Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a labour agreement.

A DAMA Designated Area Migration Agreement is actually a type of labour agreement. This agreement allows approved employers to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled workers. These overseas workers are sponsored to deal with the labour shortage and to fill the situations where local workers are not available. Agreements are based on the deal between the Department and the employers. There are many other types of agreements which include Company Specific Labour Agreement, Global Talent Scheme Agreements, Project Agreements and Industry Labour Agreements.

We should mention here that the DAMAs are agreements between the Australian Government and Designated Area Representatives. It provides concessions to standard migration programs and access to additional occupations under the following:

  • (Subclass  482) Temporary Skill Shortage Visa.
  • (Subclass 494) Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa.
  • (Subclass 186) Employer Nomination Scheme

Local Businesses (employers) can apply for endorsement when once a DAMA is in place. Local businesses enter into individual labour agreements under the mentioned conditions of any relevant DAMA. 

Active DAMAs Now:

Currently, seven DAMA lists are in place which includes:

  • The ORANA Region DAMA with 73 occupations. These occupations are available with skills and work experience, English, salary and permanent pathway kind of concessions. 
  • The Northern Territory DAMA 2 is with 117 occupations available. While the English and salary concessions for some occupations. 
  • The Far North Queensland DAMA is with 70 occupations which are available. And for some occupations, English, skills, experience, permanent pathway and salary concessions are there.
  • The South Australian Regional Workforce DAMA (Regional) is available with 137 occupations. These are available with English, salary, age and permanent residency pathway concessions. 
  • The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement DAMA (Metro) is also available with 63 occupations. Which are available with Age, Salary, permanent residency pathway and English concessions. 
  • The Victoria’s Great South Coast DAMA is available with 27 occupations. For some occupations permanent residency pathway, salary, English and Experience concessions. 
  • The Goldfields DAMA is available with 72 occupations. And the same permanent pathway, salary and English concessions are there for some occupations. 

How to Apply:

Under DAMA individual workers can not apply independently as it’s an employer-sponsored visa program. Employers first have to apply for the Designated Area of Representatives to get access to the DAMA for the concessions, occupations and number of workers according to their requirement. And the application process usually consists of the following steps:

  • The very first employer who has to sponsor the skilled overseas has to apply for the Designated Area of Representatives for endorsement. 
  • The Designated Area of Representatives accesses the endorsement application. 
  • After the approval of the assessment, the letter of endorsement is issued to the employer and the Department is also notified. 
  • The employer makes an application for an individual DAMA labour agreement with the department. 
  • DAMA application is accessed by The Department. 
  • If the Department approves it, the employee can lodge a nomination for the employee. And in the same ways the employee can also lodge a visa application under the labour agreement stream with the department. 

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