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South Australian DAMA occupation list announced - Great for SA employers and skilled migrants

South Australian DAMA occupation list announced - Great for SA employers and skilled migrants

The South Australia government has released new details on the state's Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), including the list of eligible of occupations. 


DAMAs assist employers in filling skilled and semi-skilled positions which are facing a labour shortage in a designated area. A DAMA offers greater access to occupations and concessions on other criteria when compared to the standard Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 visa. Applications under the SA DAMA are also afforded priority visa processing with the Department of Home Affairs.

Applications under the SA DAMA will commence in early July 2019.

 

SA DAMA summary

The SA DAMA will come under two separate agreements, each with their own list of eligible occupations and concessions available:

Adelaide Innovation and Technology Agreement

  • 60 occupations are eligible
  • Restricted to employers in the Adelaide Metropolitan region (Greater Adelaide)
  • Age concessions to facilitate a permanent residency pathway
  • All occupations have a pathway to permanent residency via the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa.

 The full occupation list can be viewed here.

South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement

  • 114 occupations are eligible;
    • 78 occupations eligible for employers in the whole of South Australia.
    • 36 occupations eligible for employers in the postcode range 5110 to 5734 (non-metropolitan SA)
  • Concessions vary per occupation and include:
    • Skills and experience;
    • Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT);
    • English;
    • and age concessions to facilitate a permanent residency pathway
  • Only certain occupations have a pathway to permanent residency via the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa.

The full occupation list can be viewed here.

 

Concessions explained

It is important to note that not all concessions apply to every occupation. You will need to check your individual occupation on the list to see which apply. There are also several occupations listed that have no concessions available and are already eligible for the standard subclass 482 visa. In these cases it may not be necessary to apply under the DAMA , however priority processing will still be an advantage over the standard subclass 482 visa.

Occupation inclusions

The SA DAMA includes several popular occupations that will be of great interest to employers and prospective migrants. Some examples are:

  • Baker (351111)
  • Cook (351411)
  • Diesel Motor Mechanic (321212)
  • Enrolled Nurse (411411)
  • Motor Mechanic (General) (321211)

There are also a number of occupations included in the SA DAMA that are not on any other skilled occupation list. Below are some examples listed by the industry they will directly benefit:

Agriculture

  • Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers nec (841999)
  • Fishing Hand (899212)
  • Meat Process Worker (831311)
  • Production Horticulturalist *
  • Senior Production Horticulturalist *
  • Slaughterer (831212)

Healthcare

  • Aged or Disabled Carer (423111)
  • Nursing Support Worker (423312)
  • Personal Care Assistant (423313)
  • Therapy Aide (423314)

Mining and Construction

  • Driller (712211)
  • Earthmoving Plant Operator (General) (721211)
  • Loader Operator (721216)
  • Miner (712212)
  • Sand Blaster (711913)
  • Scaffolder (821712)
  • Shot Firer (712213)
  • Truck Driver (General (733111)

Film and Gaming

  • Digital Artist *
  • Senior Digital Artist *

Hospitality and Tourism

  • Passenger Coach Driver (731213)
  • Gaming Worker (431311)
  • Hotel or Motel Receptionist (542113)
  • Waiter (431511)

Note: * denotes that the occupation is not listed in ANZSCO and has been identified by the SA government.

Skills and experience

An applicant for the standard subclass 482 visa must hold the relevant skills assessment for the nominated position, however under certain occupations in the SA DAMA this will not be required. Currently only lower skilled occupations are eligible for this concession (ANZSCO skill level 4). Further details on whether there will be any concession to the two years of work experience requirement are not yet available. 

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)

The TSMIT which applies to the standard subclass 482 visa is currently set at AUD53,900 per annum. Under the SA DAMA concession, the TSMIT can be reduced by up to 10%, which indicates a minimum salary of AUD48,510 per annum. This amount is more closely aligned to award rates, particularly in trade occupations.

English

The standard subclass 482 visa has an English language requirement equivalent to an IELTS overall band score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 5 in each of the test components. The English concession available under the SA DAMA for certain occupations is equivalent to an IELTS overall band score of at least 4.5 with at least 4 in each of the test components.

Age

While the standard subclass 482 visa does not have any age requirements, applicants accessing permanent residency via the standard Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa must be less than 45 years of age. The SA DAMA includes an age concession that extends this to 50 or 55 years of age for selected occupations to facilitate permanent residency.

This concession is major advantage to those workers in the 45-54 age bracket who now have a much more promising pathway to permanent residency.

Pathway to permanent residency

The SA DAMA offers a pathway to permanent residency through the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa for a majority of the occupations listed. However full details of the requirements to qualify for permanent residency via this process are still to be provided. It is also important to note that the occupation must still be on the list at the time of the permanent residency application.

It is expected that applicants will need to hold the 482 visa for at least three years before being eligible for permanent residency. So even with some age concessions in place, applicants will need to consider what their age will be at the time of lodgement for permanent residency. For example, if there is a permanent residency age concession of up to 50 years of age, but if the applicant is 48 when they are granted the 482 visa, they will not be eligible to apply after three years having turned 51. 

 

How long will a DAMA application take?

At this ealry stage, it is expected that a DAMA application will take at least three months. This includes around one month to be endorsed by the state government and around two months to receive a standard employer sponsorship approval. Once applications commence, we will have a better understanding of how long the process takes, but it is reasonable to say that a DAMA will not be able to address an employer's urgent need for staff.

 

What does this mean for industry and employers?

The SA DAMA provides a range of benefits to South Australia industries and employers. Of particular note are industries such as film and gaming, hospitality and tourism, agriculture, mining and construction, and the healthcare sector. In particular, several occupations that are otherwise not available for skilled migration have been included meaning that employers will now be able address these skills shortages. The TSMIT concessions will benefit employers in regional areas and bring salaries closer in-line with award rates for trade occupations.

In the development of the SA DAMA, industry and employers were able to provide input into the occupation list and concessions. It is positive to see that many aspects of the submission by the Migration Institute of Australia (SA Committee) have been adopted, particularily around the expansion of occupations available in the agriculture, construction and mining sectors.

 

What does this mean for employees and graduates?

The concessions provided in the SA DAMA, particularly around age and pathways to permanent residency, means that people will have more opportunities to stay in South Australia. Whether any work experience concessions will be available, a requirement that is otherwise difficult for international graduates to achieve, are yet to be made available.

Overall, the SA DAMA provides more opportunities for skilled migrants to work and settle in South Australia.

 

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Partner Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Featured

Australian Immigration: In-Depth Review of Changes From 2018-2019

Australian Immigration: In-Depth Review of Changes From 2018-2019

Throughout the 2018/2019 programme year, Australian immigration has witnessed some massive changes. These changes range from new government, policy changes, the abolishment of the 457 visa, and new visas being implemented. Scroll the index below to find an in-depth summary of changes and what we predict will come in 2019.

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Featured

Skills Assessments & Occupation Lists for Australian TSS 482 And Employer-Sponsored Permanent Resident Visas

Skills Assessments & Occupation Lists for Australian TSS 482 And Employer-Sponsored Permanent Resident Visas

Australian Occupation Lists & Skills Assessments for TSS Subclass 482 Visa, Employer Sponsored Permanent Visa - ENS 186 - RSMS 187 - Vetassess (Direct Streams & Temporary Resident Transition Streams) 

We are often approached by clients who are confused as to whether their occupation requires a skills assessment in order to be eligible for a TSS subclass 482 visa or other employer-sponsored visa.

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Australian SkillSelect Invitation Round Results July 2018: More Struggles and Stress for Accountants, Engineers, and ICT Occupations

Australian SkillSelect Invitation Round Results July 2018: More Struggles and Stress for Accountants, Engineers, and ICT Occupations

Home Affairs has released the first SkillSelect round invitation results for the 2018-19 program year.

The invitation round to apply for the Skilled - Independent (subclass 189) and Skilled - Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) was conducted on 11 July 2018. This month there were 1000 Independent 189 Visa invitations while only 10 Regional 489 Visa invitations sent. The total number of positions planned for the 2018-19 Skilled Independent Visa remains at 43,990.

Invitation rounds are anticipated to run on the 11th day of each month. Dates for the rounds are subject to change but expect the points to remain high at 70 points or higher within this program year.

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Hot News: Employers to be Burnt by High Costs of Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy for the TSS Subclass 482 Visa, Subclass 457 Visa, ENS Subclass 186 Visa and Subclass RSMS 187 Visa Coming In Effect From 12 August 2018.

Hot News: Employers to be Burnt by High Costs of Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy for the TSS Subclass 482 Visa, Subclass 457 Visa, ENS Subclass 186 Visa and Subclass RSMS 187 Visa Coming In Effect From 12 August 2018.

If you are looking to apply for a TSS subclass 482 visa, subclass 457 visa, ENS subclass 186 Visa or  subclass RSMS 187 visa subclass and you have all of your documents ready to lodge the application, you can avoid the Skilling Australians Fund by lodging it on or before 11 August 2018.


If you still have advertising to complete or have too much work left to do to complete the nomination application before 12 August 2018, it is likely that you will need to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund Levy.

The Skilling Australians Fund will affect any applications lodged on or after 12 August 2018.

This is going to cause significant additional charges to employers on top of the current application charges.

As we have previously written about, the Skilling Australians Fund is a levy which will be imposed on applications to nominate a foreign worker under a subclass 482, subclass 457, subclass 186 or subclass 187 visa.

 

How Much Does The New Skilling Australians Fund Levy Cost?

The size of your businesses contribution to the levy will vary based on the particular application, as well as the size of the business.

If you are a small to medium business with turnover of less than $10,000,000, your contribution will be less than for a large business with yearly turnover of $10,000,000 or more.

 

Table

 

What Exceptions Are There?

The following kinds of applications are exempted from paying the relevant contribution charge:

  • Subclass 482 visas lodged under the Labour Agreement stream
  • Subclass 186 visas lodged under the Labour Agreement stream
  • If the nomination is for the occupation of Minister of Religion (ANZSCO: 272211) or Religious Assistant (ANZSCO: 451816)

For any of the above applications, the contribution amount is cut down to $0.

 

Meeting The Training Benchmarks

Any applications lodged before 12 August 2018 will still need to continue to meet their training obligations under the current scheme. If you are currently sponsoring an employee or are planning to lodge a nomination before 12 August 2018, you will need to continue to keep clear records and spend:

  • Spend 1% of payroll on the training of your Australian employees, or
  • Contribute 2% to a industry training fund

For nominations on or after 12 August 2018, you will no longer need to meet the training benchmarks. It is important to be careful, however, if you have a blend of pre- and post-SAF nominees. If you have an employee who is looking to use the Temporary Residence Transition stream of 186/187 for a permanent application after holding a 457/482 which was nominated pre-SAF, you will need to show at the time of application that the training benchmarks have been met for all the sponsorship years.

There may be some cases of employers with a large payroll and low utilisation of the employer-sponsored migration scheme where the replacement of the Training Benchmarks with the Skilling Australians Fund Levy will bring an advantage.

 

Can The Nominee / Visa Applicant Pay The Skilling Australians Fund Levy Contribution?

No. Even if they want to, the SAF Levy Contribution has been added to the list of costs which cannot be recovered or transferred to anyone other than the nominating entity (the sponsoring business or organization).

 

Watch Out!

While a lot of the focus is on the Temporary Skills Shortage subclass 482 visa, if you are nominating an employee who already holds a subclass 457 visa and is moving to you from their previous employer, you will still need to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund Levy.

 

What If?

There is an interesting provision in the Instrument which has provided the date for the Skilling Australians Fund to be brought in. It says that if section 3 of the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Act 2018 does not commence (as it is always possible that things might change), then these regulations will not commence either.

If you are considering nominating an employee, it is important that you keep a very close eye on news about the Fund as the 12 August 2018 draws nearer.

 

What Will This Mean Overall?

With the increasing financial friction to nominating an employee for an employer-sponsored visa, it is likely that we will continue to see the number of applications under this stream decrease, even faster than we have previously noted.

 

Comments From Chris Johnston

I expect that the introduction of the Skilling Australians Fund on 12 August 2018 is likely to reduce even further the already restricted number of applications we are seeing for employer-sponsored visas. A lot of applications will probably not go ahead because of the Skilling Australians Fund.

While the Department have projected high expected revenue from this levy, the decrease in the number of applications is likely to strongly affect this. These estimates may be out by up to 50%-75% due to the effect of dicincentivisation not being accounted for.

 

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956 

or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sources:

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At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Student Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business visas, Employer-Sponsored visas, Partner, and other Family Migration visas, as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review, and Ministerial Intervention. Based in Adelaide South Australia, our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents provide migration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

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