Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 4419 ..
This response refers to the ACT Skilled Nominated 190 program.
I was first briefed on the matter by my Directorate on 7 May 2018.
My Directorate further advises that it does not receive advice of intending international student applications or the enrolment activity in education institutions of students that may be attempting to qualify for permanent residency. The only vision the Directorate has of 'real excess demand' is when applications are lodged and recorded in the Program's data management systems and then assessed against how numbers are tracking by time of year and in comparison to previous years. I have been advised that the number of applications received did not approach the ACT allocation until April 2018.
To be clear, the management of demand for 190 visa nominations has always been applied, reflecting the relatively small number of places allocated by the Department of Home Affairs and the potentially large number of people that seek skilled migration outcomes and permanent residency. Potential applicants also act on the advice of migration agents who they pay to maximise their chances of a successful migration outcome.
The vast majority of international students are not using their study to achieve permanent residency. Most international students who choose to study in the ACT are using the Student visa (subclass 500). Some students may also be eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) which allows international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution to live, study and work in Australia for an additional 18 months (graduate work) to four years (post study work).
If training providers are promoting study as a pathway to permanent residency to attract enrolments, that is regrettable but out of the Government's control. We believe experienced migration agents and education institutions would be aware of the cap on 190 visa nominations in the ACT.
Why did your government continue to promote its skilled nominated visa scheme to international students even after you knew that it was oversubscribed?
The ACT Government does not actively promote the ACT Skilled Nominated 190 program to international students through any media or marketing campaigns. General information on the program including eligibility and how to apply is available from the Canberra Your Future website.
The website does contain positive information on Canberra including links to general information and advice. I understand that this type of information, for people outside Canberra seeking to understand opportunities available, has been provided in this form for many years.
Mr Rattenbury (in reply to a supplementary question by Ms Lee on Thursday, 20 September 2018):