ACT Skilled Migration Program closed to overseas applicants until July 2017

Effective 14 September 2016, if you are living overseas you cannot apply for ACT nomination of a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa until July 2017. 

Canberra residents

This action does not affect Canberra based applicants. You are still able to apply for ACT nomination if you meet the nomination criteria.

Streamlined PhD nominations

The ACT will accept applications for streamlined nomination from ACT PhD alumni living overseas.  If you meet the nomination criteria, email migrationservices@act.gov.au for advice on how to lodge the online application. 

ACT Occupation List will be updated in July 2017

The demand for ACT occupations will be reassessed in July 2017. The updated ACT Occupation List will be published when the ACT Migration Program reopens to overseas applicants in July 2017, 

Move to Canberra

Two friends have coffee in front of Lake Burley Griffin

If you want to create an exciting future, Canberra is the place to start your journey.

Planning is essential. Apart from deciding what course you want to study and where, you need to take into account factors such as the cost of living, available accommodation, local culture, lifestyle and how you can support yourself while studying here.

Cost of living

The cost of studying and living in Canberra for international students will vary according to what you are studying and your personal lifestyle preferences. You should research these costs before you commit to ensure you have funding to meet these requirements.

You'll need the capacity to cover the costs of air fares, tuition fees and living costs for the duration of your stay. The Australian Government requires that you allow AUD$18,610 a year while studying here which will cover accommodation, food, transport, clothing, fuel, power, telephone and entertainment. You must demonstrate these funds are available to be eligible for a student visa. If you have family members accompanying you to Canberra you will need additional funds to cover their living and education costs for school aged children. Further information on student visa conditions are available from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's (DIBP) website.

Even if you are able to work part-time you should not rely on the income to support yourself while in Canberra.

Some average costs to consider for a single student:

  • Tuition
    • Undergraduate: $14,000 - $35,000 yearly
    • Post Graduate: $15,000 - $36,000 yearly
  • Insurance
    • Travel insurance (depends on level of cover)
    • Health insurance - this is a student visa requirement: $400-$500 per year
    • Personal accident and property insurance (depends on property)
  • Accommodation
    • Room (share accommodation): $120-$200 per week
    • Homestay (catered): $250-$300 per week
    • On campus accommodation: $150-$300 per week
    • Rent your own apartment: $300-$500 per week
  • Groceries: $50-$100 per week
  • Eating out: $50-$100 per week
  • Public Transport: $10-$30 per week
  • Car (after purchase): $150-$250 per week
  • Phone and internet: $20-$50 per week
  • Entertainment: $50-$100 per week
  • Textbooks & stationary: $20-$30 per week
  • School (for dependant children)
    • Government: $9,300 - $13,900 yearly
    • Private: up to $30,000 yearly (will vary - contact schools directly)

Student cards

Your student card is a gateway to a range of discounted shopping, dining, services and entertainment around Canberra. You will find student discounts are offered for things like public transport, movie tickets, and sports events.

Our national institutions and local attractions also offer student discounts for their exhibitions and events. Special 'student nights' offering meal deals and discounted food are regularly held at bars, pubs and restaurants around the city.

Health & safety

As you're planning to set off on one of the biggest adventures of your life, there is plenty to organise. But before you apply for your student visa you need to arrange Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to help you pay for hospital and medical costs while you are here.

As an overseas student you usually won't have access to Australia's national health system, Medicare. That's where OSHC comes in. Your OSHC will help you pay for any medical or hospital care you may need while you're studying in Canberra and it will contribute towards the cost of most prescription medicines, and an ambulance in an emergency.

There are a number of providers for you to choose from when arranging OSHC. Your institution may have a special agreement with a particular OSHC provider.

If you need medical assistance you'll be well looked after in Canberra. The city boasts some of the nation's highest-quality health care services and facilities, including two large public hospitals, three private hospitals and a wide range of community-based health services.

While Canberra is a comparatively safe place to live and has relatively low crime rates, you must still take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, just like you would at home. Remember to always be alert, be aware, and be careful wherever you are, including in your learning environment. Exercise common sense - for example, walk with a group at night and don't carry large sums of cash with you. Further hints and tips can be obtained from your institution.