ACT nomination process


Once you've submitted a valid Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect EOI, follow the process below to apply for ACT nomination.

Step 1 - Meet the ACT nomination eligibility criteria

Read the ACT nomination guidelines carefully and make sure that you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination:

Step 2 - Register your interest by completing the Canberra Matrix

Once you are satisfied that you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination for your chosen pathway, you can register your interest by completing the Canberra Matrix.

There is a different Matrix for Canberra residents and overseas applicants. You can check your Canberra Matrix score first by using the Matrix calculator:

Matrix calculator - Canberra Residents

Matrix Calculator - Overseas applicants

Once you have checked your score, complete the Canberra Matrix - select the points you can claim in each category. By submitting a Canberra Matrix, you are confirming you are eligible to apply for your visa, you meet ACT nomination eligibility criteria, and you can demonstrate your Canberra Matrix claims. You will receive an email with a summary of the Matrix scores claimed. The Matrix cannot be updated or withdrawn once it is submitted. If the claimed Matrix points increase or decrease due to an error or change in circumstances, you must complete a new Matrix; noting that your submission date/time will also change.

Remember, unless otherwise indicated in the eligibility criteria or Canberra Matrix, your supporting documents must prove that your claims for Matrix points are true at the date you submitted the Canberra Matrix. While you wait for an invitation, you must continue to meet Department of Home Affairs visa criteria.

Step 3 - Wait for your Matrix to be selected and ranked

Canberra Residents and Overseas residents may be ranked separately as the Canberra Matrix differs depending on your residency status.

Canberra Matrix submissions with a nominated occupation in a critical sector may be prioritised. Critical sectors include the health care, education, social assistance, construction, and IT sectors.

Canberra Resident

For Canberra Residents there are different nomination pathways available. The selection of your Matrix will depend on the pathway you have chosen:

Overseas applicant

Only Matrix with a nominated occupation on the latest ACT Critical Skills List will be selected and, if ranked, invited to apply for ACT nomination.

Important note: you will not be invited if you have previously received ACT nomination or if you have an active application in the system.

Requests for ranking information

Invitations are not guaranteed. We will not respond to requests for information on ranking or the likelihood of receiving an invitation. Matrix submissions will not be prioritised nor will invitations be issued based on personal circumstances. This includes, but is not limited to, visa expiry dates or a change in circumstances including critical birthdays. Matrix submissions will automatically lapse after six months if an invitation is not issued.

Step 4: Apply for ACT nomination if invited

If your Matrix score is ranked, you will receive an invitation email with the weblink to the online application form. Once the invitation is issued, it cannot be withdrawn or ceased. The invitation will lapse after 14 days if the application is not submitted.

You will not receive another invitation to apply for ACT nomination while you have an active application in the system.

Accepting the invitation

Before you accept the invitation, check that the information in your SkillSelect EOI and the SkillSelect EOI responses are correct as they cannot be updated if ACT nomination is approved and confirmed on SkillSelect.

If you are at all concerned about the accuracy of your SkillSelect EOI, seek advice from a registered migration agent before you submit your application for ACT Nomination. If you only find out after submitting your application (but before you receive ACT nomination) that there is an error on your SkillSelect EOI, contact us immediately.

Think carefully before accepting the invitation. The ACT only offers one nomination place per person. You cannot apply for 190 nomination if your 491 nomination is already approved.

Important note: by accepting the invitation for ACT nomination and submitting your application, you are confirming:

Submitting the application

The application for ACT nomination is active for 14 days. You must submit the application and pay the service fee within this time. Once the service fee payment is confirmed, your application will be queued for processing.

Step 5: We assess your application

We will process all applications in the order they are submitted. We will not consider requests to prioritise applications due to personal circumstances. This includes, but is not limited to, visa expiry dates or a change in circumstances including critical birthdays.

When we assess your application, we will look at your:

  1. SkillSelect EOI: to check that you are eligible to apply for the visa, your claims, and make sure you have sufficient points on SkillSelect to apply for the visa
  2. Supporting documents: Your supporting documentation must evidence your eligibility to apply for ACT nomination, any Canberra Matrix points you have claimed, and that you continue to meet Department of Home Affairs criteria. A decision may solely be based on the documents in the application. We are not required to look at any documents other than the ones that you attached to the application. It is the responsibility of the applicant, or their agent, to ensure all documents are uploaded, accurate, and up to date at the date the application is submitted.

If your application is approved, we will confirm ACT nomination on your SkillSelect EOI, which triggers the invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the visa.

What happens if your application is refused?

If your application is refused, we will tell you why you were unsuccessful. You can ask us to reconsider this decision if an error was made by the case officer. Any request for reconsideration must be in writing, explaining why you consider the decision is wrong. The review may solely be based on the original documents attached to the application.

You can submit a new Canberra Matrix if you are satisfied that your documents now support your eligibility and Matrix claims.

Step 6: Apply for the ACT nominated visa

You have 60 days to apply for the ACT nominated visa. The offer of ACT nomination expires after 60 days.

If you can’t / decide not to apply for the visa, the nomination place is lost – we don’t get it back from the Department of Home Affairs. Therefore, we only offer one nomination place per person. It is not fair to other applicants if you are given two or more nomination places.

Reapplying for ACT nomination

The ACT Government reserves the right to allow applicants to reapply for ACT nomination at its discretion and in exceptional circumstances. You must be able to demonstrate that you have a genuine reason for reapplying for ACT Nomination. You can only reapply for ACT nomination if you meet the eligibility criteria and if you are applying for the same visa subclass.

To request the ability to reapply for ACT nomination, please submit a new Canberra Matrix in the same visa subclass and email with the Canberra Matrix reference number requesting the duplicate bar to be lifted. In your email, you must explain the exceptional circumstances that meant you could not apply for ACT nomination and include supporting documentation where relevant. Your request must address the criteria identified below.

Your case will only be considered if we are satisfied you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid the necessity for renomination. Bear in mind, it is always the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the ACT Nomination application, SkillSelect EOI, and visa application are accurate.

We will remove the duplicate application flag from your Matrix and place it in the queue for ranking if we are satisfied that your request meets the following criteria:

The outcome of your request may solely be based on the demand for nomination places in your nominated occupation or visa subclass as well as the overall remaining allocation in that financial year.

If your application for renomination is rejected based on the demand for nomination places and the impact on other applicants, you may reapply for ACT nomination six months after that decision was made.

Please note: If your application for an ACT nominated visa is refused by the Department of Home Affairs, the ACT Government will not, under any circumstances, appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on your behalf.


The ACT Critical Skills List, nomination guidelines and eligibility criteria are subject to change without notice at any time.

The Australian Migration Program does not guarantee a migration outcome for any temporary resident / international student in Australia, neither does the ACT guarantee a nomination pathway even if applicants meet the eligibility criteria. The demand for ACT nomination exceeds the Department of Home Affairs allocation of nomination places. Submitting a Canberra Matrix is therefore no guarantee of an invitation. A Canberra Matrix score may not rank highly enough to be selected and invited to apply for ACT nomination.

The ACT Government and its employees are not liable for any inaccuracies or omissions in the information provided to the applicant in the context of their application for ACT nomination. The ACT Government is not responsible for finding employment, accommodation or providing financial incentive or assistance to ACT nominated skilled visa holders or other migrants.