Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)

What Is A DAMA?

The Australian Designated Area Migration Agreement also referred to as the “DAMA” or “DAMA visa,” is intended to assist employers operating in a specific are through sponsoring skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local Australian workers.

The DAMA is a labour agreement for a designated area that can provide access to a larger amount of occupations and may have lower requirements. The DAMA labour agreement allows employers to be approved to sponsor migrant workers through the TSS 482 and the 186 visa streams. Skilled and semi-skilled workers in occupations which are not on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) may be able to access skilled Australian migration through the DAMA program.

Once a business is approved to be a sponsor under the DAMA, the business will be opened up to a wider range of potential skilled occupations to sponsor.

Who Needs The DAMA?

While the DAMA is focused on the needs of regional business, applicants that would be interested in the DAMA include; semi-skilled, skilled, and other workers looking to live and work in regional areas in Australia. 

Essentially, the DAMA is for Australian business, in regional areas, who are unable to fill positions within their company using an Australian worker. If accepted through a skilled migration stream and the DAMA, the skilled migrant may be given priority processing to receive a temporary entry or permanent residency.

Note: The NT DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program and individual workers cannot apply for a visa independently.

Why Choose The DAMA?

The Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) is the only DAMA which (at the time of publication) has published their DAMA requirements. With that being said, the NT DAMA has outlined some positive allowances applicants can receive through the DAMA.

The concessions available under the NT DAMA include:

  • English requirement concessions (IELTS overall 5 with a minimum of 5.6 in speaking and listening only, NO minimum requirement for writing and reading)
  • Skills concessions for certain occupations
  • Broader occupation lists compared to the TSS short-term and medium-term lists. These are more adapted to the local needs of NT businesses.
  • Employment conditions are better aligned with local conditions – more flexibility in employment contracts compared to the rigid requirements for short-term and medium-term stream TSS.
Concessions for the Warrnambool and South Australian DAMAs, are not available at the date of publication.

DAMA Visa Applicable Locations

Currently, the only DAMA actively accepting applications is the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement Mark 2 (“NT DAMA Mk II”). It is Mk II as it replaced the previous Northern Territory’s DAMA. While the Northern Territory has a DAMA, and the Great South Coast including the Warrnambool area of Victoria will soon have a DAMA. There are potentially more areas to be added in the near future including, Orana region of NSW, Pilbara and the Kalgoorlie-Boulder regions in WA, as well as Cairns in Far North Queensland.

General Criteria For The DAMA

The DAMA program uses the “labour agreement” stream of the Temporary Skills Shortage (“TSS”) subclass 482 Visa and the Employer Nomination Scheme (“ENS”) subclass 186 visa. Thus, the DAMA does not necessarily have its own requirements. The “DAMA requirements” are subject to the requirements of the stream the skilled migrant is applying through.

The Designated area has requirements for endorsement of a labour agreement which must be met. In fact, the criteria for the DAMA is based around lowering the requirements for the 482 visa and 186 visa.

Some lower requirements include:

  • English Concessions
  • TSMIT Concessions
  • Lower Minimum Pay

The DAMA Application Process

Applying for a visa under the DAMA program is a 4 step process.

The below is tailored to the NT program, however, similar steps are likely to apply once another designated area is open for applications.

  1. The sponsoring business applies to the designated area body (such as the Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business, and Innovation “DBTI”) for endorsement of your business’ labour agreement
  2. The sponsoring business applies to the Department of Home Affairs for a labour agreement
  3. The sponsoring business applies to the Department of Home Affairs for the nomination of an individual worker under the labour agreement
  4. The worker applies for a TSS 482 visa under the labour agreement stream

Northern Territory DAMA Occupation List

The table below outlines the occupation list released for the NT DAMA as it is the only DAMA (at the time of publication) that has a designated occupation list.

Review the list to see if your occupation is eligible for English and/or TSMIT concessions.

*Notes:

  • For TSMIT concessions, all workers within the DAMA must still be paid the same or more as an Australian that would be doing the same occupation.
  • Some occupations are not ANZSCO occupations and have their own duty list, developed by the NT Government.

ANZSCO CODE

OCCUPATION

ANZSCO SKILL LEVEL

ENGLISH CONCESSION MAY BE AVAILABLE

TSMIT CONCESSION MAY BE AVAILABLE

221111

Accountant – general

1

   

551111

Accounts clerk

4

423111

Aged or disabled carer

4

 

721111

Agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operator

4

231111

Airplane pilot^

1

   

342111

Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic^

3

 

323111

Aircraft maintenance engineer – avionics^

3

 

323112

Aircraft maintenance engineer – mechanical^

3

 

121111

Aquaculture farmer

1

362212

Arborist

3

 

321111

Automotive electrician

3

 

351111

Baker

3

070499#

Bar attendant – supervisor^

4

431112

Barista

4

451111

Beauty therapist

4

 

121312

Beef cattle farmer

1

551211

Bookkeeper

4

731211

Bus driver^

4

351211

Butcher or smallgoods maker

3

394111

Cabinetmaker

3

 

342411

Cabler – data and telecommunications

3

 

141111

Café or restaurant manager

2

 

331212

Carpenter

3

 

351311

Chef

2

 

111111

Chief executive or managing director

1

   

421111

Childcare worker^

4

 

134111

Childcare centre manager^

1

   

312212

Civil engineering technician

2

 

411711

Community worker

2

 

149311

Conference and event organizer

2

 

351411

Cook

3

070499

Cook – specialist ethnic cuisine

3

149212

Customer service manager

2

 

442213

Crowd controller^

4

 

899211

Deckhand^

4

423211

Dental assistant

4

 

321212

Diesel motor mechanic

3

 

411712

Disabilities services officer

2

 

399911

Diver

3

241111

Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher^

1

   

721211

Earthmoving plant operator – general

4

311412

Earth science technician

2

 

342211

Electrical linesworker^

3

 

342314

Electronic instrument trades worker – general

3

 

721214

Excavator operator

4

149913

Facilities manager

2

   

421112

Family day care worker^

4

 

411713

Family support worker

2

 

323211

Fitter – general

3

 

323212

Fitter and turner

3

 

323213

Fitter-welder

3

 

332111

Floor finisher

3

231113

Flying instructor^

1

   

721311

Forklift driver

4

121213

Fruit or nut grower

1

431311

Gaming worker

4

142114

Hair or beauty salon manager

2

 

391111

Hairdresser

3

313111

Hardware technician

2

 

141311

Hotel or motel manager

2

 

542113

Hotel or motel receptionist

4

 

431411

Hotel service manager

3

313112

ICT customer support officer

2

 

313199

ICT support technicians nec

2

 

272412

Interpreter^

1

   

362213

Landscape gardener

3

 

141411

Licensed club manager

2

 

721912

Line Marker

4

221112

Management Accountant

1

   

225113

Marketing specialist

1

 

322311

Metal fabricator

3

 

121411

Mixed crop and livestock farmer

1

121216

Mixed crop farmer

1

121317

Mixed livestock farmer

1

321211

Motor mechanic – general

3

 

899411

Motor vehicle parts and accessories fitter – general

4

621311

Motor vehicle or caravan salesperson

4

 

621312

Motor vehicle parts interpreter

4

321213

Motorcycle mechanic

3

 

423312

Nursing support worker

4

 

512111

Office manager

2

   

421114

Out of school hours care worker^

4

 

324111

Panelbeater

3

423313

Personal care assistant

4

 

311215

Pharmacy technician

2

 

334111

Plumber – general^

3

 

322312

Pressure Welder

3

 

511112

Program or project administrator

2

   

612112

Property manager

3

   

272612

Recreation officer

1

   

411715

Residential care worker

2

 

142111

Retail manager – general

2

 

621511

Retail supervisor

4

 

131112

Sales and marketing manager

1

   

322211

Sheetmetal trades worker

3

231212

Ship’s engineer

1

 

231213

Ship’s master^

1

   

321214

Small engine mechanic

3

 

399516

Sound technician

3

133611

Supply and distribution manager

1

 

221113

Taxation accountant

1

   

342412

Telecommunications cable jointer

3

 

342413

Telecommunications line worker

3

 

342414

Telecommunications technician

3

 

423314

Therapy Aide

4

 

451412

Tour guide

4

733111

Truck driver – general^

4

121221

Vegetable grower

1

324311

Vehicle painter

3

361311

Veterinary nurse

3

 

070499#

Waiter supervisor

4

712921

Wastewater or water plant operator

4

   

313113

Web administrator

2

 

232414

Web designer

1

 

322313

Welder – first class

3

 

272613

Welfare worker

1

 

411716

Youth worker

2

 


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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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