Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs)

Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) are agreements between particular geographical areas in Australia and the Department of Home Affairs, to allow prospective migrants to access the 482 visa program with a specific range of occupations to satisfy particular labor market demands in these areas.

Multiple DAMAs have been reported to implemented shortly, however, please be aware that the announcement of endorsement/launch of a DAMA, does not necessarily indicate that the details of a DAMA have been finalised or that the DAMA is in operation.

DAMA approval is essentially a two phase process:

Phase 1: The initial agreement to negotiate a DAMA is entered into with the DAMA owner and the Government. It is at this stage that a specific DAMA is often announced by local politicians, councils or other stakeholders as having been ‘endorsed’.

Phase 2: This second phase of the process involves the negotiations of the specific details of the DAMA, eg, approved occupation lists, number of places, skills verification processes, concessional criteria and access to permanent residency pathways. Once these details have finally negotiated the DAMA owner enters into a Deed of Agreement with the Government, and the DAMA becomes operational.

While each location specific DAMA will have its own features, all DAMAs are approved under the labour agreement framework. Employers must apply to the DAMA ‘owner’ for approval to sponsor visa applicants, initially on Subclass 482 visas. Some DAMAs have provisions for eventual permanent residency and concessions may be available on usual visa applicant criteria, such as maximum age, minimum English language and skill levels.

DAMAs open for applications:

There are currently two operational DAMAs:

Northern Territory DAMA II – Year 1: 500 places and 117 occupations

Great South Coast Region (Warrnambool) DAMA* – Victoria – Year 1: 100 places and 27 approved occupations

* new website launched 12 June 2019 and applications now open

DAMAs announced but yet to commence operation:

Goldfields DAMA (City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder) WA – Year 1: 500 places and 72 occupations approvedexpected commencement 1 July 2019

Adelaide Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement SA – 60 occupations announced – information on how to apply available 1 July 2019

South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement – 114 occupations announced – information on how to apply available 1 July 2019

Orana Region (Dubbo) – NSW – Further details on number of first year places, approved occupations and commencement date to be released shortly

We will keep you updated on developments regarding the above, as these arise.

Singapore WHV numbers increased

The number of Work and Holiday visas available to Singaporean citizens aged 18-30 will increase from 500 to 2,500 per year on 1 July 2019. This increase in numbers and the introduction of the three year working holiday visa provisions are designed to assist farmers and regional businesses fill critical work shortages

Places for working holiday visas have been gradually increasing for a number of countries: Spain, 1,500 to 3,400 places (December 2018); Israel, 500 to 2,500 places (December 2018); Peru, 100 to 1,500 places (January 2019); Chile 2,000 to 3,400 places (February 2019).

Adrian Felton

Migration Consultant (MARN:0105680)

Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.