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Students and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) State Sponsorship

ACT
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There has been a lot of discussion from agents, students and graduates on the changes made to the ACT State Sponsorship earlier this year. In some posts, it was made to seem easy for applicants to get state sponsorship in the ACT but, as with anything, rules can change and the ACT has updated it’s requirements as of August 2016.

The main area of concern is around Closed Occupations. This is a wider variety of occupations that can be more difficult to gain residency under as they are not commonly available for state sponsorship and this is what created the interest.

You can apply for Closed Occupations, only if you are:

• Living in the ACT; or

• If you are overseas

• have a offer of employment from an employer in the ACT; or

• have a close family member that is a permanent resident or citizen and has lived in the ACT for 12 months. (Close family member = spouse / partner of the applicant; or parents, brother, sister, grandparents, step parents, step siblings)

You can apply for open occupations if you are overseas providing you have:

• Not lived in another state or territory in the last 12 months.

The new requirements are listed below and show that if you are looking to apply for closed occupations (or open occupations if you have lived / are living in another state), you need to have studied at least 2 semesters (12 months) in the ACT as well as be working.

Have lived / studied in another state

If you have lived in another state in Australia, then you need to be working in your nominated occupation and have completed 2 semesters of study in an ACT institution.

For example, if you are a Marketing Specialist, and have studied English in Brisbane, then to meet requirements, you would have had to have studied 2 semesters in a Canberra (ACT) institution, be living for 12 months and be working as a marketing specialist (20 hours per week).

Have come directly to ACT to study

For example, if you are a Marketing Specialist, if you are applying directly from overseas and are looking to apply for a closed occupation, then you would need to move to Canberra (ACT) and study for 2 semesters and be working in any occupation with skill level ANZCO 1 – 4). This can include occupations like Waiter, Cook, Receptionist).

So if you are applying from overseas and have not lived in Australia, then the requirements are slightly easier with respects to the work criteria on the nomination.

As with anything to do with migration, rules can change and there are other requirements such as a skills assessment, department of immigration requirements, police and medical clearances.

Exert from ACT requirements for students below.

ACT Occupation List

The ACT Occupation List determines if the occupation is available for ACT nomination:

• Open Occupations: you may be eligible for ACT nomination if your occupation is in demand and you meet the nomination criteria. Please note: once the demand for an occupation has been met, the occupation will be closed immediately without prior notice.

• Closed Occupations: You may be eligible to apply for ACT nomination if you have close ties (job offer or close family) to Canberra and you meet the nomination criteria.

Student or temporary graduate visa – Canberra tertiary institution.

• If you are the holder, or the dependent of the holder of a student / graduate visa who has NOT lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years, 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: • A graduate (or the dependent of a graduate) who has completed a CRICOS registered course/ s (at least two consecutive academic semesters) at a Canberra institution; and

• 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. Student or temporary graduate visa – previous study at an interstate tertiary institution.

• If you are the holder, or the dependent of the holder of a student / graduate visa who HAS lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years, 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:

• A graduate (or the dependent of a graduate) from a CRICOS registered course/s (at least consecutive two academic semesters) at a Canberra institution. You must be working full time for an ACT employer in your nominated occupation. Student visa holders (with visa condition 8105) working 20 hours per week are deemed to meet the full time criterion; or

• 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.

Postgraduate course – Canberra tertiary institution

• If you are the holder or the dependent holder of a student / graduate student visa who is currently studying or has completed a postgraduate course at a Canberra institution, 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:

• In receipt of a stipend or living allowance (that covers your living expenses) that is ongoing for at least 3 months from ACT nomination application date; or

• Working 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.

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