be accepted if the applicant can demonstrate that the salary is sufficient to support their lifestyle in Canberra. You must also demonstrate that you meet the nomination criteria.

OR

  • Close family member (spouse / partner of the applicant; or parents, brother, sister, grandparents, step parents, step siblings of the main applicant or their spouse / partner) who is an Australian citizen / permanent resident and has resided in Canberra for the last twelve months.

Application for ACT Nomination

Complete the online application for ACT nomination of a subclass 190 visa at Canberra. Create Your Future and attach the following information to the online application:

SkillSelect EOI:

  • Attach a copy of the SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI) record of response which shows the personal, education, English and employment details submitted.
  • The ACT MUST be selected as your preferred location on the EOI.  Applicants who select ‘Any’ or express interest in living in another state or territory will not meet the ACT nomination criteria.

Skilled Occupation:

  • Attach a copy of a current skill assessment in the nominated occupation.

Employability:

  • For Canberra residents.
  • Attach employment contract and payslips for the required period of employment; or
  • Postgraduate stipend.  
    • If you do not have work rights, attach evidence of a genuine job offer from an ACT employer in the nominated occupation.
  • For overseas residents:
  • Attach evidence of a genuine job offer by an ACT employer in your nominated occupation; or
  • Attach evidence that there are, currently, sufficient ACT employment opportunities in your nominated occupation that are relevant to your skill set and recent experience. The evidence must include:
    • Personal research into recent advertised positions relevant to the nominated occupation (a minimum of 5 vacancies and not more than 8). You must provide a copy of the full advertisement (saved as a .pdf):
      • It is essential that the date of the job advertisement as well as the location of the job is clearly displayed;
      • Web links alone are not acceptable and, if provided without the accompanying advertisement, will result in the criterion not being met.
    • An employment statement for each advertisement. You must explain how your qualifications, knowledge and experience relate to and meet the requirements for each of the job advertisements.

Please note:

  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have the relevant qualifications, skill set and work experience etc. to meet the criteria of the advertised position; for example if the position requires:
    • A certain number of years relevant work experience: you must have that experience;
    • A minimum qualification: you must hold that qualification;
    • Australian work experience: you must have that experience;
    • Citizenship / security clearance, you must be a citizen or have the clearance.
  • Job advertisements must be recent. Advertisements must be dated no more than 6 weeks before submission of the application.
  • Job advertisements must be relevant to the nominated occupation; for example: 
    • If the nominated occupation is a Real Estate Agent we will not accept jobs for Property Manager;
    • If the nominated occupation is a HR Adviser, we will not accept jobs for recruitment consultants;

If the nominated occupation is for a manager, we will not accept assistant, support or junior positions.

  • Employment opportunities requiring Australian citizenship and/or an Australian Security clearance will not be accepted as evidence of employability.
  • Job advertisements related to a position vacancy directly or indirectly related to working with the Australian (Federal) Government will not be accepted unless you can demonstrate that Australian citizenship and or a security clearance is not a job requirement. Supplying an advertisement for a Federal Government job which does not mention citizenship is not sufficient evidence that it is not required.

Australian qualifications

  • If you are currently studying in Canberra, attach evidence of your Confirmation of Enrolment; or
  • If you have completed a CRICOS course at an Australian institution, attach evidence of your course completion or qualification.

ACT Nomination Checklist (Subclass 190)

The following supporting documents must be attached to the online application.

Required documentation

  • Copy of the full record of the SkillSelect EOI responses.
  • Signed and witnessed ‘Declaration of Nomination Obligations’ (for agent use only).
  • Current skill assessment by the relevant assessing body.
  • Current Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume.
  • Evidence of recent relevant work experience in the nominated occupation (if not currently working in Canberra).
  • Research into current ACT employment opportunities and employment statement; or genuine job offer (if not currently working in Canberra).
  • Evidence of current ACT employment, job offer or stipend / scholarship for PhD students (if living in Canberra).
  • Evidence of English language ability
  • Research into settlement costs while seeking employment (if not living in Canberra).
  • Commitment to Canberra statement.
  • Signed and witnessed ‘Declaration of Financial Capacity (if not living in Canberra).
  • Statement of family relationships in Australia (if applicable).
  • Evidence of close family living in Canberra (if applicable)
  • Evidence of other state / territory nomination (if applicable).
  • Copy of the passport for main applicant and spouse.
  • Completed and signed form 956 Appointment of a migration agent (if applicable).
  • Evidence of ACT residence (if applicable).
  • Service fee.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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