Have you ever wondered what the labour agreements stream under the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) is?
Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) are an agreement between a state and the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) to allow businesses in specific locations to access certain types of skilled labour not currently available in the under the occupation lists. A DAMA utilises the labour agreement stream of the TSS 482 visa. Whilst similar to the TSS, businesses under a DAMA enter into a labour agreement directly with the Australian Government to employ semi-skilled workers whose skill level or occupation does not exist on the occupation lists.
Different regions will have different occupations available and different requirements. There is still a need to be sponsored by a business under the DAMA, but if you are not on the occupation list or do not currently meet the skill level for your occupation under the TSS 482 visa requirements, there may be potential in casing the occupations available under DAMAs.
There are benefits available for those under the labour agreement TSS 482 visa that include pathways to permanent residency, waivers to English language requirements, concessions to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) and no caveats. This again varies depending on the occupation and under which DAMA one may fall under.
Otherwise, if you are a business, learn how the DAMA can help you! This will be covered in our article following this.
DAMAs currently exist for the following areas:
- Northern Territory
- Great South Coast, Victoria
- Goldfields, Western Australia
- Regional South Australia
- Adelaide city
- Orana, New South Wales
- Far North, Queenslands
This article will cover the Northern Territory DAMA.
Occupations under the DAMA agreement
There are 117 occupations under this DAMA agreement. These are the occupations that a business can access. The link below covers all the occupations under Northern Territory’s DAMA as well as their skill levels. Further on in our article you will be able to understand how a potential visa applicant’s skill level is assessed and therefore, how one would meet the skill level requirement for a nominated occupation.
Find: Occupation list under the Northern Territory DAMA
The Northern Territory DAMA is unique in that it provide access to 3 occupations that are not in ANZSCO, being:
- Bar attendant (supervisor)
- Waiter (supervisor)
- Cook (specialist ethnic cuisine)
For these occupations, applicants need to demonstrate that they have skills, qualifications and experience that align to the following:
- Requirements: Bar attendant (supervisor) (78.1 kb)
- Requirements: Waiter (supervisor) (78.6 kb)
- Requirements: Cook (specialist ethnic cuisine) (68.4 kb)
How skills are assessed
Skill level 1 to 3
Overseas workers filling any Northern Territory DAMA occupations must meet the following requirements:
- Undergo a skills verification regional area nominated registered training organisation or the Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, and
- Meet the skill level as defined in ANZSCO, and
- Have at least two years post qualification experience.
Specified skill level 4 occupations
Certain ANSZCO skill level 4 occupations are required to have at least a relevant Australian Qualifications Framework (AFQ) diplome or quivalent, or a qualification that is higher, and at least one year of a minimum of 20 hours of work per week, post qualification experience. That is, work experience in your nominated occupation that happening after you have graduated.
These are the occupations that need to meet the above requirements:
- Aged or disabled care 
- Child care woker 
- Dental assistant 
- Family day care worker 
- Nursing support worker 
- Nursing support worker 
- Out of school hours care worker 
- Personal care assistant 
- Therapy aide 
General skill level 4 occupations
All other skill level 4 occupations under the Northern Territory DAMA occupation list must have the visa applicant fulfill the following:
- An AQF Certificate II or equivalent and at least one and a half years (minimum 20 hours) relevant post qualifications experience, or
- At least a relevant AQF Certificate III or equivalent and at least one year (minimum 20 hours) relevant post qualification experience, or
- At least two years (38 hours plus per week) relevant experience.
English language concessions.
- English language concessions are available to overseas workers applying for a labour agreement TSS 482 visa, as well as those transitioning to Australian permanent residency through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186).
Read: English Proficiency Tests
The business will have to make a business case as to why an English proficiency waiver is required. Nonetheless, you will still have to fulfil the minimum scores as follows:
No ‘adverse information’ is a criteria that affects all employer sponsored visas. If you are looking to enter into a labour agreement with the Australian government to sponsor overseas workers, this is a requirement you will have to fulfill.
What is adverse information? Examples of adverse information include the presence of:
- A person having contravened a law of the Commonwealth, State or Territory
- A person being under investigation, subject to disciplinary action or subject to legal proceedings
- A person having been a subject of administrative action
- A person having become insolvent
- A person having provided bogus documentation or information that is false or misleading in a material particular
- Other adverse information
Read: What is adverse information
This affects both the sponsoring business as well as the visa applicant.
Pathway to permanent residency
If you are a labour agreement TSS 482 Visa holder, you have a pathway to permanent residence in Australia visa the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186). At the time of nomination, employees must:
- Be under 50 years of age.
- Hold a 457 visa or TSS 482 visa issued under the current NT DAMA
- Meet the qualifications and experience requirement
- If you are nominated for an occupation which is eligible for English language concession, you must have a minimum score of an overall 5 and a minimum 4.5 in each band in an IELTS test or equivalent
- If you are nominated for an occupation that is not eligible for an English language concession, you must have a minimum score of at least 6 in an IELTS test or equivalent
- Meet the work requirement
- Have worked full-time in the NT, for at least three of the four years prior to nomination in one or more NT DAMA endorsed businesses
- In those three years, you must have worked in your nominated occupation or in an occupation in the same ANZSCO four-digit level; that occupation must be specified in the NT DAMA eg personal care assistant (ANZSCO 423313) and therapy aide (ANZSCO 423314) are on the same ANZSCO four-digit level
- In those three years, you must have been on a 457 visa or TSS 482 visa issued under the NT DAMA
- Meet the DOHA requirements
Read: Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa
Your employing business must also be able to offer your full time employment for at least two years, with the possibility of extension. Your employing business must still be endorsed under the current Northern Territory DAMA.
If you are located in the Northern Territory and currently are struggling to find a visa suitable to you, consider checking out if businesses in your area have a labour agreement with the Australia government and if you can meet these less strict standards. If you are wishing to apply for a labour agreement TSS 482 visa, let us help you! We can speak to both yourself and the business to help make the process clear and straightforward. Australian Immigration Law Services has a team of migration specialists who are very experiencing in employer sponsored visas. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.