Comprehensive Guide to ACT State Nomination for Skilled Migration Visas

Comprehensive Guide to ACT State Nomination for Skilled Migration Visas

Skilled migrants are attracted to Australia which is known as the land of the sunshine, opportunities, and a busy sociable population from all over the world. One interesting way of seeking permanent residency within the country can be found in ACT (Australian Capital Territory) State Nomination where a person will be able to live in its active capital city Canberra. This article will look at how one can be nominated by ACT state thus equipping them with enough knowledge to follow their dream confidently in Australia.

About the Act Nomination Process

The ACT state nomination is what the skilled migrant needs if that person wants to permanently live in Australia through a Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 Visa or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 Visa. When a state or territory including ACT invites you, then that gives weight to your application for this visa because it shows that you have skills which are required in their economy.

ACT Nomination for Skilled Migration Visas

The ACT offers two primary nomination pathways for skilled migrants:

ACT Skilled Migration Nomination (Subclass 190 Visa):

This pathway targets skilled workers with strong potential to contribute to the ACT’s economy. It leads to permanent residency with no limitations on where you can live and work in Australia.

ACT Canberra Small Business Owner Pathway (Subclass 491 Visa):

This pathway caters to skilled migrants who intend to establish, purchase, or manage a small business in the ACT. It leads to a provisional visa with a pathway to permanent residency upon fulfilling specific requirements.

Helpful for you: Difference Between Subclass 190 and 491 Visa.

ACT Skilled Migration Nomination Requirements (190 and 491 visa)

State Requirements for 190 Visa

To be eligible for the ACT nomination for a 190 visa, you must meet the following broad criteria:

  • Job: Your job must be on the ACT Skilled Occupation List (ACT SOL) which reflects the skills that are in high demand by the ACT economy.
  • Skills Assessment: You need to have a positive skills assessment from an Australian assessing authority with skills and qualifications that meet Australian standards in a related occupation.
  • Migration Points: A minimum score is required under the Department of Home Affairs point system taking into account age, qualifications, work experience, English language proficiency besides other particulars.
  • Canberra Matrix Scoring: There is a need to gain a competitive score through the Canberra Matrix which is a specific ACT points-based system.

Canberra Matrix Points Calculator

The Canberra Matrix is a crucial element of the ACT nomination process. It assigns points based on factors like your:

18 – 24 years5
25 – 34 years30
35 – 44 years20
45 – 54 years15
English Proficiency
Proficient (IELTS 7 or equivalent)15
Superior (IELTS 8 or equivalent)20
ACT Employment
Employed in Canberra for 6 months10
Employed in Canberra for 12 months20
Employed in a critical skill occupation for 6 months15
Employed in a critical skill occupation for 12 months30
Critical skill occupation20
Nominated occupation10
Length of ACT Residence
Lived in Canberra for 12 months10
Lived in Canberra for 2 years20
Lived in Canberra for 3 years30
Lived in Canberra for 4 years40
Study in Canberra
Completed a degree or higher in Canberra20
Completed a diploma or trade qualification in Canberra10
Partner’s Skills
Partner’s skilled occupation5
Partner’s proficient English5
Partner’s superior English10
Close Family Ties
Close family member living in Canberra10
Assets in Canberra
Owning a property in Canberra5
Business and Investment
Owning a business in Canberra5-10
Small Business Ownership
Operating a business for 6-12 months10
Operating a business for over 12 months15

Calculate your lacking score by determining the value of ACT nomination under the Canberra Matrix, get the latest demand and standards defined by the ACT government. For the new points threshold, they are not fixed so be cautious and verify the current specification directly from the ACT government’s official website.

Dig Deeper: Australia Immigration Points Calculator.

Overseas Applicants

Skilled employment is not a must in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) for applicants who are from abroad. But, if you are vying for 491 Visa, you will need to have one year’s worth of work history outside your home country in the recent five years and three years’ experience is needed if the 190 Visa is your target.

Eligibility Criteria for ACT State Nomination

Here’s a quick summary of who can apply for ACT state nomination:

  • Skilled workers with an occupation on the ACT SOL
  • Positive skills assessment from a relevant Australian assessing authority
  • Meet the minimum migration points score
  • Achieve a competitive Canberra Matrix score

Documents Requirements for ACT State Nomination

While the exact list of documents may vary, you will likely need the following for your ACT nomination application:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport copy
  • Skills assessment results
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Educational qualifications
  • Employment references
  • Proof of work experience

Get Help: IELTS Preparation Guide:

Who Can Apply for Act State Nomination?

Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria outlined above can apply for ACT state nomination, regardless of their current location. However, the process may differ slightly for overseas applicants compared to those already residing in the ACT.

How to Apply for Act State Nomination From Pakistan?

For applicants residing in Pakistan, the process involves:

  1. Evaluating your eligibility: You’ll need to make sure that your job is listed on the ACT SOL and that you satisfy the minimum points requirement for skills assessment as well as migration.
  2. Document compilation: Collect all necessary documents as stated earlier.
  3. Completing Canberra Matrix: Register your interest and fill in the online Canberra Matrix which helps determine who gets how many points towards their overall score.
  4. Waiting for invitation: Once you have submitted your matrix and depending on how high or low it’s been ranked against others, if high enough; this could mean receiving an invite from the ACT government for applying under its nominations program.
  5. Application submission: Whenever invited carefully prepare and send the filled nomination form together with any other required papers.
  6. Processing plus results time frame: The government shall acknowledge receipt, process these applications then communicate outcomes accordingly.

Act Skilled Occupation List

The ACT Skilled Occupation List (ACT SOL) is dynamic and reflects the ACT’s evolving economic needs. It’s crucial to check the most recent version of the list before proceeding with your application.

ANZSCO CodeNominated OccupationOccupation Cap
131112Sales and Marketing Manager25 or Less
133111Construction Project Manager25 or Less
261311Analyst Programmer40 or Less
261312Developer Programmer40 or Less
261313Software Engineer40 or Less
254499Registered Nurses (nec)30 or Less
261111ICT Business Analyst25 or Less
262111Database Administrator25 or Less
262112ICT Security Specialist25 or Less
262113Systems Administrator25 or Less
263111Computer Network and Systems Engineer15 or Less
263112Network Administrator15 or Less
263113Network Analyst15 or Less
263211ICT Quality Assurance Engineer15 or Less
263212ICT Support Engineer15 or Less
263213ICT Systems Test Engineer15 or Less
263299ICT Support and Test Engineers (nec)15 or Less

Fees for ACT State Nomination

ACT State Nomination fee is $300 and applies to anyone seeking nomination from the Australian Capital Territory under skilled migration. Applicants need to show their qualifications, work experience among others during the assessment process so as to be considered for this privilege. It is important for candidates to note that payment of this amount is mandatory since it caters for administrative expenses related with handling their nomination applications.

Processing Time for ACT State Nomination

The average processing time for ACT State Nomination is around 45 working days. This period includes evaluating the applicant’s qualifications, work experience, and other pertinent factors to assess their suitability for nomination. The 45 working days start counting from when we receive your application with all necessary documents attached. Ensure your submission is both complete and correct so as not to cause any hold-ups.

Also Read: South Australia vs Western Australia Immigration.


The ACT state nomination can be a game-changer for skilled migrants seeking a permanent visa pathway in Australia. By carefully considering the eligibility criteria, understanding the Canberra Matrix scoring system, and meticulously preparing your application, you significantly increase your chances of success. Remember, this guide offers a comprehensive overview, but it’s always advisable to consult the official ACT government migration website or an Australian immigration consultant for the most up-to-date information and resources. With dedication and the knowledge provided here, you can unlock your Australian dream and embark on a rewarding adventure in the vibrant ACT.


Is Canberra Regional for Visa?

Yes, Canberra is considered a regional area for visa purposes. This classification provides additional benefits for visa applicants, such as extra points for regional living and working, making it an attractive destination for those seeking skilled migration opportunities in Australia.

Is PR Easy in Canberra?

Obtaining Permanent Residency (PR) in Canberra can be relatively straightforward due to the city’s classification as a regional area. Applicants can benefit from the additional points awarded for living and working in a regional location, along with the support provided through the ACT nomination program.

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for the Act Nomination?

Applying for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) nomination costs AUD 300. This fee is for the processing of your application and is non-refundable, covering the administrative costs associated with assessing your eligibility for nomination by the ACT government.

Which State Nomination Is Easy to Get in Australia?

The ease of obtaining state nomination in Australia varies based on individual circumstances and occupations. Generally, states like South Australia and Tasmania are considered more accessible due to their broader criteria and proactive recruitment for skilled migrants to boost regional development.

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