Australia welcomes workers through new visa programme


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 codeOccupationANZSCO skill levelEnglish concession may
be available
TSMIT concession
may be available
221111Accountant – general1
551111Accounts clerk4
423111Aged or disabled carer4
721111Agricultural and horticultural
mobile plant operator
231111Aeroplane pilot^1
342111Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic^3
323111Aircraft maintenance engineer – avionics^3 ✓
323112Aircraft maintenance engineer – mechanical^3 ✓
121111Aquaculture farmer1
321111Automotive electrician3
070499#Bar attendant – supervisor^4
451111Beauty therapist4
121312Beef cattle farmer1
731211Bus driver^4
351211Butcher or smallgoods maker3
342411Cabler – data and telecommunications3
141111Café or restaurant manager2 ✓
111111Chief executive or managing director1
421111Childcare worker^4
134111Childcare centre manager^1
312212Civil engineering technician2
411711Community worker2
149311Conference and event organiser2 ✓
070499#Cook – specialist ethnic cuisine3
149212Customer service manager2 ✓
442213Crowd controller^4
423211Dental assistant4
321212Diesel motor mechanic3
411712Disabilities services officer2
241111Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher^1
721211Earthmoving plant operator – general4
311412Earth science technician2 ✓
342211Electrical linesworker^3
342314Electronic instrument trades worker – general3
721214Excavator operator4
149913Facilities manager2
421112Family day care worker^4
411713Family support worker2
323211Fitter – general3
323212Fitter and turner3
332111Floor finisher3
231113Flying instructor^1
721311Forklift driver4
121213Fruit or nut grower1
431311Gaming worker4
142114Hair or beauty salon manager2
313111Hardware technician2
141311Hotel or motel manager2
542113Hotel or motel receptionist4
431411Hotel service manager3
313112ICT customer support officer2 ✓
313199ICT support technicians nec2 ✓
362213Landscape gardener3
141411Licensed club manager2
221112Management accountant1
225113Marketing specialist1
322311Metal fabricator3
121411Mixed crop and livestock farmer1
121216Mixed crop farmer1
121317Mixed livestock farmer1
321211Motor mechanic – general3
899411Motor vehicle parts and accessories fitter – general4
621311Motor vehicle or caravan salesperson4
621312Motor vehicle parts interpreter4
321213Motorcycle mechanic3
423312Nursing support worker4
512111Office manager2
421114Out of school hours care worker^4
423313Personal care assistant4
311215Pharmacy technician2
334111Plumber – general^3
322312Pressure welder3
511112Programme or project administrator2
612112Property manager3
272612Recreation officer1
411715Residential care worker2
142111Retail manager – general2
621511Retail supervisor4
131112Sales and marketing manager1
322211Sheetmetal trades worker3
231212Ship’s engineer1
231213Ship’s master^1
321214Small engine mechanic3
399516Sound technician3
133611Supply and distribution manager1
221113Taxation accountant1
342412Telecommunications cable jointer3
342413Telecommunications linesworker3
342414Telecommunications technician3
423314Therapy aide4
451412Tour guide4
733111Truck driver – general^4
121221Vegetable grower1
324311Vehicle painter3
361311Veterinary nurse3 ✓
070499#Waiter supervisor4
712921Waste water or water plant operator4
313113Web administrator2
232414Web designer1
322313Welder – first class3
272613Welfare worker1
411716Youth worker2


# 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.

Australia welcomes workers through new visa programme 1
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 codeOccupationANZSCO skill level
423111Aged or disabled carer4
421111Child care worker4
423211Dental assistant4
421112Family day care worker4
423312Nursing support worker4
421114Out of school hours care worker4
423313Personal care assistant4
423314Therapy aide4


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.

If you are interested and want to know more about this visa programme, do not hesitate to contact us at

Vera Radisavljevic

Registered Migration Agent
Australian Solicitor
MARN 1681254

Disclaimer: Your use of the above text or the receipt of any information from this article or website 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.

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