Terms and conditions

Welcome to the Territory incentives


New applications are no longer being accepted for the ‘Welcome to the Territory Incentives’ program.

If you submitted your application before 3 July 2020, your application will still be assessed and, if eligible, you will be able to receive the various welcome, local spending and five year retention bonuses.

Eligible applicants please note: the department is committed to ensuring that the overall objective, intent and expectations of this program are met, and for that reason these terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to check this website frequently for notifications about changes that may have been made to the terms and conditions or any other aspect of the documentation relating to this program.

  1. Introduction
  2. General
  3. The process
  4. Payment of incentives
  5. Eligible businesses
  6. Due diligence, audit and privacy
  7. Disclaimer, release and indemnity
  8. Administration of the program
  9. Program changes and end

1. Introduction

The Welcome to the Territory Incentive Program is an initiative of the Northern Territory Government, to boost and retain the Territory’s population by attracting workers to relocate to the Northern Territory to fill high priority occupations. It is one of the key actions of the Northern Territory population growth strategy 2018 to 2028.

2. General

2.1. Program objective and scope

The objective of the program is to:

  • attract Australian citizens / permanent residents currently residing outside of the Northern Territory
  • fill high priority occupations on the NT Skilled Occupation Priority List, and
  • encourage them to stay for at least five years.

2.2. Definitions

Eligible applicant means a person who meets the criteria set out in clause 3.2.

Application form means a form prescribed by the department to apply for participation in the program and available on the website.

Child means a person under the age of 18 years that is relocating to the Northern Territory with at least one parent, and if only one parent then that parent is an eligible applicant, and children has a corresponding meaning.

Department means the Northern Territory Government, Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

Due diligence in relation to an eligible applicant, includes but is not limited to the following searches, which may be made before approval of an application and repeated throughout the program if the department determines there is a reasonable need to do so:

  • credit report
  • citizenship / Australian residency
  • criminal history check
  • motor vehicle registries within and outside the Northern Territory
  • utility providers within and outside the Northern Territory
  • Australian Government Department of Human Services (for Medicare address verification)
  • enquiries with an eligible business that is the employer or prospective employer of an eligible applicant as to the employment status of the eligible applicant.

Eligible business means:

A Territory enterprise that:

  • is a legal entity (a natural person or an incorporated entity), with or without a registered business name, and
  • holds a valid Australian Business Number, and
  • is not an excluded business, and
  • has successfully registered with the department.

Eligible occupation is an occupation listed as high priority on the NT Skilled Occupation Priority List. It is important to note that the list is regularly reviewed and may be updated. Therefore your application will be assessed based on the ‘eligible occupation’ list that has been approved at the time of your application. 

Excluded business means a business:

  • in which the eligible applicant or a relative of the eligible applicant is a shareholder, director, partner or proprietor of the business, or
  • that is a public sector agency or a statutory body or corporation owned or controlled by the Northern Territory or Australian governments. For the avoidance of doubt, local government bodies (whether under the control of the Northern Territory Government or not), are not excluded businesses.

Incentive(s) means the amount(s) set out in the table at clause 4.2, scaled to the circumstances of the particular eligible applicant.

Parent means the parent or legal guardian of a child.

Program means the Welcome to the Territory Incentives Program.

Relative in relation to a person, means the spouse, parent or grandparent, child or grandchild or brother or sister of the person.

Spouse means a person that the eligible applicant is living with on a bona fide domestic basis.

Territory enterprise is a business that satisfies all of the following:

  • Operating in the Northern Territory - the enterprise is currently engaged in productive activities (ie, production of goods or delivery of services) within the Northern Territory.
  • Significant permanent presence - the enterprise maintains an office, manufacturing facilities or other permanent base within the Northern Territory.
  • Employing Northern Territory residents - the enterprise employs Territorians. An enterprise which relies exclusively on transient, interstate / international labour or a fly-in, fly-out workforce will not satisfy this element.

Website means this website.

3. The process

3.1. Applications

Eligible applicants can apply for incentives by submitting the prescribed application form at the website. Applications open 7 November 2018.

3.2. Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to receive incentives an eligible applicant must be a natural person who:

  • is an Australian citizen or permanent resident:
    • currently living overseas, or in a state or territory of Australia other than the Northern Territory, and
    • who has not resided in or physically worked in a job located in the Northern Territory during the two years immediately preceding the application, and
  • is an ‘early career’ female aged 20 to 39 years, or a ‘late career’ worker of either gender aged 55 to 65 years, and
  • has entered into a written employment contract (or accepted an offer of employment in writing) for a new position with an eligible business to be employed in an eligible occupation for at least 30 hours per week for a term of at least 12 months following the applicant commencing employment in the Northern Territory, and
  • following relocation is able to provide evidence of residency in the Northern Territory before the assessment of the application has been completed.

For the avoidance of doubt, an applicant will be deemed to have relocated and be resident in the Northern Territory on the date they: 

  • physically arrive in the Northern Territory, or
  • commence employment in the Northern Territory 

whichever comes first.

Self-employed people and entrepreneurs starting a new business are not eligible for the program.

3.3. Assessment and approval process

Applications can be made at any time after the program opens. Applications must be made through the prescribed two-stage process:

  • applicants must submit their application prior to relocating to the Northern Territory (stage 1)
  • incentives will be paid following verification of relocation and approval (stage 2).

Documents that will be accepted as proof of a certain fact are as follows:

Age, identity and citizenship / permanent residency - passport (current or expired within the previous two years) / Australian citizenship certificate / evidence of permanent residency, or certified copy of birth certificate plus current Australian driver's licence or other official photographic identity card. The provision of this information is also applicable to spouses and dependants.

Proof of Australian residency outside the Northern Territory - official photographic identification document (eg, driver's licence), rental agreement(s), utility bills, contract of sale or other proof satisfactory to the department of principal place of residence for the two years preceding the application.

Proof of residency inside the Northern Territory - verification of Northern Territory address (against Medicare records) from the Australian Government Department of Human Services by filling in the appropriate content forms, and a current Northern Territory driver's licence or other official identity card showing a Northern Territory residential address, rental agreement or utility bill.

Get the consent forms:

Participant consent form (docx 168kb)
Participant consent form (pdf 148kb)

Child consent form (docx 168kb)
Child consent form (pdf 134kb)

The department reserves the right, without liability, to refuse, suspend or terminate an application if it determines, in its absolute discretion, that the applicant is ineligible, or in breach of these terms and conditions.

No incentives will be paid to eligible applicants until they have physically relocated to the Territory and their application is approved in accordance with these terms and conditions.

Applications are assessed in the order received and the program is open only to the first 1300 approved eligible applicants. Note: this number may be revised should the terms and conditions be changed (including any changes to the projected mix of eligible applicants).

If an applicant believes that they have been unreasonably declined they may request that the decision is reviewed in accordance with the complaints and appeals handling and review process (a copy of the review process can be obtained by contacting territory.incentives@nt.gov.au). The Northern Territory Government is committed to maintaining the integrity of all its funding programs and the results of any such review are final and binding on the applicant.

4. Payment of incentives

4.1. About the incentives

The incentives payable to an eligible applicant will be scaled based on family status and paid in instalments in accordance with the following table:

  New Territorian Relocation Bonus Local Spending Incentive
(year 1)
Local Spending Incentive
(year 2)
5 Year Retention Bonus Total
When Following arrival in the Territory Six months after arrival 18 months after arrival After five years in the Territory  
Single $3000 $625 $625 $3000 $7250
Couple $5000 $625 $625 $5000 $11 250
One child* $1500 - - $1500 $3000
Two children* $3000 - - $3000 $6000

*Note: Child payment applies to each child up to a maximum of two children in addition to the ‘single’ or ‘couple’ bonus.

4.2. When are the incentives paid?

Relocation Bonus

Relocation Bonus will be paid upon:

  • confirmation from the eligible business that the eligible applicant has signed an employment contract that complies with these terms and conditions, and
  • verification of change of address (against Medicare records) by the Australian Government Department of Human Services, and
  • production of a current Northern Territory driver's licence or other official photographic identity card showing a Northern Territory residential address, rental agreement or utility bill, and
  • completion of due diligence confirming that the eligible applicant has physically relocated to the Northern Territory.

Local Spending Incentive

Local Spending Incentive will be paid via an EFTPOS card or other method approved by the department and can be used by the eligible applicant directly with local merchants for goods and services such as local tourism, cafés and restaurants, motor vehicle registration, utilities and the like.

Once the new Territorian is eligible to receive the local spending incentive, they have six months to apply for it and once issued, the EFTPOS card will be valid for 12 months from the date it is issued.

Local Spending Incentives will be paid upon:

  • verification of Northern Territory address (against Medicare records) with the Australian Government Department of Human Services, and
  • evidence of current residency within the Northern Territory, and
  • evidence of current employment in a high priority occupation in the Northern Territory with an eligible business.

Five Year Retention Bonus

Five Year Retention Bonus will be paid upon production of:

  • verification of Northern Territory address (against Medicare records) with the Australian Government Department of Human Services, and
  • evidence of current residency within the Northern Territory, or
  • evidence of current employment in a high priority occupation in the Northern Territory.

If an Eligible Applicant’s family status has changed from couple to single, the incentive payable will be reduced accordingly.

Eligible applicants should note that if they are in receipt of incentives under the Australian Government initiative ‘JobActive’ (or any similar scheme), then the incentives payable under the program will be reduced to the extent of the benefit already received under that scheme.

4.3. Obligation of new Territorians

The Territory is committed to the integrity of the program by ensuring so far as possible that new Territorians stay in the Territory for at least the period of their initial employment contract. If a recipient of incentives leaves the Territory within the first six months of commencing employment, then the recipient must repay to the Territory a sum equal to half the New Territorian Relocation Bonus amount received. 

5. Eligible businesses

5.1. Registration of eligible businesses

Eligible businesses must register with the department before an eligible applicant that they employ can receive any payments under the program.

Details collected will include:

  • the name and ACN or ABN of the legal entity that operates the eligible business
  • trading name of the eligible business (if any)
  • address of location of the eligible business
  • name of the general manager or other person in charge of the eligible business and name and contact number of contact person for participation in the program.

5.2. Assessment of eligibility and employment of individuals in eligible occupations

After registering to participate in the program, an eligible business will be able to:

  • conduct a self-assessment to verify that it is an eligible business
  • conduct a self-assessment of the position(s) it intends to advertise or otherwise offer to eligible applicants, to verify that the position(s) are required to fill positions that are within eligible occupations.
    Note: the final decision as to whether an occupation is an eligible occupation will be made by the department as part of the assessment of the eligible applicant’s application.

Once registered, an eligible business will be able to access an advertising kit which will assist it to promote its vacancy(ies) to potential eligible applicants.

Eligible businesses should note that they must verify, in writing, the employment of an eligible applicant in an eligible occupation upon request by the department.  

6. Due diligence, audit and privacy

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade is collecting your personal information to determine your suitability (and ongoing suitability) to receive incentives under the program and to contact you in relation to your application. If you do not wish to provide your personal information, the department will not be able to determine your eligibility and will not progress your application. The types of personal information we will collect about you includes information and documents to verify your identity, age, residency, employment, spousal relationship, expenditure and personal solvency, as per the following:

Table: Types of personal information the department will collect.

Reason Type of documents
To verify identity, age and Australian citizenship / residency Certified birth certificate, passport, Australian citizenship certificate or permanent resident evidence, and driver’s licence or other official photographic identity cards, eg, a proof of age or photo ID card
Proof of residency outside the Northern Territory Driver's licence, or other official photographic identity cards, rental agreement(s), utility bills or other proof of principal place of residency for the two years preceding the application, eg, contract of sale, lease arrangement or rental receipts for your place of residence up to two years old
Proof of residency in the Northern Territory Current address (against Medicare records) verified by the Australian Government Department of Human Services, current Northern Territory driver's licence or other official photographic identity card showing a Northern Territory residential address, rental agreement or utility bill
Proof of spousal relationship Medicare card showing the names of the eligible applicant, spouse and any children relocating to the Northern Territory, or other evidence acceptable to the department
Employment Written confirmation on the employer’s letterhead signed by an authorised person confirming the eligible applicant’s employment status
Due diligence checks on eligible applicant See definition of due diligence above
Local traders or authorised merchants expenditure check Records of expenditure by EFTPOS cards issued to eligible applicants

Your information will be managed in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles in the Information Act (NT). Please note the following:

  • your personal information may be held outside the Northern Territory (but will not be held outside Australia); and
  • the department will share your information with the following third parties:
    • your employer to confirm your ongoing employment
    • the Australian Government Department of Human Services, Motor Vehicle Registry, utility providers for the purpose of verifying your address
    • consultants or representatives of the department for the purposes of undertaking audits
    • the department’s authorised credit reporting body, and
    • third party providers for the purposes of delivering the program. 

You are able to access and seek correction of your personal information by contacting the Privacy Officer at Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, GPO Box 3200, Darwin, NT 0801, or by telephoning 08 8999 9172 or emailing centralrecords.dtbi@nt.gov.au

Eligible businesses and eligible applicants should note that it is a condition of participation in the program that all eligible applicants agree to the department publishing their details in the department’s annual report, and the department retains the right to publicise outputs of the program as it sees fit (but redacted of personal information of eligible applicants).

Eligible applicants are required to provide their consent for the Northern Territory Government to track spending on all EFTPOS cards issued, to ensure the integrity of the program is upheld.

7. Disclaimer, release and indemnity

By applying to participate and as a continuing obligation throughout any period of participation in the program, eligible applicants and eligible businesses declare and warrant to the department that they have read, understood and fully accept these terms and conditions and fully release indemnify and will keep indemnified the department against any loss or damage he / she / it / they may suffer of any nature whatsoever caused or contributed to by participation in the program.

Eligible applicants are solely responsible for obtaining their own independent legal and financial advice about the income tax and any other legal impact that receipt of incentives may have in their individual circumstances. For example, eligible applicants should make all necessary enquiries as to the possible effect of them claiming the incentives on any other entitlement they may have under any other law (for example, Centrelink), or program being run by any other government body.

8. Administration of the program

Every effort has been made to minimise red tape and simplify the application process. The department is always looking to improve processes and systems. Stakeholder feedback is welcomed and should be sent to territory.incentives@nt.gov.au with the subject line ‘Welcome to the Territory Program application feedback’.

Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Business and Workforce
t: 1800 193 111
e: territory.incentives@nt.gov.au

9. Program changes and end

The program will open 7 November 2018 and close on 31 October 2025, (or when the funding is fully committed, whichever comes first).

The department reserves the right to:

  • vary these terms and conditions, the eligibility criteria or any other documented rule or procedure relating to the program at any time without notice
  • accept or reject any application for participation in the program in its absolute discretion
  • cease the program at any time should Northern Territory Government policy change or the budget allocation for the program be re-prioritised.