From the ACT government ..

As you are aware, in 2022-23, the ACT received an allocation of 4,050 nomination places, split evenly between the 491 and 190 visa subclasses. I want to thank you for your hard work in putting in the applications. The ACT successfully reached its full allocation.

As we commence the new program year, I would like to provide you with the following update.

ACT Migration – Allocation update 2023-24

The Department of Home Affairs has recently announced the 2023-24 Migration Program, as part of the annual budget process. A planning level of 190,000 places has been announced, a slight reduction from the 2022-23 planning level of 195,000 places.

Of the 190,000 places,

The State and Territory Nominated planning level is 30,400 places and the regional planning level is 32,300 places. This means the overall number of visas the Government plans to grant in these programs in 2023-24 will be broadly similar to the number of visas granted in 2022-23.

  • Note: Migration Program planning levels refer to the number of visas delivered under the Migration Program each year for each category and count not only the primary applicant but any accompanying dependents they may be include on their application.

As a result of a successful State and Territory nomination program in 2022-23, the Department of Home Affairs has commenced this program year with a high volume of visa applications on-hand in these programs, including many from the ACT. The Department of Home Affairs has reduced the allocations for ACT nomination back to pre-pandemic levels. This allocation is intended to support an ongoing pipeline of visa applicants, without unduly impacting on visa processing times and the potential to delay the arrival in Australia of those already in the pipeline.

The allocations for the ACT in State and Territory nominated visa categories for 2023-24 are as follows:

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) 600
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) 600
Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) 0
Total 1,200

I appreciate that this allocation is smaller than the allocation in 2022-23. It is also significantly smaller than the allocation that the ACT requested from the Department of Home Affairs. We acknowledge the impacts this may have on your business and on skilled migrants, living in or wishing to migrate to the ACT.

The Australian Federal Government has committed through National Cabinet to providing a greater role for states and territories to contribute to Australia’s migration settings as part of the development of the new National Migration Strategy (the Strategy). Engagement has already commenced with our jurisdiction in the development of the Strategy. We look forward to the release of the Strategy later in the year.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)

The Department of Home Affairs has allocated no new nomination places for the BIIP in the 2023-24 program year for the ACT or any jurisdiction.

The Department of Home Affairs has advised this decision is due to the limited number of BIIP places available within the 2023-24 Migration program and the high number of applications already on-hand. Existing first and second stage visas are still being processed under the BIIP.

The ACT BIIP is closed to new applications for 2023-24.

ACT Nomination Guidelines and ACT Critical Skills List

We note the recent review undertaken and announced in April this year. There are no further changes at this stage, to either the ACT Nomination Guidelines or the ACT Critical Skills list. However, we anticipate a review later in the year and will advise any significant changes in due course.

We endeavour to provide migrants and agents with as much notice as possible, but changes may occur at short notice. Please make sure you check our website frequently for updates.

Invitation rounds

Our aim is to continue with regular invitation rounds. The frequency may differ this year based on a range of factors, noting the lower allocation. We will provide updates on invitations rounds through the ACT Migration website.

The next invitation round will be undertaken before 29 September 2023.

Given the lower allocation this year, you can expect the number of invitations to decrease, which will also likely result in higher minimum scores meriting an invitation. Please advise your clients accordingly.

Thank you for your ongoing support of these programs that contribute to reducing workforce shortages and maximising long term social and economic benefits to the Territory. We look forward to continuing to work with you over the coming year.