For the people living and working overseas, the DAMA provides an opportunity to work and move to Australia who might not have been able to do so through the TSS and ENS programs.
Through the DAMA Visa, skilled and semi-skilled workers whose jobs are not on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List and the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List may be able to move to Australia as skilled workers.
Since the government started focusing on encouraging migration in 2019, there are more Designated Area Migration Agreements available in regional areas of Australia. Agreements made it easier for businesses to sponsor visas for people with the skills they need in regional areas.
What is DAMA?
A formal contract between a regional territory or state authority and the government of Australia is known as DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement).
DAMA allows employers in certain areas to hire skilled and semi-skilled workers from other countries to fill the jobs they can’t find locals to do. It is designed to meet the local labor market’s needs and regional Australia’s work terms and conditions.
Areas having a DAMA
There are 12 regions in Australia whose applications are actively accepted by DAMA,
- East Kimberley, Western Australia.
- Adelaide, Technology, and Innovation Advancement, South Australia.
- Far North Queensland.
- Goulburn Valley, Victoria.
- Great South Coast, Victoria.
- Northern Territory, Australia.
- Orana, New South Wales.
- Pilbara, Western Australia.
- Regions of South Australia, South Australia
- South West, Western Australia
- The Goldfields, Western Australia.
- Townsville, Queensland.
General DAMA VISA Requirements
So, the DAMA Visa doesn’t necessarily have its own rules. The DAMA requirements depend on which stream the skilled immigrant is applying through. Certain conditions must be met for a labor agreement to be approved.
Unless there are exceptions, applicants for the 482 – TSS Visa are expected to fulfill the general requirements such as,
- The applicant has the skills and work experience needed for the job.
- You have to be chosen by an employer in a similar field. The employer must get a work agreement from the DAMA region where they are located.
- You must meet the English requirement (unless there are exceptions). Individuals might be able to get this visa even if their English isn’t as good as the standard 5.0 overall, as long as none of their scores are lower than 4.5.
- Your employer must give you a job offer through a contract.
- The pay must meet the TSMIT standard (unless there are concessions). In some jobs, applicants may get a salary of as little as $48,510 per year.
- Standard 482 visa applicants must make at least $53,900 a year.
DAMA Visa Occupation Lists
Each area makes a list of employment that people are looking for there. So, there is no certain list that covers all areas. But in many places, the list is long and includes jobs like Childcare Worker (not Childcare Center Manager) and Bar Attendant Supervisor. You can see a full list of jobs in each area by visiting the home affairs website.
Benefits of the DAMA Visa Australia
The DAMA Visa offers a lot of benefits to the employees and skilled workers, such as,
- A DAMA allows jobs that aren’t supported by any other visa service to be sponsored.
- A wide range of jobs reflects skilled and semi-skilled shortages, with no exceptions.
- English language and salary concessions for certain jobs.
- A visa holder’s salary can be the same or more than an Australian worker’s due to changes in the salary scale. Even if the sum is less than the expected salary for a 482 Visa or a 494 Regional Visa, it may not matter.
- Risk and integrity measures protect employees’ and employers’ rights.
- Opportunities for DAMA Visa holders to get PR in Australia.
Concessions available with the DAMA Visa
Under the NT DAMA, you can get the following concessions,
- Less strict rules for the English proficiency requirements.
- Some occupations don’t need as many skills.
- Compared to the TSS short-term and medium-term lists, these lists have a wider range of jobs. These are better suited to the needs of businesses in the NT.
- Employment conditions are more in alignment with what’s going on in the area. Employment contracts are more flexible than in TSS’s short-term and medium-term streams.
- 10 percent TSMIT Concession (the rule that your annual salary must be at least $53,900 is not right for all jobs, so NT DAMA Mk II has an adjusted minimum of $4,8510)
Latest DAMA Visa changes for South Australia 2022
According to the Skilled & Business Migration Committee report, the Australian Government has agreed upon some changes. Two South Australian DAMAs call for these changes.
Changes to the DAMA list of occupation
Under DAMAs, some new jobs in agribusiness, tourism, hospitality, forestry, motor trades, and manufacturing exist. The government of South Australia has put out two DAMAs, which are:
Adelaide’s Advancement of Technology and Information Agreement
This agreement is mostly about all of Adelaide’s fast-growing industries. These areas of business are
- High-tech manufacturing
The Designated Area Migration Agreement comprised the Innovation Advancement Agreement and the Adelaide City of the technology. It includes the city center of Adelaide.
Workforce Agreement for the South Australian Region
This deal is for South Australia’s high-growth industries in the regions. These areas of business are:
- Social services and health care
- Building Construction
- Hotel business
This agreement is a DAMA that South Australia’s states must have to follow.
PR opportunities and concessions
Some standard visa necessities have been made easier to meet through the DAMA. These concessions include,
- Age requirements
- Reducing the experience of working
- Needs for the English language
Every DAMA area will have its way of getting permanent residency. But the individual must have worked for two to four years in the occupation before switching to the permanent Employer Nominated Scheme 186 Visa.
All applicants with different occupational skills can use this specific route to PR.
DAMA Visa – Final thoughts
Many business owners are interested in using the DAMA program to recruit migrant workers or to pursue Australian immigration.
A DAMA can help regional employers fill skilled and semi-skilled positions in demand in a specific area because of a labor shortage. Adapted to local economies, they allow businesses to access the workers they need. If you think you can sponsor an oversea employee or are the applicant eligible for the DAMA Visa and 482 Visa Labor Agreement, Apply Now!
If you want to know the latest updates regarding the process, DAMA occupation list, concessions, and PR pathways, contact us at The Migration. Our certified Australian migration agent will assist you in determining your eligibility and provide professional guidance for the DAMA Visa Australia.
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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.