ACT State Migration Plan Announced

By Mark Webster
9 November 2010

The ACT Government yesterday announced that their State Migration Plan had been approved and was now active.

People with occupations on the ACT list are able to apply for nomination by the ACT, then apply for a skilled sponsored visa. This allows people who do not have an occupation on the new SOL to apply for general skilled migration. The skilled sponsored visa is a permanent visa which requires a pass mark of only 100 points.

Occupations on the List

The range of occupations on the ACT list is very broad - essentially the whole of the State/Territory Nominated SOL is covered, with the exception of some mining, trade and transport professionals.

In particular, state nomination is available for the following common occupations:

  • Cooks
  • Hairdressers
  • IT professionals
  • Registered Nurses
  • Engineers (excluding mining specialisations and some technician level occupations)
  • Accountants
  • Welfare Workers
  • Science Professionals
  • General Business Professionals (eg marketing specialists
  • Office Managers and Project/Program Administrators
For recent ACT graduates, there is even a possibility of being nominated outside the ACT list if the person has worked in their nominated occupation in the ACT for the last 12 months.

English Language Ability

For ANZSCO group 1 (Managers), the English language requirement is a minimum of 7 in each of the 4 bands of IELTS. For other occupations, applicants must either:
  • Have a passport from the UK, Canada, NZ, USA or Ireland; or
  • Have IELTS with a minimum score of 7 in speaking and 7 overall.
In addition to this, applicants may be required to have a higher level of English for certain occupations. The following occupations require 7 minimum score in all 4 bands of IELTS:
  • Accountants
  • IT Professionals
  • Civil, Electrical & Electronics Engineers
  • Teachers and Education Professionals
  • Nurse managers and educators
  • General business professionals
  • Hairdressers
  • Community Workers

On top of this if there is only limited availability for a given occupation, applicants making an offshore application (subclass 176) must provide an IELTS score of at least 8 overall with a minimum of 8 in speaking for the nomination to be assessed.

Work Experience Requirement

The basic requirement for work experience depends on whether you are living in Australia already or not.

International students who have completed studies in the ACT require at least 6 months of full time work experience in the ACT in a skilled occupation (not necessarily the nominated occupation). Interstate graduates and offhsore applicants living in Australia require at least 9 months of work experience in the ACT specifically in their nominated occupation.

Offshore applicants require at least 3 years of recent work experience in their occupation.

In addition to this, some occupations require current employment in the ACT in the occupation, including:

  • Arts Professionals
  • General Business Professionals
  • Certain Engineering Specialisations
  • Science Professionals
  • Metal Tradespersons
This would make it difficult for offshore applicants to qualify for ACT nomination in these occupations even if they have significant work experience.

Recent graduates looking to apply in occupations where there is limited availability must show that they are currently working in the occupation in the ACT.


The ACT list is far broader than expected. Providing an applicant can meet the work experience and English language requirements, there is a good opportunity to migrate to the ACT.

However, quotas for each occupation will be in operation and applicants should apply as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment.

Feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss your likely eligibility for migration to the ACT.


ACT Business & Industry Development.

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