All you need to know about Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)

What is DAMA?

Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a formal agreement between the Australian Government and a regional, state or territory authority. It provides access to more overseas workers than the standard skilled migration program. DAMAs operate under an agreement-based framework, providing flexibility for regions to respond to their unique economic and labour market conditions.

There are 4 areas that are currently applying DAMA: Warrnambool (Victoria state), South Australia (Adelaide and surrounded suburbs), Northern Territory and Goldfields. There are several areas are working on DAMA including far North Queensland and Orana (NSW state).

DAMA is mostly based on the Employer Scheme Visas (Visa 186/187/482) with Visa Stream based on “Labour Agreement”. There are a few advantages of DAMA which are a few conditions between applicants and employers will be deducted in DAMA’s areas.

There are a few conditions that need to be met when applying DAMA:

  • Individuals need to be sponsored by an employer operating in Designated Regions.
  • At least 2 years of experiences in the industry
  • Relevant qualifications
  • Minimum English Requirements

Again, depends on the designated areas, a few conditions can be waived.

Benefits for applicants when applying DAMA in designated areas:

DAMA will open for some of the occupations that not in the Visa 482 occupational list, hence employers in designated areas can hire potential oversea candidates. Moreover, DAMA will allow some of the occupations in 482 STSOL (Short-Term Stream Occupational List) going to Permanent Resident. For example, Occupations such as Chef, Cook or Automotive Electrician are benefited in DAMA Occupational list.

From Employer perspective

In designated areas that applying DAMA, employees need to apply 482 Visa to get sponsorship. Employers in designated DAMA areas must meet several requirements in order to do sponsorship:

  • Have been operating at least 12 months before any sponsorship.
  • Have the needs for recruitment and cannot find the right candidate in local areas
  • Employers have to make sure migrant candidates also receive all of the benefits same with local employees such as working hour and salary.

Applicants need to meet all of the requirements for Visa 482. After 3 years working with employers in designated areas DAMA, applicants can continue to apply for 186 Visa to obtain Permanent Resident.

Please note that all of the information above is general. Migration regulations are constantly changing over the years and to have a satisfactory understanding of your opportunities, it is recommended to book a consultation with our registered migration agent to know about the latest employment and migration opportunities.

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