South Australia DAMA: Occupations and Benefits

South Australia DAMA: Occupations and Benefits

What is a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)? Remember the labour agreement stream under the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)? This is not accessible by employees or businesses in general, but only if you are a local business and covered under a DAMA in your area. DAMAS are an agreement between between an area and the Australian government for businesses in that area to enter into a labour agreement. Each DAMA is a specific arrangement between an area and the Australian government and therefore it is important to understand how the DAMA works for a specific area.

There are benefits that are available to such local businesses and overseas employees under a DAMA, such as being able to access occupations and skill levels that are not covered under the regular routes with employer sponsored visas.

Read: The AILS Complete Occupation List Guide

In our last article, we covered the South Australia DAMA; how it works and what the requirements are.

Read: South Australia DAMA – Requirements

In this article, we will explore skill assessment requirements as well as the exciting benefits under the South Australia DAMA.

South Australia DAMA

Read: South Australia DAMA

The South Australia DAMA is very new, and opened for applications on 1 July 2019. South Australia has entered into two DAMAS, the Adelaide Technology and Innovation and Advancement Agreement and the South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement.

Adelaide Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement: Focuses on Adelaide’s high tech growth industries including defence, space, technology and advanced manufacturing industries. This covers the Greater Adelaide planning region.

South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement: Which focuses on the South Australia’s regional high growth industries including agribusiness, forestry, health and social services, tourism and hospitality, construction and mining. The South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement is the Designated Area Migration Agreement covering all of South Australia.

South Australia DAMA Occupation List

Within Adelaide City there are 60 occupations under the Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement DAMA.

Occupations available under the South Australia DAMA for Adelaide City can be found in the following link.

Read: Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement DAMA Occupation List

Covering the entire state of South Australia is the South Australian Regional Workforce DAMA which has 114 occupations under it. Employees must be under the age of 50 to access this occupation list.

Read: South Australian Regional Workforce DAMA Occupation List

Agribusiness occupations apply specifically to businesses located in the 5110 – 5734 postcodes.

In the above list exists occupations that are usually available to the TSS 482 visa even outside a DAMA (these are occupations “on the combined eligible list of skilled occupations”), but under the South Australia DAMA, are granted DAMA related benefits that we explore further in this article.

Occupations that are not usually available to the TSS 482 visa and are only on the South Australia DAMA, such as the occupation of a Fishing Hand [899212], are “occupations not on eligible skills lists”.

Also in the above lists will you find what concessions apply to specific occupations as well as what the assessing authorities are, as visa applicants are still required to show that they meet the skills requirements for those nominated occupations.

Visa Applicant Skills Assessments

For the occupations on the eligible lists of skilled occupations, visa applicants must satisfy the skills, qualifications, experience and employment background required under ANZSCO. This is the same as any other employer sponsored visa. However as previously mentioned, the benefits come in in concessions that apply to businesses under the South Australia DAMA that we will soon expand on.

For occupations that are not on the eligible skills lists, skills assessments are still required.

Learn more about these occupations and their specific requirements visa an in depth factsheet provided by Immigration South Australia. This factsheet covers the qualifications and post qualification requirements on each of the occupations under the South Australia DAMA that are not on the eligible skills lists.

Read: South Australia DAMA Occupations Not On Eligible Skills List

Benefits under the South Australia DAMA

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)

Employer sponsored occupations are required to meet the TSMIT, which requires that sponsored employees are provided a salary that meets the income threshold, which currently sits at $53,900. Be aware that the TSMIT can change and it important to do your research on the most current levels.

Read: TSS 482, ENS & RSMS Visas: Salary Requirements

Businesses in South Australia under the DAMA are able to pay sponsored overseas employees under the TSMIT if that occupation is listed as having this concession, which you will see in the occupation lists above.

If the occupation is able to receive the TSMIT concession, the business must still meet the following requirements.

Concession Type 1: Reduced TSMIT, and Earnings to include Guaranteed Overtime

‘Reduced TSMIT’ applies. ‘Reduced TSMIT’ means 90% of TSMIT.

‘Earnings’ has the same meaning as in the Migration Regulations except that it also includes: Guaranteed overtime where:

  • The guaranteed overtime is consistent with standard industry practice within the sector;
  • There are equivalent Australians performing equivalent work in the nominated employer’s workplace at the same location and whose arrangements have been guaranteed in an industrial arrangement for those workers; and
  • At the time of nomination the employer provides evidence that the hours are guaranteed within the employment contract for the Overseas Worker, and confirms the hours are consistent with the National Employment Standards; and
  • Application of the concession is subject to the Earnings being in line with applicable Industrial Awards or Enterprise Agreements and not below levels for Australian employees in comparable roles; and

When calculating an Overseas Worker’s Annual Earnings, the value of the annual monetary earnings cannot be less than Reduced TSMIT.

Concession Type 2: Reduced TSMIT, and Earnings to include Guaranteed Overtime and certain Non-Monetary and Monetary Benefits

Up to a 10% concession to the TSMIT, and the inclusion of non-monetary earnings (excluding food and board). Businesses must demonstrate that the annual earnings provided will be no less than 90% of the TSMIT. These annual earnings can be comprised of ‘non-monetary earnings (excluding food and board) to the value of up to 10% of the Reduced TSMIT. Non- monetary earnings (excluding food and board) refers to benefits such as phone, laptop, vehicle, and flights etc.

‘Earnings’ has the same meaning as in the Migration Regulations except that it also includes:

  1. Guaranteed overtime (see above for the definition)
  2. Monetary and non-monetary benefits (excluding food and board), where:
  • The benefits support the living costs of the Overseas Worker;
  • The Overseas Worker would have incurred that cost had it not been provided by the Third Party;
  • The benefits are quantifiable;
  • The benefits are consistent with the terms and conditions provided to existing Australians employed in a similar position;
  • The benefits are guaranteed in the employment contract; and
  • The benefits exclude contingent payments such as overtime (other than guaranteed overtime) bonuses and commissions.

Concession Type 3: Reduced TSMIT, and Earnings to include Guaranteed Overtime and certain Non-Monetary and Monetary Benefits

Up to a 10% concession to the TSMIT less non-monetary earnings (food and board). Businesses must demonstrate that the Annual Earnings provided will be no less than 90% of the TSMIT. These Annual Earnings can be comprised of ‘non-monetary earnings (food and board)’. This refers to accommodation and meals benefits and cannot exceed published homestay accommodation rates for SA. For more information on homestay rates go to the Government of South Australia website. Concession type 3 is designed for use in remote areas where accommodation and food options are limited. The DAR will determine the eligibility for employers seeking all concession types.

‘Earnings’ has the same meaning as in the Migration Regulations except that it also includes:

  1. Guaranteed overtime where (see definition above)
  2. Monetary and non-monetary benefits (see definition above)

English Language proficiency

If your nominated occupation under the South Australia DAMA has an English language concession, you are able to provide an overall IELTS score of 4.5 with no less than a score of 4.0 in any of the four modules.

Read: English Proficiency Tests

Permanent Residency and Age

The pathway varies depending on which South Australia DAMA you are applying under.

 SA Regional Workforce Agreement

A permanent residence pathway for may be available through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa program.

  • The visa applicant, at the time of an application, holds a labour agreement stream TSS 482 visa
  • The employer’s ENS nomination identifies an occupation that was for the most recently approved TSS 482 visa for the visa applicant
  • The ENS 186 nominated occupation is not an ANZSCO skill level 5 occupation
  • The visa applicant has been employed on a full time basis for at least 3 years before the ENS 186 nomination is made, by one or more employer who were all endorsed under the South Australia DAMA, in the ENS nominated occupation or an occupation in the same ANZSCO 4 digit level
  • In all that time, the visa applicant was employed under a TSS 482 visa granted under the South Australia DAMA and has worked in a designated area in South Australia
  • The visa applicant has not turned 50 years of age at the time of the nomination
  • The visa applicant will be continued to be employed on a full time basis in the position for at least 2 years
  • The terms and conditions of employment of the visa applicant will not include the exclusion of the possibility of extending the period of employment

Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement:

Under this South Australia DAMA, visa applicants may be able to access age concessions at the time of the ENS 186 nomination. Again, please check the occupations lists to see if the age concession applies to your particular occupation.

  • The visa applicant, at the time of an application, holds a labour agreement stream TSS 482 visa
  • The employer’s ENS nomination identifies an occupation that was for the most recently approved TSS 482 visa for the visa applicant
  • The visa applicant has been employed on a full time basis for at least 3 years before the ENS 186 nomination is made, by one or more employer who were all endorsed under the South Australia DAMA, in the ENS nominated occupation or an occupation in the same ANZSCO 4 digit level
  • In all that time, the visa applicant was employed under a TSS 482 visa granted under the South Australia DAMA and has worked in a designated area in South Australia
  • The visa applicant will be continued to be employed on a full time basis in the position for at least 2 years
  • The terms and conditions of employment of the visa applicant will not include the exclusion of the possibility of extending the period of employment

That is a lot of information! Are you wanting to find out more about the opportunities you have as an employer in South Australia or are you struggling to meet the standard visa requirements and you wish to find out if there is a possibility of being sponsored by a business covered under the South Australia DAMA? There are a lot of pathways not advertised and required experience specialists to discover for your personal situation. Contact Australian Immigration Law Services today! We have been in the industry for two decades and have helped many visa hopefuls find pathways that are not commonly explored. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.