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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

Skilled Migration Program

Skilled migration programs can help you live and work in Canberra.

If you’re a skilled migrant, welcome. Our city is diverse, inclusive and proud to support global talent.

You need a valid visa to work in Canberra 

If you want to migrate to live, work, or study in Canberra, you need a visa. 

You may be eligible for a Skilled Migration visa. These visas help Australian employers fill jobs where there is more demand than supply of skilled workers.

How to apply for a Skilled Migration visa

You must be invited to apply for a skilled visa to Australia by either:

  • the Commonwealth (Subclass 189 visa)
  • a state or territory government (Subclass 491 and 190 visas)

To apply for a Skilled Migration visa, you must first meet a list of general conditions. The conditions include character tests, language skills, age, and health checks.

You must express your interest in migrating to Australia by completing the Home Affairs SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI) where you are allocated a points score based on the criteria above. You must score a minimum of 65 points on the Home Affairs Points Test.

The Department of Home Affairs processes visa applications. The ACT Government doesn’t manage the visa process.

Skilled Migration visas to work in Canberra

The ACT Government offers Territory nomination under the following skilled migration streams:

If the ACT Government nominates your visa, you must commit to living and working in Canberra for at least 2 years.

190 visas

190 visas give skilled workers the right to live, work and study anywhere in Australia. The 190 visa is permanent. This means you can stay in Australia as long as you like.

491 visas 

491 visas give skilled workers the right to live, work and study in regional Australia. The 491 visa allows stays of up to 5 years in regional cities like ours.

The ACT Government’s role in skilled migration

Australian government agencies can nominate you as a skilled migrant. This includes the ACT Government.

The ACT Government doesn’t process or approve work visas. Even if they nominate you, the Department of Home Affairs makes visa decisions.

Learn more about the ACT Government’s role in the skilled migration process.

What is the Canberra Matrix? 

If you’re interested in ACT nomination, you must complete the Canberra Matrix. The online form reflects how your skills can grow the ACT economy, and your commitment to the place we call home.

At least once a month, the ACT Government invites those candidates who rank high enough to apply for ACT 190 or 491 nomination.

Learn more about the ACT nomination process.

Sponsorship by an employer

An Australian employer can apply to sponsor your Skilled Migration visa

For more details, refer to our page on Skilled and business migration

Support from a migration agent

Migration can be complex.

If you’d love to join us in Canberra, talk to a migration agent. They can check if you’re eligible to apply for a work visa and help you to apply.  

Learn more about skilled migration from the Department of Home Affairs.

Learn more about the ACT Government’s role in the skilled migration process.

Related Pages

Skilled & business migration

Find out how to employ skilled overseas workers if you can’t fill a role locally, or skilled migration options if you want to invest in a business here.

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Enjoy one of the country’s most enviable lifestyles when you call Canberra home.

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Weather & Climate

Canberra basks in more sunny days than most other capital cities in Australia. And you’ll love the variety of our four distinct seasons.

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The Canberra Toolkit has images, videos and guidance you might need to promote work and life in our city.