Permanent visa options
If you are currently studying in Canberra and you would like to create your future and stay permanently in Australia, there are a number of visa options available to you.
ACT nomination for PhD graduates
The ACT is offering free, streamlined nomination for holders of a PhD awarded from an ACT university. This means that, subject to meeting Commonwealth visa requirements, you may be eligible to apply for fast tracked territory nomination of a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa. You will benefit from a simplified application process with minimal supporting documentation, priority processing and the removal of the $300 service fee.Your nominated occupation does not have to be in demand in Canberra. You may nominate any occupation on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) as long as you have the relevant skill assessment
You are eligible to apply for streamlined ACT nomination if you have completed a PhD at an ACT university. You must be living in Canberra for at least 12 months before you apply. There is no criteria relating to when your PhD was awarded by an ACT university providing that you meet the Canberra residency requirement.
Interstate / overseas residents
If you are living in another state or territory, or you are living overseas, you are eligible to apply for streamlined ACT nomination if your PhD was awarded by an ACT university no more than two years before you apply.
Once ACT nomination is confirmed on SkillSelect, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will simultaneously issue the visa invitation to apply for a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190).
ACT nomination for international students
If you are the holder, or the dependent of the holder of a student / graduate visa who has NOT lived in another Australian state or territory within the last two years, you must meet the following criteria before you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination:
You have lived in Canberra for the last 12 months and you are:
- A graduate (or the dependent of a graduate) who has completed a CRICOS registered course/s (at least two consecutive academic semesters) at a Canberra institution; and
- Working for an ACT employer in a skilled occupation (as defined by ANZSCO skill level 1 to 4). You do not have to be working in your nominated occupation. The employment does not have to be full time.
If you are eligible to apply for ACT nomination, you can lodge the application online and demonstrate that you meet the nomination criteria. You can find a copy of the ACT nomination guidelines on the 'Skilled visa' home page:
Employer nomination for skilled workers
If you are working for a Canberra employer in a skilled occupation, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. You can find out more about this visa by visiting the 'Nominate a skilled employee' home page.