Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is to encourage economies in regional Australia by providing job opportunities to Skilled and Semi Skilled workers. Regional Australia has been experiencing both labour and skills shortage, with the DAMA in place employers in designated areas experiencing labour shortages can sponsor overseas workers.DAMA falls within the type of labour agreement stream provided by Home Affairs.
The DAMA is a two-tier agreement:
- the first tier consists of an overarching three-year deed of agreement with a designated area representative setting out occupations, ceilings and concessions; and
- the second tier comprising individual labour agreements with direct employers.
DAMA covers TSS subclass 482 and ENS subclass 186 visa programme. DAMA requires the business to negotiate a Labour Agreement (LA) Structure which includes requirements to ensure that Australian workers as well as those holding permanent residency always get priority over foreign employees. In easy words which means employer needs to satisfy Labour Market Testing in order to recruit an overseas worker.
To understand DAMA, business or visa applicant needs to have a thorough understanding of Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa subclass 482 visa (article earlier published on educationembassy.com.au) can be accessed. The minimum salary threshold (or TSMIT) for the 482 visa, which is AU$53,900, will also apply to workers under DAMA but up to 10 per cent salary concession will be applicable on certain occupations. Additionally,under DAMA visa applicant may get concession to English, Skills as well as other requirements.
Currently, NT DAMA II came into existence on 1st January 2019. NT DAMA currently offers 117 skilled and semi-skilled occupations, as well as offering permanent pathways to DAMA visa holders. NT DAMA Occupation List can be accessed here: https://business.nt.gov.au/business/migration-information-for-business/northern-territory-designated-area-migration-agreement/occupations-included-in-the-agreement.
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. Great South Coast region in Victoria; Pilbara and the Kalgoorlie-Boulder regions in Western Australia, Cairns in far North Queensland, and the Orana region in central NSW are currently negotiating with the Government on range of occupations specially in agriculture, hospitality and other Level 4 occupations to fill critical employment gaps in their respective regions.
Businesses can access the DAMA if they are actively operating in a particular state 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 State Specific 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.
Step 1: If the business is eligible to access NT DAMA, a letter of endorsement and copies of the supporting documents will be sent to the Australian Government and the business.
Step 2: The businesses can then apply for a labour agreement through their Migration Agents.
Step 3: The business identifies an overseas worker that is suitably skilled and experienced for the occupation that has DAMA approval. The business submits a nomination application to the Australian Government for every overseas worker, business want to employ under the DAMA
Step 4: Nominee or prospective applicant lodges their visa application after satisfying TSS subclass 482 nomination and DAMA requirements.
Unions, businesses, and community stakeholders must consult us or their Migration agents prior to requesting participation in the DAMA.There are important definitions determined by the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) that you need to fulfil in order to satisfy requirement of DAMA. It’s a complex process which involves lot of work and depth knowledge of Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa subclass 482 visa and specific Labour Agreements. Our professional team of Migration agents will help assess your eligibility keeping in mind Migration Regulations and Migration Act of 1958.
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