ACT Skilled Migration Program closed to overseas applicants 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

This action does not affect ACT PhD alumni living overseas. You are still able to apply for steamlined nomination if you meet the nomination criteria. Email for advice on how to lodge the online application. 

ACT Occupation List will be updated in July 2017

As of 19/04/2017 the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) (which informed the ACT Occupation List) has been replaced by the Short term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). There has been a removal of 200 occupations from the CSOL in creating the STSOL. A new ACT Occupation list based on the STSOL will be announced in July.

Cost of living

Family eating breakfast ont their deck

Like any city, your living costs in Canberra will vary according to your family's needs, lifestyle choices and spending habits.

We have provided approximate costs for a variety of day-to-day needs and recreational activities below. Using this information and the additional resources you can estimate your expected household expenditure.


  • All day parking: City zone A $15.50; City zone B $10.70;
  • Town Centres zone A $10.70; Town Centres zone B $9.00
  • Metered parking (hourly rate): City $3.00; Dickson $2.00; Kingston $2.00
  • Petrol/Diesel: $1.10-$1.30/Litre
  • Vehicle hire: $50-$150/day
  • Vehicle purchase: Will depend on the age and type of vehicle, and your personal preferences. Visit the Car Sales website below to browse new and pre-owned vehicles.

Action Bus tickets

MyWay Fares - MyWay is the cheapest way to travel on ACTION buses. This ticketing system will automatically calculate the cheapest possible fare per passenger, based on any eligible concession and daily or monthly fare caps. All MyWay fares include a free 90 minute transfer period.

MyWay single trip (peak): $2.98
MyWay concession (peak): $1.49
MyWay school student (school day): $1.13
MyWay tertiary student: $1.49
Note: you must purchase a MyWay card to access the fares above

Cash fare single trip adult: $4.70
Cash fare daily adult: $9.00
Cash fare single trip concession/student: $2.30
Cash fare daily concession/student: $4.50


  • Ice Skating (Phillip): $14.00-$17.00 ($3.00 skate hire)
  • Canberra Raiders (National Rugby League): Adults $29.00-$35.00; Children $14.00-$17.00; Concession $20 -$30
  • Brumbies (Super Rugby): General admission - Adults $24.00; Concession $18.00; Children 5-18 $10.00; Family $50.00
  • Entry to the National Zoo and Aquarium: Adults $40.00; Children under 4yo $2; Children 4 to 15 years $23.00; Concession $33.00; Family (two adults; 3 children) $110.00
  • Floriade entry (spring flower festival): Free
  • Cappuccino: $3.50-$4.50
  • Movie ticket (Dendy Cinemas): Adult $19.50; Concession $15.00; Child $14.00; Senior $12.00 (cheaper for 'Club Dendy' members)
  • 18 holes of golf (Gungahlin Lakes): Weekday $29.00; Weekend $39.00
  • Free Entry to the following national attractions:
    • Australian War Memorial
    • National Gallery of Australia
    • National Portrait Gallery
    • National Museum of Australia
    • National Archives of Australia
    • National Library of Australia
    • National Film and Sound Archive
    • Canberra Glassworks


  • Gym membership: $15.00-$30.00/week
  • Olympic Pool entry (Civic): Adult $5.70; Child/Concession $4.20; under 3yo free. Aqua Aerobics $10.40; Aqua Aerobics concession $6.00
  • Private Health Insurance: Single adult with basic cover $30-$100/month (no excess); Family of 4 with full cover $400-$600/month ($500 excess). Use the link to Private Health below to learn more about health insurance and to obtain quotes from a range of providers.


  • Mobile phone: $30-$100/month depending on the plan and usage. (The main providers are Telstra, Optus, Virgin, Vodafone, iiNet, TransACT and TPG.)
  • Internet: $30-$150/month depending on the plan and usage. (The main providers are Telstra, Optus, Virgin, Vodafone, iiNet, TransACT, TPG and iPrimus.)


  • Childcare: $80-$120/day (full day)
  • Permanent residents of Australia are entitled to a free education at Government schools, along with a voluntary contribution to the school. Students holding temporary visas however may be required to pay tuition fees – but you will need to check with individual schools for details. In certain circumstances you can apply for a fee waiver. Non-government schools will charge fees regardless of your visa status and may have a religious affiliation.
  • Schools may offer optional items, activities and services for which parents may be required to pay. Such activities and items could include non-essential school camps and excursions, class photos, the canteen, private tutoring and uniforms.
  • Systemic (e.g. Catholic) and private school fees can range from $5,000-$20,000/year. Additional costs may apply for extracurricular activities, clothing, books and other necessities.

At Home

  • Electricity, gas and water costs will vary depending on your dwelling type and usage. The main provider is ActewAGL - visit their website below to view service charges.
  • Groceries: The main supermarkets include Coles; Woolworths; Aldi; Supabarn; Costco; and IGA - visit their websites below to view current grocery prices. There are also a great range of fresh food markets in Canberra.

Median Housing Costs^

  • Median three bedroom house rent: $420 per week
  • Median three bedroom house price: $525,000
  • Median two bedroom unit / flat / town house rent: $380 per week
  • Median two bedroom unit / flat / town house price: $400,000
  • Vacancy rate: 4.3%

^ Housing statistics obtained from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) Market Facts – September quarter 2014.

All figures are approximate and are provided as a guide only. Figures are listed in Australian dollars.