What is the DAMA program?

DAMA: Designated Area Migration Agreement is a type of Labour Agreement which enable approved employers to sponsor overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with Australian citizen or Permanent Resident workers, in response to their current and emerging labour market shortage.

Currently there are seven DAMA list in place:

  • The Orana Region DAMA (NSW)
  • The Northern Territory
  • The Far North Queensland DAMA
  • The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement DAMA (Metro)
  • The South Australia Regional Workforce DAMA (Regional) 
  • The Victoria’s Great South Coast DAMA 
  • The Goldfield DAMA (WA)


| What are the differences between a State Skilled List and a DAMA List?

The answer to this is very reassuring: within the occupation of the DAMA List there are also so called “low” skilled occupations (waiter – supervisor – clerk accountant etc) that are not present in the State Skilled list and this will translate into the possibility for the applicant to be sponsored and eventually be able to apply for the Permanent Residency even with an occupation that it is not recognised from the Government of Australia as Highly skilled.


| How does it work?

The Visas subclasses available for this agreement are:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa ( sub 482)
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (sub 494)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (Sub 186)

Individual Workers cannot apply independently, this means that the applicant needs to be sponsored by an employer that have gained approval from the Designated Area Representative (DAR) and whom business it is located in the designated region.

The other positive element that distinguishes the DAMA lists is that some concession may also apply depending on the occupation such as:

  • English concession

  • Salary

  • Age

Depending on the list (not all the DAMA lists for each states are the same), the applicant could be waived the condition of the minimum level of English, the minimum salary and also the maximum age for the Permanent Residency (generally 45 years old)

Another key element of DAMA is that it is a 5 years agreement, this means that the Government will review the conditions after this period of time.


| Recent updates 

Northern Territory DAMA:

The following occupations were added to the list:

  • Bar attendant (supervisor)

  • Waiter (supervisor)

  • Cook (specialist ethnic cuisine)

For Overseas workers to be eligible for the positions not listed in the SHORT TERM or MEDIUM-LONG TERM list or REGIONAL OCCUPATION LIST must meet certain requirements defined by the Department.

Goldfields DAMA (WA):

The following occupations were added to the list:

  • Asphalt Technician
  • Process Technician
  • Rope access Technician
  • Sound and Light Technician 

Keep in mind that the areas included in the DAMA WA are not limited only to the City of Kalgoorlie but extended also to Esperance, Leonora, Menzies and Ravensthorpe.


To know more about DAMA agreement and if this could be your Permanent Residency strategy get in touch with Get Your Visa on (08) 6117 4152 or through our website and we will assess your circumstances, qualifications and experience to design the best option for you and your future!

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