The Complete Guide To DAMA In Australia

So, you’re looking to live and work in Australia? Here is your complete guide to the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA).

The struggle for Australian employers to find qualified workers in regional areas is increasing. Fortunately, the introduction of the DAMA agreement aims to tackle this.

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What is the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)?

The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) employer-sponsored visa (subclass 482) under the labour agreement stream.

The DAMA is for employers in regional areas who are finding it challenging to recruit skilled and semi-skilled employees for their workforce. It allows employers to enter into an agreement with the Australian Government to sponsor individuals in niche market occupations.

DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa for skilled and semi-skilled workers available in 7 regional areas in Australia. The first  DAMA was established in the Northern Territory in 2015. 

Why is DAMA important for employers and individuals?

If you are an employer:

This unique visa program can help you gain access to overseas workers through sponsorship who have the skills and experience. There are concessions for age, for English language skills, as well as for the salary that you have to pay your workers.

If you are an individual:

The DAMA allows you to obtain permanent residency in Australia through employer sponsorship when the occupation would typically not allow for this through traditional visa pathways. It also provides  Permanent Residency pathways for migrants over 45 years of age due to an age concession. 

Workers cannot apply for this type of visa independently. Instead, they must talk to their potential employer about whether they are eligible and can access the DAMA.

Currently, the following regions have signed DAMA agreements with the Department of Home Affairs:

  • Far North Queensland DAMA
  • Goldfields DAMA
  • Northern Territory DAMA
  • Orana DAMA
  • Pilbara DAMA
  • South Australia DAMA
  • Warrnambool DAMA

Related: Top 10 Reasons to Live and Work in Regional Australia

What are the DAMA visa requirements?

If you are an employer:

Employers are required to provide several documents of supporting evidence to confirm eligibility in their application for sponsorship. These include financial reports, Business Activity Statements (BAS) and evidence of any new sales or contracts won.

It is also worth noting that employers are required to pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF Levy), as a contribution towards the training of Australian workers.

If you are an individual:

You first need to find an employer who is willing to nominate you. For this to happen, the employer must be located in one of the designated regions of Australia and will have to enter into an agreement with the government to be able to sponsor an individual like yourself.

Before talking to a potential employer about the DAMA, you should first check to see whether the specific occupation qualifies under this type of visa.

You also need to meet the relevant skills requirements which vary between occupations.

It’s important to remember that some of these jobs will have concessions. These may include:

Can you find an employer to sponsor you in the region?

Yes, the most effective way for job seekers to explore the opportunities available to them is by:

1) Understanding the requirements that businesses must have in order to qualify for DAMA in the state they are wanting to work in.

For instance, in the Northern Territory businesses can access the NT DAMA if they are actively operating in the NT and:

  • are viable and have been operating for at least 12 months
  • have no history of not meeting its obligations to employees
  • are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that align with one of the occupations on the NT DAMA list
  • can demonstrate they cannot fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.

2) Contacting prospective employers via local job networks and job listing sites to verify that they can access the DAMA. 

What are the DAMA visa jobs or DAMA 117 occupations?

Each specific regional area has a list of occupations that need to be filled. This means that no list is exactly the same for each area. The lists are quite extensive and there are lots of different jobs on there that can’t be found on other government-related lists.

Is there a DAMA occupation list for northern territory?

Absolutely! There is a long list of occupations that are eligible for sponsorship under the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA).

Who are DAMA approved employers, or where can I find a list?

To determine whether an employer is DAMA approved, you can simply scroll through the list of current labour agreements. If an employer isn’t on this list, it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be open to becoming DAMA approved.

With our consultation, we would also always encourage you to have an exploratory conversation with the employer about becoming DAMA approved.

Australian visa application process

As part of the visa application process, certain primary Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) applicants must undertake a mandatory skills assessment for the authorities to evaluate the abilities of a worker.

What next? How to apply for DAMA Australia?

We are Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers, and we are experienced in the DAMA. That means we can provide you with information and advice, as well as assist you with the five steps of the application process.

To clearly understand the application process, we break it down into four simple steps:

  1. Application for endorsement
  2. Application for the labour agreement
  3. Skills Verification
  4. Application for nomination
  5. Visa Application

So, if you’re interested in getting advice, or know that you want to apply, we’re ready to help you at every stage of the process. To get started, simply:

  1. Download our free visa guide, or 
  2. Book a consultation with an experienced migration consultant
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24 Comments

  1. Joji Fatumu Ledua on February 14, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Dear Northern Immigration Australia,

    Thanks so much for providing this information – very helpful!
    I would like to move and work in the DAMA region with my family (wife and 2 kids). Can you assist me?
    I’m a fire fighter in Fiji with 6 years of experience and also an Ambulance driver for 1 year now. I also have a Diploma in Sports Sciences.

    I’ve heard great things about your migration agents and success rate. I hope you can be my agent too!

    • Northern Immigration Australia on February 14, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      Dear Joji,

      Thanks for your kind words. Yes, we are happy to assist you! The 1st step is to book a consultation so we can provide you with advice & assistance. Please book your appointment here.
      Since you are overseas we can speak with you via Skype or WhatsApp.

      We look forward to assisting you and your family!

    • Sattibabu Yedida on February 15, 2020 at 1:07 am

      Dear NIA,

      I’m a plumber and very interested in the DAMA Visa program. I would like to enquire about your immigration services as I need professional assistance to help with my application!

      • Northern Immigration Australia on February 16, 2020 at 1:36 pm

        Dear Sattibabu,

        Thanks for your comment!
        Plumbers are in high demand in Australia! You may be able to apply for a visa and we are happy to help you with the application process. But first we need to assess your eligibility and see what options you have, including DAMA. Please book your appointment to speak with one of our immigration lawyers here.
        We are excited for you! Speak soon.

  2. Olusegun Olubiyi on February 14, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Great article, thanks NIA!

    I would like to come to Australia to get a job and live there with my family. I really hope you can help me? I am a Nigerian living in South Africa at the moment.

    Thank you.

    • Northern Immigration Australia on February 14, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      Dear Olusegun,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes sure, we can help you and your family! You would need to undergo an eligibility check so we can assess which visas you are eligible for, including DAMA Visa. Please book your eligibility assessment here
      We look forward to assisting you!

  3. Daud on February 14, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing the information, very good!

    I am 33 yrs old and would like to migrate to Australia. Can you help me?

    THANK YOU.

  4. Shwe Zin Win on February 15, 2020 at 12:13 am

    Dear Northern Immigration Australia,

    Thanks for this very interesting visa guide. I am 25 years I would like to get a job at Australia and migrate there with my family? I am living in Myanmar and I really hope you can help me and my family to migrate.
    Thank you so much.

    • Northern Immigration Australia on February 16, 2020 at 1:32 pm

      Dear Shwe Zin Win,

      Thanks for your kind words.
      We are more than happy to help you and your family migrate to Australia. Please book your appointment to speak with one of our immigration lawyers and get advice & assistance!

      • MURUGAIYAN MUTHAMIZHARASAN on February 18, 2020 at 7:49 pm

        Hi NIA,

        I am from India Tamil Nadu. I am 45 years old and I have experience of 18 years driving heavy vehicles. I have an Indian driving licence an I’m very interested in the DAMA visa.
        Please can help me.
        Thank you.

  5. Nei on February 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Hi NIA,

    The DAMA program sounds like a great visa option! Thanks for providing this information for free!

    I am 45 years old and have 20 years experience in carpentry, joinery, partitioning and suspended ceiling installing.
    I have City and Guilds level 1 and 2.
    Can you advise if I would be able live and work in Australia? Maybe through DAMA?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on February 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      Dear Nei,
      Thanks for your kind feedback. We love sharing our knowledge and helping people achieving their dream of a future in Australia!
      Carpenters are in high demand in Australia and the DAMA Visa program allows for age concessions. So there may be a pathway for you to live and work in Australia. Please contact us for a consultation to assess your qualifications and work experience and see if what visas you qualify!
      Speak soon.

  6. Taremeredzwa T Mwakutuya on February 15, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Good afternoon Northern Immigration Australia,

    Great article – thank you for sharing this with your audience.
    I’m a beauty therapist and hairdresser with 15 years experience. I’m currently living in South Africa but I am originally from Zimbabwe.
    Can you help me?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on February 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks for your comment!
      Yes, absolutely we can help you! Beauty therapist and hairdressers are able to get visas in Australia, including DAMA and more visa options! Please book your consultation so we can provide you with advice & assistance.
      Talk soon!

  7. Madhankumar on March 31, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Hi Northern Immigration Australia!

    Thanks for providing this guide, very helpful indeed!
    I am from India and I have 5 years experience in fabrication and welding. I want to work in Australia and apply for the DAMA visa program. How can I get a job in Australia? Is welding an occupation in demand in Australia?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on March 31, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      Dear Madhankumar,

      Thanks for your comment! That’s great you are interested in the DAMA program. Welder is definitely a skill in demand in Australia!
      Please book a consultation with one of our Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers so we can assess your visa eligibility and provide you with advice about visa, immigration and employment in Australia! You can book your appointment for a video consultation by Skype or WhatsApp here.
      We look forward to assisting you!

  8. AMEER on June 25, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Northern Immigration Australia,
    Thanks for this great guide of Regional Visas in Australia. I would like to apply. What is the best way to contact you? Can I have your WhatsApp?
    Thank you.

    • Northern Immigration Australia on June 25, 2020 at 7:07 pm

      Dear Ameer,
      Thanks for your kind words. We would be happy to assist you with your Regional Visa in Australia!
      You can contact us here, and book a consultation here
      Speak soon!

  9. Sreenusreekumar on July 10, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    Dear Northern Immigration Australia,

    I am Sreenu and currently working in Dubai. I am interested to migrate to Australia. Can you help me?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on July 11, 2020 at 10:26 am

      Hi Sreenu,

      Thanks for your enquiry. Yes, we can help you! The 1st step is to book a consultation online so we can assess what visas you are eligible for. Please book your appointment here

  10. Anandhu S Krishnan on July 12, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Dear Northern Immigration Australia,

    I am Anandhu S Krishnan and I completed a Diploma in Civil Engineering. I am a graduate. I am interested to migrate to Australia. Can you help me?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on July 12, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      Dear Anandhu,

      Thanks for your enquiry. Civil Engineers are in high demand in Australia! Please contact us for a consultation so we can assess your visa options. You can book your appointment online here

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