In order to attract migrants to areas outside the major cities of Australia, the Australian Government established a new visa programme – the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA). This agreement applies to the whole Northern Territory of Australia and its aim is to increase the number of people in this area and to boost the local economy. The new visa agreement includes significant changes in the criteria regarding skills and knowledge of English language which will help bring more overseas workers and contribute to the development of this poorly populated area of Australia.
The new NT DAMA visa programme allows the Northern Territory (NT) employers to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are not able to fill with local workers. It uses the stream of Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482).
The main characteristics of the NT DAMA
It offers the opportunity to become an Australian permanent resident.
It is more flexible and offers different options for skilled and semi-skilled workers to live and work in Australia.
It offers possibilities not only for migrants skilled in certain occupations, but also for those who are not so experienced in particular occupation and do not have a high level of English.
It offers salary concessions which ensure that terms and conditions of employment are not violated and that businesses and consumers are not exposed to inflationary costs.
The requirements that businesses have to meet
Businesses that would like to access the NT DAMA must have been actively operating in Northern Territory for at least 12 months. Also, businesses that are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with the occupations from the NT DAMA list should demonstrate that they cannot fill the needed positions locally with Australian citizens and permanent residents. The terms and conditions they provide to overseas workers need to be the same as the conditions they offer to Australian workers in the region.
The occupations included in the NT DAMA
You may find the list of occupations that are eligible for sponsorship and also the concessions under the NT DAMA.
|ANZSCO code||Occupation||ANZSCO skill level||English concession may
may be available
|221111||Accountant - general||1|
|423111||Aged or disabled carer||4||✓|
|721111||Agricultural and horticultural
mobile plant operator
|342111||Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic^||3||✓|
|323111||Aircraft maintenance engineer - avionics^||3||✓|
|323112||Aircraft maintenance engineer - mechanical^||3||✓|
|070499#||Bar attendant - supervisor^||4||✓||✓|
|121312||Beef cattle farmer||1||✓||✓|
|351211||Butcher or smallgoods maker||3||✓||✓|
|342411||Cabler - data and telecommunications||3||✓|
|141111||Café or restaurant manager||2||✓|
|111111||Chief executive or managing director||1|
|134111||Childcare centre manager^||1|
|312212||Civil engineering technician||2||✓|
|149311||Conference and event organiser||2||✓|
|070499#||Cook - specialist ethnic cuisine||3||✓||✓|
|149212||Customer service manager||2||✓|
|321212||Diesel motor mechanic||3||✓|
|411712||Disabilities services officer||2||✓|
|241111||Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher^||1|
|721211||Earthmoving plant operator - general||4||✓||✓|
|311412||Earth science technician||2||✓|
|342314||Electronic instrument trades worker - general||3||✓|
|421112||Family day care worker^||4||✓|
|411713||Family support worker||2||✓|
|323211||Fitter - general||3||✓|
|323212||Fitter and turner||3||✓|
|121213||Fruit or nut grower||1||✓||✓|
|142114||Hair or beauty salon manager||2||✓|
|141311||Hotel or motel manager||2||✓|
|542113||Hotel or motel receptionist||4||✓|
|431411||Hotel service manager||3||✓||✓|
|313112||ICT customer support officer||2||✓|
|313199||ICT support technicians nec||2||✓|
|141411||Licensed club manager||2||✓|
|121411||Mixed crop and livestock farmer||1||✓||✓|
|121216||Mixed crop farmer||1||✓||✓|
|121317||Mixed livestock farmer||1||✓||✓|
|321211||Motor mechanic - general||3||✓|
|899411||Motor vehicle parts and accessories fitter - general||4||✓||✓|
|621311||Motor vehicle or caravan salesperson||4||✓|
|621312||Motor vehicle parts interpreter||4||✓||✓|
|423312||Nursing support worker||4||✓|
|421114||Out of school hours care worker^||4||✓|
|423313||Personal care assistant||4||✓|
|334111||Plumber - general^||3||✓|
|511112||Programme or project administrator||2|
|411715||Residential care worker||2||✓|
|142111||Retail manager - general||2||✓|
|131112||Sales and marketing manager||1|
|322211||Sheetmetal trades worker||3||✓||✓|
|321214||Small engine mechanic||3||✓|
|133611||Supply and distribution manager||1||✓|
|342412||Telecommunications cable jointer||3||✓|
|733111||Truck driver - general^||4||✓||✓|
|712921||Waste water or water plant operator||4|
|322313||Welder - first class||3||✓|
|# occupations not listed in Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO)|
|^ applicants must meet occupational licensing or registration requirements|
Types of concessions
Under the NT DAMA there are concessions for English language and Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) provided.
The NT DAMA is a special agreement, because it offers three additional occupations that are not in Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation such as: a bar attendant (supervisor), a waiter (supervisor) and a cook (specialist ethnic cuisine).
As we already said, all workers that are employed under the NT DAMA have to be employed under Australian employment conditions and have to receive the same amount as an Australian would receive for the same job in the same location.
There is a minimum threshold that can be paid by employer sponsored visa programmes. The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold that is currently at $53,900, also applies.
This visa programme offers the important reduction in criteria and gives possibility also to those workers who do not meet the high level of skills and English language requirements.
Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Qualifications and experience
An overseas worker has to show the same level of qualifications and experience as the standard Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482) and Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa programmes.
There are requirements that workers need to meet depending on the skill level.
Skill level 1 to 3 occupations
If you are an overseas worker that would like to fill NT DAMA occupation that is not on the Australian Government's short-term skilled occupation list, medium and long-term strategic skills or regional occupation list, you have to meet some requirements. You need to undertake a skills verification provided by the regional area nominated registered training organisation or the Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, meet the skill level as defined in ANZSCO and have at least two years post qualification experience.
Specified skill level 4 occupations
If you are an overseas worker that is interested to fill occupations that are listed in the table below, you will be requested to have at least a relevant Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) diploma or equivalent or higher level qualification and at least one year (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience.
|ANZSCO code||Occupation||ANZSCO skill level|
|423111||Aged or disabled carer||4|
|421111||Child care worker||4|
|421112||Family day care worker||4|
|423312||Nursing support worker||4|
|421114||Out of school hours care worker||4|
|423313||Personal care assistant||4|
General skill level 4 occupations
If you are an overseas worker that is interested to fill any other skill level 4 occupations eligible for the NT DAMA, you must have an AQF Certificate II or equivalent and at least one and a half years (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualifications experience, or at least a relevant AQF Certificate III or equivalent and at least one year (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience, or at least two years (38 hours plus per week) relevant experience.
Requirements for businesses to become eligible for NT DAMA
In order to decide which occupations and concessions will be approved under NT DAMA, the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation will assess current and future workforce needs of businesses. They will also determine how many positions can be nominated for each occupation and concession. The approval processing time to access the DAMA is up to 5 years. The approval of occupations and numbers of positions is valid for one year.
Applying for NT DAMA independently is not possible
The important thing to know is that this is an employer-sponsored visa programme and if you are an individual worker, you cannot apply for a visa independently. You should look for a job with a Northern Territory business that will sponsor you. Businesses first must apply to the NT Government to access the NT DAMA for the occupations, concessions and number of workers they require. If the business is approved by the NT Government and signs a labour agreement with the Australian Government, then it can submit an application for the appropriately skilled workers they have identified.
A worker who is sponsored under the NT DAMA is granted a Visa Subclass 482.
How we can help
We cannot find a job for you and we cannot find an employer to sponsor you. However, we can still help.
We offer consultations to people interested in the programme. During the consultation time we can check your eligibility for the programme, advise further requirements you have to meet and we can answer all your questions.
We can also advise you about other work visa options for Australia including visa options for which you do not need an employer to sponsor you.
Registered Migration Agent
Disclaimer: Your use of the above text or the receipt of any information from this article or website www.baxvel.com is not intended to create nor does it create a solicitor (migration agent) - client relationship between you and the writer (Vera Radisavljevic and/or Baxvel Pty Ltd) and it is not an immigration advice.