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Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)

Designated Area Migration Agreements (‘DAMA’) are not designed for individual workers to apply for a visa, but one of the Labour Agreements under the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 scheme.

DAMAs are for employers in designated areas to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers when they experience shortages in skills and labour supply.

Under DAMAs, employers are required to ensure their first priority is recruiting Australian citizens and permanent residents; the employers need to make sure they prioritise initiatives and strategies to facilitate the recruitment and retention of Australian workers.

Sponsors/employers will need to negotiate and enter into a Labour Agreement with the Australian government before an overseas worker can be sponsored under the DAMA scheme and granted with a Subclass 482 visa.

There is the possibility for this visa (if approved) to lead to Permanent Residency after a specified time of employment on the Subclass 482 visa.

Current Designated Area Migration Agreements

At time of publishing this article, only one DAMA covering the Northern Territory is in place.

DAMAs have been signed for South Australia and Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia. In the meantime, the Australian government is in negotiation with several other Designated Areas to implement the DAMA scheme and benefit the designated areas.

Who is eligible to apply for DAMA?

Businesses can access the DAMA if they are actively operating in one of the above-mentioned designated areas and:

Occupations

Occupations are identified after industry consultation with lists being updated on a regular basis.

Concessions

Some occupations have English and/ or TSMIT concessions however there must be a strong business case to support it.

The salary offered must be the same as an Australian citizen or permanent resident could expect doing the same job in the same location.

DAMA Application Process

  1. application to receive endorsement to access Labour agreement under DAMA with regional area migration
  2. receive endorsement and forward to the Department of Home Affairs
  3. application for Labour Agreement
  4. identification of overseas worker by employer
  5. lodge applicants’ nomination
  6. visa application

Please be aware that there is no guarantee that the Australian Government will grant a Labour Agreement even with the regional area endorsement.

Fees and Charges for Designated Area Migration Agreements

There are no charges for:

Fees apply for nomination application, skilling Australian Fund levy and 482 visa application charges.

Pathway to Permanent Residency under DAMA

Northern Territory DAMA provides a pathway way for overseas workers to permanent residency.

The current pathway to permanent residency is through the subclass 186 (labour agreement stream)

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