What is a DAMA and how can I apply in Australia?
The DAMA is an acronym for “Designated Area Migration Agreement” and its purpose is to provide more flexibility for remote or regional based companies to be able to sponsor staff in a larger variety of roles that can lead to permanent residency via the scheme.
There are currently 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 Technology and Innovation Advancement: Skilled & Business Migration
- South Australia Regional: Skilled & Business Migration
- Orana, NSW: Regional Development Australia – Orana, NSW
- Far North Queensland: Cairns chamber of Commerce
This means the above areas have been approved by Immigration to have Labour Agreements so companies who are local to those areas are able to sponsor a wider variety of occupations, with varying waivers or adjustments to the candidates Age, English level, skills level etc.
This is very good for some people looking to migrate to Australia as these waivers open avenues to people who otherwise might be ineligible to apply. For example a Hotel in Cairns could potentially sponsor a Hotel Manager or Housekeeping Supervisor or even a Head Waiter with a path to permanent residency – PR – (up to the applicants age of 50 instead of the usual 45 yrs). This offers a win-win for the sponsors, who get a stable workforce for a set period (as their workers visa is linked to their company) and the worker gets a five year temporary visa with the path to PR (after 3 years) for occupations that would not normally be considered under other visa streams (such as 482, 189 etc)
How can I apply for this program?
Unfortunately, DAMA is not something an individual applicant can apply for, as this is not a visa as such. Therefore, first you need to be sponsored by an Employer who operates in one of the DAMA locations we mentioned before.
The company and the position need to be approved and then a visa can be lodged. In other words, basically it’s an employer sponsored visa for certain regional areas that have some lower requirements allowing people to be sponsored in occupations that may not be eligible under the normal ‘programs’.
If you think this visa strategy is something you would like further information on, please contact us for bespoke advice and assistance on each of the steps involved. Also, if you are an employer looking to sponsor an employee we can guide you through the process. For example, you can check here what we do for employers in the hospitality sector
About the Author: Shannon Semenikow
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