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Canberra Matrix Guidelines

Library - guidelines and invitations

You can apply for ACT nomination by filling out a score-based ‘Canberra Matrix,’ which allows you to claim points based

Canberra Matrix Guidelines

 on specific criteria such as skilled employment, English proficiency, formal qualifications, length of ACT residence/study, investment activity, and close family ties, among others. 

Skilled Migration Guidelines

ACT 491 / 190 nomination criteria – Canberra resident

ACT accepts applicants for two types of skilled migration visas, namely Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) (provisional) and skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190). For the ACT Nomination pathway, applicants must read the eligibility criteria carefully for the nomination pathway they are interested in. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you cannot submit the Canberra Matrix. Moreover, you must be vividly clear on 190 nomination criteria and 491 nomination criteria.

ACT 491 / 190 nomination criteria 

The 491 visa, requiring a State or Territory Nomination, is a skilled and a points tested visa. It is a temporary visa with a 5 year validity. Once granted, the 491 visa requires you and your family members to reside in a designated regional area of Australia for at least 3 years and earn at least $53,900 a year. 

The Subclass 190 visa is a Skilled, Points-tested, and Invited visa that allows applicants to come to Australia. Permanent residents can apply for the State-Sponsored 190 Skilled Visa in Australia. Subclass 190 visa is a permanent visa. Once granted the 190 visa, you have the right to remain in the country as long as you want. Even if you choose to leave the sponsoring state, the agreement to live in such a state is not going to affect the status of your visa. Even if you decide to leave the sponsoring state, it won’t affect your visa status.

Residence and Employment in Canberra

For 491, you must have resided in Canberra for the previous three (3) months and will continue to do so until the invitation date. To be considered for a 190 Nomination, you must have lived in Canberra for the previous six (6) months and will continue to do so until the date of the invitation. Your bank statements/transaction history must demonstrate ACT banking activity from the moment you arrived in Canberra to the date of the invitation.

For 491, you must have worked in Canberra for the previous three (3) months, for a minimum of 20 hours per week in each of the 13 weeks leading up to the date you submit the Matrix. To be eligible for 190 Nomination, you must have worked a minimum of 35 hours per week for the previous 26 weeks. For both nominations, you can work for companies or be self-employed. Moreover, if you are in the Small Business Owner Category, you will be able to earn Canberra Matrix points.

Canberra Matrix 

In order to get to the further step, you must ensure to use the Canberra Matrix Calculator to count on the points. Canberra Matrix Points are covered from various areas, first being your occupation on ACT Critical Skills List followed by residency length, language proficiency, length of ACT employment, Work in Skilled occupation in AVT, Partner’s employment, Tertiary qualification, length of study in ACT, Family in ACT, Small business, small business, and assets in Canberra.

Spouse/partner and English

For 491, your spouse/partner can be either a Canberra resident or a foreign resident for the previous three (3) months. Talking about 190 nominations, your spouse/partner must have lived in Canberra or abroad for the past six (6) months. Further, you must have proof of the relationship if you want to collect Canberra Matrix points for a spouse or partner. The spouse must have ‘competent’ English or an Australian passport to earn Canberra Matrix points in the spouse/partner work category. Except for Chef or an ANZSCO skill level 3 to 5, your English must be proficient or ‘superior.’

Scores and eligibility

For Canberra 190 and 491, you must have 60+ on a Total of 189 EOI points.

If you pass the Canberra matrix, you will get 5 points for 190 or 15 points for 491 visas.

Follow this link to check your score: Canberra Matrix Calculator

ACT 491 / 190 nomination criteria – Overseas Resident

If you are an individual living overseas who is seeking to apply for ACT nomination for a Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) or a Skilled Regional Work Visa (subclass 491), then you must meet legal criteria at the date you submit the Canberra Matrix


Overseas Resident

To apply for 491 and 190 visa, you and any migrating dependents (except children enrolled at school in the ACT) must be living overseas, should not have lived in Australia for the last year, and not hold a current Australian visa (or bridging Visa), except an Australian visitor visa.


Nomination Criteria

For 190 visa, your occupation must be listed on the Nominated Occupation of ACT Critical Skills List. To add more, during the time of submission, you must be working full time in your nominated occupation while holding the relevant Australian registration or licensing.

 For 491 Visa, the criteria are the same, but you must have at least three years of full-time working in the nominated occupation. For assessment, Australian assessing body will assess the work experience. Furthermore, your skills and experience in the nominated occupation must be relevant to the ACT economy.


ACT Job Offer and ACT employability

For 190 subclass visa, you must receive an ACT job letter, relevant to your skillset and valid for at least two years, from any medium to large Australian enterprise (50 plus employees) actively trading in Canberra.

The enterprises shall have some protocols to follow proofs for offering you the offer letter.

 For 491, as per ACT employability, candidates can put forward their documents for the Visa if they find their skillset favoring the ACT labor market, especially in Canberra. The documents must include an employment statement explaining the research undertaken and confirming that you are employable in Canberra.


Employer statutory declaration

It is necessary for 190 visa to have your ACT employer declare you being genuinely employed in a genuine position in Canberra as per Australian legislation; your position must be relevant to the operations of the business and you must be working in the same position for a minimum period of two years of employment.


English Proficiency

English fluency is another crucial aspect for the employment Visa. You must get ‘proficient’ or ‘superior’ English to meet the Department of Home Affairs requirement for language proficiency. The passport holders from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland will be readily awarded ‘proficient’ or ‘superior’ English.

Spouse / partner:  

If you are planning to get a 190 Visa with your spouse, you must first show the proof of the relationship and then claim Canberra Matrix points. The legal document accepted is either a marriage certificate or a civil partnership/union certificate.  

To earn Canberra Matrix points in the spouse/partner work category, your spouse/partner must have ‘competent’ English or an Australian passport, as determined by the Department of Home Affairs.


Commitment to Canberra

For both the visas, to display your commitment to Canberra, you must attach a commitment statement application in your own words, explaining why you want to live in Canberra and describing your future lifestyle. Also, a declaration of committing to living and working in Canberra for at least two years from the date of arrival in Australia must be signed by you.

ACT Doctorate Streamlined Nomination Criteria

To apply for ACT doctorate streamlined nomination, you must first express an interest(EOI) for ACT nomination by registering on the Canberra Matrix for ACT 491 or 190 nomination. Scoring on a Canberra Matrix is not necessary. Around a week, you will receive an invitation email with a link to the online application for ACT nomination. You must complete and submit the online application within 14 days. 


Another great thing about ACT doctorate streamlined nomination is that your nominated occupation does not have to be on the ACT Critical Skills List. If you have mandatory skills relevant Department of Home Affairs List of Eligible Skilled Occupations in any occupation, then you can nominate for any occupation.


Here are the Steps You must follow to achieve ACT doctorate streamlined nomination


Step 1 – Check your eligibility to apply for the ACT doctorate streamlined nomination 

  • For Canberra ACT streamlined Ph.D. nomination, you are eligible if you have lived in Canberra for at least 12 months at the time of invitation and completed a professional or research doctorate at an ACT university.
  • Overseas applicants can apply for ACT streamlined Ph.D. nomination if they were awarded a professional or research doctorate from an ACT university within the last two years.


 Step 2 – EOI in ACT nomination

You may express interest in ACT nomination by completing the online Canberra Matrix. If you are not using a migration agent or an individual candidate, you can access the Canberra Matrix through a designated website of Australian government.


Step 3 – Applying for ACT nomination

 After submitting the Canberra Matrix, you will receive an invitation email with a link to the online application within a week. You must log in to the ACT nomination must be within 14 days of the date of invitation.


Documents to attach:

  • SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI) should show personal, education, English, and employment details.
  • Skill assessment of the nominated occupation.
  • Australian qualifications or letter of doctorate course completion or Doctorate award from an ACT university (for Canberra resident). 
  • For interstate or overseas candidates, a Doctorate award from an ACT university. 


Step 5 – Assessing the application by the case officer within one week of lodgement. 


 Step 6 – Offer of ACT nomination Approval

If your application for ACT nomination is approved, then you will receive an ACT nomination, valid for 60 days, from the date of approval. 


Step 7 – Apply for the ACT Nominated visa 

You should lodge the visa application within 60 days once Home affairs issues the visa invitation.


Step 8 – Notification of Home Affairs Visa Decision

You must inform the ACT Skilled Migration about the date of the visa granted via email, along with an attached copy of the visa grant notification.

ACT Critical Skills List

ACT Critical Skills List outlines the jobs that are in high demand in Australia at present. If you wish to apply for an ACT nomination for a Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) or a Skilled Nominated Visa(subclass 190), you must know about this ACT Critical Skills list. 

On the 12th of January 2022, the ACT Critical Skills List was updated. This also applied to all Canberra Matrix submissions, regardless of their date of submission. If your nominated occupation is on the Critical Skills List or you work in an occupation on the list, you can also claim points in the Canberra Matrix.

You can click the link to check if your occupation is on the ACT List.

Canberra Matrix – Invitation Ranking

To apply for ACT nomination, the highest-ranked Matrix in each occupation group will be invited. The cut off for selection depends on the occupation and its demand. The higher the demand increases the chance to be invited for the Invitation Round. Canberra Matrix – Invitation Round does not entertain invitations if you still own an active application in the system; or if you have already received ACT nomination.


Canberra residents can have Matrix nominating Small Business Owners,457 / 482 visa holders, Critical Skill Occupations, while Overseas applicants can have Matrix nominating for Critical Skill Occupations.

To download a copy of the Matrix invitation ranking, click here.

Business Migration

Typically, business migration refers to bringing capital and trained workers to a country (mostly developed and immigration accepting countries) through businesspeople. To participate in the business migration in Australia, you must have successful experience in owning or managing a business or investments. You may also be interested in doing business or investing in Australia in order to qualify for the Business Migration Program.

Australia is always open for Business Innovation. Targeting this innovation, Australia has brought Business Innovation and Investment Program. This initiative is designed to help successful international businesspersons who desire to invest in Australia. A candidate must be nominated by a State or Territory government to be considered for this position. Furthermore, nomination initiates the Department of Home Affairs’ invitation to apply for a visa.


ACT 188 Nomination Criteria

 Canberra, Australia’s capital city, is probably the best place for you if you are interested in investing and/or managing your business in Australia. In fact, you will be supported with a strong network of support for your entrepreneurial ventures.

For the business category, ACT nominations with high-quality applications bringing economic benefit to the ACT are given high priority.

The Australian government offers ACT nomination for Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) subclass 188. Streams of Business Innovation, Investor, Significant Investor, Entrepreneur along with Business Innovation 188 extension are under Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) subclass 188. 

Let’s look into the criteria for each stream in depth.


188A – Business Innovation 

It is a provisional (5 years) visa for individuals who want to invest a minimum of $200,000 in establishing or purchasing a business in Canberra.


188A – Business Innovation Extension 

This visa is for subclass 188 visa holders who are seeking a two-year extension of their visa, which will help them meet the criteria for a permanent subclass 888 visa.


188B – Investor 

It is also a 5-year provisional visa for people who want to invest 2.5 million Australian dollars into complying investments.


188C – Significant Investor

A 5-year provisional visa for people who can invest 5 million Australian Dollars into Complying Investments.


188E – Entrepreneur 

 Another provisional (5 years) visa for people who are working to undertake, or proposing to undertake, an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.


Applying For ACT 188 nomination

If you meet ACT 188 nomination criteria, you can request an invitation to the AUTHORIZED body and explain how your proposed business investment will bring economic benefit to the ACT. 

In your request, you must attach a summary of the proposed ACT business/investment, SkillSelect EOI record of response, and the information of having any close family connection to Canberra.

Official Source: Canberra Matrix Guidelines