The ACT Matrix Reloaded
ACT nomination program
The ACT Government has now completed five invitation rounds for people seeking ACT nomination for the permanent Subclass 190 visa. Invitations are being issued every 2 weeks and the number of invitations being issued and the points required to receive an invitation are becoming more settled.
In the first round on 20 December 2018, 93 invitations were issued with a minimum pass mark of 85 matrix points. In the second round on 3 January 2019, 205 invitations were issued with the minimum pass mark of 70. The third round on 15 January 2019, created a bit of excitement when 212 people were invited on a minimum pass mark of 65 matrix points. The fourth round occurred on 31 January 2019, with 186 people being invited with a minimum pass mark of 65 matrix points.
The most recent round occurred on 21 February 2019 and the pass mark dropped to 60 points.
The magic numbers for the visa points test pass mark is 65 points and for the ACT matrix it is now 6o points.
While it is difficult to predict how low the pass mark may go or how many people will be invited each round, the fact that people are being invited and the pass mark has come down to 60 matrix points is encouraging.
Having said that, not everyone who was in Canberra on 29 June 2018 will be able to apply and it is inevitable that some people will remain trapped in the matrix unable to apply for a Subclass 190 visa.
Report from ACT Government: Invited applicants not applying
The ACT Government has advised agents that a high proportion of people who are invited to apply for nomination who are not actually applying. To date around 700 invitations have been issued but only around one third of these invitees have lodged a formal application.
This obviously means that many people are expressing an interest in applying who not eligible to apply, and because they are not eligible to apply, they are not applying. These expressions of interest are being removed from the system.
The ACT Government has said that a significant number of applications do not include the required information and around a third of applications lodged by agents have been refused. Whether this means a third or a half or two thirds of all applications received are being refused is not clear. It is also not clear how many applications have been approved and how many quota places are still available.
The ACT Government is taking a strict line in its assessment of applications and VisAustralia has seen refusals coming through for people who did not meet the letter of the criteria. In some cases, it is possible to re-express an interest, receive a second invitation and make a second application.
We advise you should be careful with the information you include in the Expression of Interest as you will need to back this up with hard evidence at the time you apply for nomination. Applications are being refused for the following reasons:
- Basic eligibility criteria not met: three months employment at minimum 20 hours per week; or 12 months ACT residence if having held a student/graduate visa in the last two years;
- Bank statements not provided for the claimed period of ACT residence or to evidence salary payments;
- Length of ACT employment: working less than the minimum 20 hours per week for the clamed period of employment or not providing documents to clearly evidence employment;
- Employment type: misclaiming points for ANZSCO 1 to 3 skill level but working at this level;
- Close family: family living in Sydney, not Canberra.
We advise that ACT Nomination applications are now big, technical and complex applications. One minor mistake or the failure to include a document or translation can result in a refusal. They require a significant amount of effort and a lot of care.
The on-line system is also cumbersome, and the need to apply within 14 days of receiving an invitation is causing high levels of stress for applicants. You should have your documents ready to go at the time you lodge your Expression of Interest.
It is also increasingly apparent that it is difficult for people on Student visas (as opposed to Subclass 485 visas) to meet the requirement to be engaged in work of 20 hours a week for three months before applying. Few student jobs are consistently worked at 20 hours a week due to shift requirements and it can mean that over a 3-month period, the number of hours worked each week may have varied.
Given these pressures we suggest you seek professional advice and assistance with your ACT nomination application.
Our advice: Express an interest now
Notwithstanding the uncertainties, VisAustralia advises that intending applicants should express an interest in applying for ACT nomination as soon as they meet the published criteria. There is no cost associated with lodging an expression of interest and you can do this yourself.
Your application will be in the system for 6 months, and if your circumstances change you will need to lodge a new expression of interest reflecting your new circumstances.
Immigration advice and assistance
For further information about the ACT Matrix and your prospects of receiving an invitation to apply, and for advice and support in preparing your ACT nomination and Subclass 190 visa application, please call our office on 02 6247 7577 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
VisAustralia is committed to working hard to assist our clients, negotiate the application process and apply for permanent residence in Australia.