Dreams Turned to Ashes – Changes in ACT Visa Regulations

The Australian Capital Territory had a provision for residents that stated th;at they could apply their nominated occupation even if it was listed as ‘closed’ on the current ACT Occupation list.

Though the provision is no longer available.

Priyank Bindra first landed in Australia to study at a university in Sydney but he soon packed his bags and moved all the way to Canberra in hopes of getting his PR faster as he knew he
could apply for permanent residency in the ACT even if the occupation was closed.

“I was studying in Melbourne and moved to Canberra as this program was started there last year. I came all the way just to increase my chances of getting permanent residency,” he told Mckkr’s.

“Before I knew it though, the program got suspended on June 29 without any notice.”

This provision is no longer available. The notice displayed on the ACT web portal as published by SBS states:


Canberra residents:

  • You are eligible to apply for ACT 190 nomination if your nominated occupation is listed as ‘open’ on the current ACT Occupation List.
  • You are not eligible to apply for ACT 190 nomination if your nominated occupation is listed as ‘closed' on the current ACT Occupation List.

Overseas residents:

  • The ACT 190 nomination program remains closed for overseas applicants without close ties to Canberra and is now closed to overseas applicants with close ties to Canberra.According to registered Migration consultant Abhinav Goyal many people’s hopes have got shattered and plans have come to a still, with most of them feeling extremely panicked."As we know, Canberra was offering 190 nominations to applicants for closed occupations on their skill list if they met the Canberra residence requirements," he said.

"This has been in place since January 2018 and because of this a lot of people moved across the country to come all the way to Canberra and started looking for jobs in their occupations or got enrolled in different courses.”

The list of occupations on Canberra’s list that have been closed include occupations like café and restaurant managers, accountants and ICT business analysts.

The new rule has also affected overseas applicants who were hoping to apply for ACT nomination as the program has been closed for overseas applicants too.

This has cost students like Priyank a lot of time and money and left them wondering about what their limited options are.

“I had paid a huge amount of money for my course over here and now I will have to find another way or move to another state, which will cost me a lot more money. This is extremely frustrating.”

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