Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)

What is a DAMA?

A DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement) enables eligible employers in specific regions of Australia to sponsor overseas workers. Although a DAMA operates within the 482 TSS visa program (the labour agreement stream), it allows the region to target specific job shortages and offer employer conditions more reflective of the local market.

Each DAMA is set up between the regional area and the Australian government for five years.


How does a DAMA differ from the usual 482 visa program?

• English language concessions

• Higher age limit – in some cases, you can be up to 50 or 55 years of age and still have a pathway to residency

• Larger range of occupations including semi-skilled occupations that are not on lists the usual 482 visa program

• Great flexibility in salary – employers

• No caveats

What occupation are available on a DAMA?

As each region’s DAMA was developed in response to unique labour market and economic conditions, the occupation lists (and the number of available occupations) varies greatly.

In some regions, the list focuses on mining and heavy industry jobs. For other DAMAs, the occupation lists may cover hospitality, childcare, aged or disability care or farm hands.

Aged Care

Does a DAMA provide a pathway to permanent residency?

As each DAMA is developed in conjunction with the regional area’s industry stakeholders and the Department of Home Affairs, no two are the same. Each DAMA will outline what occupations provide a pathway to permanent residency, and the conditions that must be met.

What are the key steps in a DAMA application?

1. The employer applies for endorsement from the regional area

2. The region endorses the employer

3. The employer requests a Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs

4. The Labour Agreement is approved

5. The employer nominated the occupation from the DAMA list for the region

6. The overseas national makes a visa application, meeting skill, age and English requirements

step by step

What regions of Australia currently have a DAMA in place?

• Northern Territory DAMA (all of the Northern Territory)

• Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement DAMA (Adelaide Metropolitan region)

• South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement DAMA (all of South Australia)

• Great South Coast DAMA (six shires of Victoria)

• Orana DAMA (central west and western regions of New South Wales)

• Goldfields DAMA (City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Shires of Coolgardie, Leonora and Menzies in Western Australia)

We expect more agreements to be made in future. 

Contact us today to learn more about how DAMAs.

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