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Project Introduction

A 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. Individual DAMA labour agreements are between the Australian Government and endorsed employers/businesses operating within the relevant designated region. They are generally in effect for five years, and use the subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS), subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional), and subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa programs. DAMAs ensure employers recruit Australian citizens and permanent residents as a first priority. Among other things, employers must demonstrate a genuine attempt to recruit Australians prior to getting access to a DAMA labour agreement. The regions that have signed the agreement have a greater advantage in attracting skilled immigrant applicants, and can provide a broader range of list of skilled immigrant occupations, more immigration quotas, and lower state-sponsored skilled immigration requirements than other regions.

How DAMA works

Employers in the designated areas in the DAMA agreement can sponsor overseas professional and technical talents to work in Australia through the framework agreement of DAMA, and solve the problem of occupation shortage in related industries in the designated fields. Overseas applicants can come to Australia to work under the sponsorship of the employer. After working for the employer for the required number of years, they can be sponsored by the employer approved by DAMA, and finally get the opportunity to apply for Australian permanent residence.

How to apply for DAMA

Overseas applicants cannot apply for visas directly through the DAMA agreement. In fact, DAMA is an agreement signed by employers with recruitment needs in designated areas and the Australian government. After becoming a qualified employer, then is able to recruit corresponding professional and technical talents overseas under the DAMA agreement.

If overseas applicants want to come to Australia to work under the DAMA agreement and apply for a permanent residence visa in the future, they need to agree to work and live in the place where the sponsoring employer is located for at least 3 years.

Project Benefits

Under the DAMA agreement, more occupations can be nominated, and there are many additional preferential policies that traditional employer-sponsored immigration pathways do not have
With the permission of the employer, applicants can apply permanent residence
Age limit raised to 55
Reduced English language requirements for some occupations
The salary threshold of some occupations is not so strict, and the requirements are much lower

DAMA regions

The Orana region DAMA
The Northern Territory DAMA
The Far North Queensland DAMA
The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement DAMA (Metro)
The South Australian Regional Workforce DAMA (Regional)
The Victoria’s Great South Coast DAMA
The Goldfields DAMA

Application Process

Employers in the areas where the DAMA agreement is located apply for sponsorship authorization qualifications corresponding to remote areas
Remote area government review the application
After passing, the employer will receive a passing recommendation letter, which is equivalent to the employer's sponsorship qualification
Apply to USCIS to sponsor an employee through the DAMA agreement
Employers submit nominations for visa applicants after approval
Submit the applicant's visa application after the nomination is approved