Designated Area Migration Agreement, DAMA
The Department of Home Affairs describes DAMAs this way:
“A Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) provides flexibility for states, territories or regions to respond to their unique economic and labour market conditions through an agreement-based framework.
“Under the DAMA framework, employers in designated areas experiencing skills and labour shortages can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers.”
“We currently have seven DAMAs in place:
- Northern Territory: Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement
- The Goldfields, WA: City of Kalgoorlie Boulder
- Great South Coast, VIC: Warrnambool City Council
- Adelaide City and Regional SA: Immigration South Australia
- Orana, NSW: Regional Development Australia – Orana, NSW
- Far North Queensland: Cairns Chamber of Commerce DAMA – Cairns Chamber of Commerce, FNQ”
Source: Department of Home Affairs.
Of these seven DAMAs, currently the most fully implemented seem to be those in the Northern Territory and South Australia.
Northern Territory DAMA
The Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation describes the Northern Territory DAMA thus:
“The new Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) lets the Northern Territory (NT) employers sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers. It is the second version of the NT DAMA and applies to the whole of the NT and is tailored to address current and emerging labour market shortages and local terms and conditions of employment.
“NT DAMA utilises the labour agreement stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), businesses enter into a labour agreement with the Australian Government and workers are then granted a subclass 482 visa.
“Note: The NT DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program and individual workers cannot apply for a visa independently.
“The key elements of NT DAMA are:
*pathways to permanent residency for NT DAMA visa holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders)
*a broad range of occupations that reflect NT skilled and semi-skilled shortages, with no caveats to apply
*English language concessions for some occupations
*salary concessions that reflect NT market rates, ensuring that worker terms and conditions of employment are not eroded, and NT businesses and consumers are not subjected to inflationary costs
*a range of risk and integrity actions to ensure that the rights of both employees and employers are protected
*a five year agreement to reduce red tape.”
South Australia DAMA
SBS reports that “South Australia has announced the list of approved occupations for sponsorship under the state’s Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) with the federal government.”
“The South Australia Government has entered into a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) with the federal government, which was announced last month.
“This agreement is to help businesses and other employers find skilled overseas workers for sectors facing skill shortages.”
Three other DAMAs are in regional Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement
The Far North Queensland DAMA is now operational and managed through the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s website notes:
“The Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (FNQ DAMA) allows Far North Queensland (FNQ) employers to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers. The FNQ DAMA is tailored to address current and emerging labour market shortages and local terms and conditions of employment.” Learn more about the Far North Queensland DAMA.
The Great South Coast Region/Warnambool, Victoria DAMA
Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia DAMA
The Future of DAMAs
Although the current federal government is promoting Regional visas and DAMAs, it remains to be seen how helpful DAMAs will be to foreign skilled workers and if the DAMAs will actually be easier to apply for and obtain than other visas.
Your Regional Australia Visa Agents
If you wish to learn more about DAMAs and Regional visas and your suitability for them, contact Migration Ways to book a consultation with one of our registered Australian visa specialists.
If you are aged between 18-31 and from an eligible country, including now Greece, check out Australia’s Working Holiday visas.
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