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Immigration Consultant | Posted on |

Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) – The Future of Immigration?


The new Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) lets the Northern Territory (NT) employers sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for work visa Subclass 482.

The agreement allows employers to sponsor skilled workers for occupations which are not available under the standard visa arrangements, with some concessions for English language necessity and salary levels.

And for the first time ever, a pathway to PR Visa is being offered under DAMA.

A broader range of occupations is available for work visa sponsorship. Occupations that are not normally in the work visa program have been added in this agreement such as Aged or Disabled carers, Hotel receptionists, Truck/forklift drivers, account clerk/bookkeeper, car salespersons, and many other occupations.

The NT DAMA is unique in that it provides access to three occupations that are not available in the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO).

These are:

Bar attendant (supervisor)

Waiter (supervisor)

Cook (specialist ethnic cuisine)

Other Benefits of DAMA include:

A wide range of occupations available for sponsorship, with no conditions that apply.

pathways to PR Visa for NT DAMA visa holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders)

English language concessions for some occupations.

Salary concessions that in some aspects however these are generally specific from state to state, ensuring that worker terms and conditions of employment are not eroded, and state 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 guarded.

A five year agreement to minimize red tape.

Who can have benefit of the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement?

NT based Businesses and Employers based in Northern Territory can access this program if they are viable and operating for at least 12 months and have no history of not meeting employee obligations.

Before nominating an overseas worker, validate that they cannot fill out the position locally and the full-time position offers terms and conditions that are in fulfillment of those offered Australian workers in the region.

More Regions are on the radar

The Federal Government is currently in discussions with a range of other regions around the country experiencing skill shortages, including the regions in WA, Cairns in far North Queensland, and the some regions in central NSW.

Warrnambool on Victoria’s south-west coast is also expected to have a DAMA in effect before the end of the year.

In Northern Territory, the first DAMA helped a number of employers fill positions in many areas such as childcare, tourism and hospitality and the second edition will widen the field of occupations to assure the agreement includes more occupations.

Note: The NT DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program so any individual workers cannot apply for a visa independently.

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