DAMA (Designation Area Migration Agreements) and Labour Agreements could be an additional pathway to getting working visa and PR
If your occupation does not entitle you to apply for any skilled visa, or you’re over 45, or you can’t pass the English test at the required level there might be an opportunity for you in DAMA or other Labour Agreements. In areas covered by DAMAs for some occupations there might be concessions with regards to age, English and minimum pay (TISMIT)
The DAMA lists might include occupations which are not eligible for any other skilled visa. For example: Truck Driver, Driller Assistant, Bar Manager, Child Carer, Aged Care Worker and many others.
Designated Area Migration Agreements
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.
A DAMA is a two-tier framework covering a defined regional area. The first tier is an overarching five-year agreement with the regional body/representative. The second tier comprises individual labour agreements with employers under the settings of the head agreement for that region.
Employers must seek and gain endorsement from the Designated Area Representative before lodging a labour agreement request.
Under the DAMA, employers in designated areas experiencing skills and labour shortages can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers. Individuals cannot directly access a DAMA – they need to be sponsored by an endorsed employer.
For information about labour agreements or other options for regional areas, the following resources are available on the Home Affair Department’s website:
We currently have seven DAMAs in place:
- Northern Territory: Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement
- The Goldfields, WA: City of Kalgoorlie Boulder
- Great South Coast, VIC: Warrnambool City Council
- Adelaide City and Regional SA: Immigration South Australia
- Orana, NSW: Regional Development Australia - Orana, NSW
- Far North Queensland: Cairns Chamber of Commerce DAMA – Cairns Chamber of Commerce, FNQ
Types of labour agreements
There are five types of labour agreements:
- Company Specific labour agreements
- Designated Area Migration Agreements(DAMA)
- Industry labour agreements
- Project agreements
- Global Talent Employer Sponsored (GTES) agreements
There are currently nine industry agreements in place - see Copies of labour agreement templates below
- Minister of Religion
- Restaurant (fine dining)
- New Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement
- From 1 January 2020, businesses in Australia’s horticulture industry are able to apply for the new Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement. The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement increases access to skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers for the horticulture industry, where appropriately qualified Australians are unavailable.
What can a Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement be used for?
The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement can be used by Australian employers for the following:
- Sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa for a total of 31 approved occupations.
- Sponsor overseas workers for permanent residency under the:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (subclass 494) visa program with a permanent pathway to a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) available after three years; or
- Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa program after a three or four year transitional period on a TSS visa—three years for approved Skill Level 1-3 occupations and four years for approved Skill Level 4-5 occupations.
- Access the following concessions to standard skilled visa requirements:
- Discount of up to 10% on the Temporary Skill Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) where it is demonstrated that equivalent Australian workers do not receive annual earnings of $53,900.
- A broader range of monetary payments (e.g. regularised overtime) and non-monetary benefits (e.g. accommodation) can be counted as guaranteed earnings.
- For the TSS visa—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.0 in each individual component score. For the ENS and SESR visas—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.5 in each individual component score.
- Overseas workers can be up to 50 years of age when they apply for an ENS or SESR visa.
A full summary of approved occupations, terms and available concessions are available below.
How do I apply for a Labour Agreement?
Horticultural industry employers can to submit an application to the Department of Home Affairs to be approved as LA sponsor so the can nominate overseas workers for a visa . Online labour agreement request forms are available in ImmiAccount.
Where can I get further information about labour agreements?