A Public Health Emergency has been declared in the ACT for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click Here for more information


The next Canberra Matrix invitation round will be held on or before 30 October 2020. Information about the nominated occupations and Matrix score invited in each round is available HERE


Canberra Residence Integrity Check:  we are currently checking ACT nominations approved in October 2019.

COVID-19: impact on ACT nomination

All applicants for ACT 491 / 190 nomination must meet the eligibility criteria at date of Matrix submission. However, applicants impacted by COVID-19 can request a waiver of the 'continuous employment' eligibility criteria in the following circumstances:

TRAVEL BAN - 1 February 2020

  • Applicants whose return to Canberra is delayed due to the COVID-19 travel ban can request a waiver of the continuous employment criteria. A waiver request should include supporting documentation to evidence the impact of the delayed return (e.g. evidence of cancelled flights, employer agreement to accept the extended absence as unpaid leave, etc).
  • Applicants will still meet the ACT ’continuous residence’ eligibility criteria (the period of time spent overseas due to the travel ban will be ignored).
  • Applicants must meet the 3/6 months employment criteria (either before and / or after their return to Canberra) at the date of Matrix submission.

Example: A 491 applicant worked for 9 weeks in Canberra and went back to China for 2 weeks (on paid annual leave). Due to the travel ban, they are forced to take unpaid leave before returning to Canberra and resuming employment. They can submit a 491 Matrix after working for another two weeks on their return to Canberra:  9 weeks work prior to departure  + 2 weeks paid leave while overseas + unpaid leave overseas + 2 weeks work on their return to Canberra =  13 weeks continuous employment  (the period of unpaid leave will be ignored).

14 DAY SELF-ISOLATION REQUIREMENT - 16 March 2020

  • Applicants who are required to self- isolate for 14 days due to COVID -19 can request a waiver of the continuous employment criteria. A waiver request must include evidence of the need to self- isolate i.e. return date to Australia; close contact etc. 
  • Applicants must still meet the 3/6 months employment criteria (either before and / or after the self-isolation period) at the date of Matrix submission.

ACT BUSINESS CLOSURE /REDUCED WORKING HOURS - 25 March 2020

  • Applicants whose work hours are reduced, are required to take unpaid leave, or have lost their job due to the COVID -19 impact on an ACT business can request a waiver of the continuous employment criteria. A waiver request must include a written statement from the employer confirming the period (start and end dates) of the business closure and / or reduced working hours. 
  • Applicants must still meet the three / six months employment criteria before a 491 / 190 Matrix can be submitted. However each week worked that meets the 20 / 35 hrs pw criteria, either before, during and / or after the COVID -19 impact on ACT business, can be counted towards the period of claimed employment at date of matrix submission.
  • Applicants must be working for the required 20 / 35 hrs pw at the date the Matrix  is submitted (evidenced by payslips)
  • Paid leave can  be counted towards the period of claimed employment. 
  • Applicants can cumulate hours worked for one or more ACT employers, change employers and / or be self employed.

Example: A 491 applicant worked for 7 weeks in Canberra. Due to the COVID-19 impact on ACT business, they are forced to take 4 weeks unpaid leave before resuming employment with the same or a different employer. They can submit a 491 Matrix after working another six weeks on their return to work:  7 weeks work prior to closure + 4 weeks unpaid leave + 6 weeks work on return = 13 weeks continuous employment (the period of unpaid leave will be ignored). 

Example: after working full time for 18 weeks, a 190 applicant 's hours were reduced and they worked part time for 6 weeks then the business closed and they were out of work for three weeks. They can submit the 190 matrix after working another 8 weeks full time on their return to work: 18 weeks full time + 6 weeks part time + three weeks unpaid + 8 weeks full time = 26 weeks continuous employment (the period of  reduced hours / unpaid leave will be ignored).

Request for waiver

If you are invited to apply for ACT 491 / 190 nomination, any request for a COVID -19 waiver must be in writing, attached to the application and evidenced by supporting documentation.