Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory is located wholly within the state of New South Wales. The area of land that makes up the ACT (2,358 square km) was transferred to the Commonwealth by the state of New South Wales in 1911.


Canberra was named the National Capital in 1913 and is located is nearly 300km from Sydney and some 650km from Melbourne.  A planned city, Canberra is laid out around an artificial lake, Lake Burley Griffin. The Territory became self-governing in 1989. National government remains its main industry, but private sector employment has expanded and includes production of sophisticated scientific and communications equipment, and computer software.

Canberra has a population of 358,000 and stands around 1,900 feet (580 meters) above sea level, and highlands in the area reach 5,000 feet (1,500 meters). Canberra is Australia’s largest inland city and is a modern city with a cosmopolitan feel offering a clean environment, low crime rate and some of Australia’s best roads with hundreds of kilometres of bike paths. The city has many of Australia’s treasures housed in the National Art Gallery, National Museum, the National Library, the National Archives and many more.

Canberra is home to the Australian Public Service (APS) and is the biggest employer with over 20,000 people employed across a wide range of jobs. It is important to note, however, that employment with the APS will usually require Australian citizenship particularly where security clearance is required.Defence and security are among Canberra’s largest industry sectors and over 13,000 military and defence-civilian personnel are located in the capital region. The Department of Defence is based in Canberra along with the Royal Military College and Australian Defence Force Academy. Canberra’s ICT sector employs around 8,000 people and is made up of over 1,000 businesses ranging from multinationals down to micro businesses. Many ICT jobs will require Australian citizenship if employment is related to the APS. Tourism is the largest private sector segment of the ACT economy and with 7,000 tourism related businesses offers great employment opportunities on a casual, part-time and full-time basis.

ACT Skilled Nominated visa Programme - subclass 190

With invitation rounds for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) currently at a level which many applicants are struggling to achieve, applying for a Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) has become increasingly popular for applicants migrating to Australia. Applicants selecting this visa option are not subject to invitation rounds and can be considered for nomination with a points total of 65 (including nomination points) and will receive priority processing with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Applicants will also need to be nominated if their occupation only features on the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL).

Nomination by the ACT will provide:

•    Priority processing of your visa with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA)
•    An additional 5 points for a Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
•    An opportunity to seek work with an employer of your choice

The Skilled Nominated (190) visa is a permanent visa that allows you to live anywhere in the ACT.

The ACT migration programme is currently closed to overseas applicants but when the programme opens you may be eligible to apply for a Skilled Nominated visa if you are highly employable and have skills and recent experience in relevant industries in your nominated occupation or you have close family ties in the ACT.

1 - Genuine offer of employment or current opportunities

A genuine offer of employment in your nominated occupation, or evidence that you have researched the ACT labour market and can demonstrate that there are at least 5 opportunities in your nominated occupation in Canberra. It should be noted that experience in heavy industry, manufacturing production, mining, shipping, gas and oil, head office banking and railways are not generally considered to be relevant industries.

2 - Close family ties

A close family member such as a parent, brother, sister, grandparent, step parent, step sibling who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident and has resided in Canberra for the last 12 months.

ACT key selection criteria

Applicants are selected from the Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect database.

The ACT occupation list identifies skills that are currently in demand in Canberra and is reviewed twice a year (in February and August). Once it is determined that the demand for an occupation has been met, the occupation will be closed without further notice. The ACT occupation list is not linked to specific job vacancies and it is not a guarantee of a job in a nominated occupation.

To be selected and nominated by the ACT you must:

  • Be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation
  • Be highly employable or have close family ties
  • Have Competent English (unless otherwise specified)
  • Have an occupation on the ACT skills list
  • Have received a positive skills assessment from an Australian assessing authority
  • Have at least 65 points on the DHA points test
  • Demonstrate you meet both ACT and DHA visa eligibility requirements
  • Have a commitment to living and working in the ACT for a minimum of 2 years
  • Researched the cost of living in Canberra and have a sound understanding of settlement costs
  • Sufficient assets to fund your migration to Canberra



What to do next

If you are interested in moving to the ACT, please contact your nearest Concept Australia office to discuss your visa options:

London Office - 20 minutes from London Bridge

Chislehurst Business Centre
1 Bromley Lane

Telephone: 020 8468 1076 or email:

Office hours:

Monday to Friday from 09:00 -17:30
Saturdays from 09:30 - 12.00 

Manchester Office

2nd Floor
Albion Wharf
19 Albion Street
M1 5LN

Telephone: 0161 669 5836 or email:

Office hours:

Monday to Friday from 09.30 - 17:00

What visa options are there?

Choose the best option for you:




SkillSelect – Invitation rounds

SkillSelect first allocates available places to Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) visas and then remaining to Skilled – Regional...


What our clients are saying

We would both like to thank you very much for guiding us through this process which at times we found to be quite daunting and bewildering. I think we we’re both caught off guard when the approval came through, it was a surprise to say the least and also a huge relief as we can now both put our anxieties aside and start planning for our future together in Australia. We are both more than happy to if add to your collection of testimonies if you wish and again thank you very much