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 code Occupation ANZSCO skill level English concession may
be available
TSMIT concession
may be available
221111 Accountant – general 1
551111 Accounts clerk 4
423111 Aged or disabled carer 4
721111 Agricultural and horticultural
mobile plant operator
231111 Aeroplane pilot^ 1
342111 Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic^ 3
323111 Aircraft maintenance engineer – avionics^ 3  ✓
323112 Aircraft maintenance engineer – mechanical^ 3  ✓
121111 Aquaculture farmer 1
362212 Arborist 3
321111 Automotive electrician 3
351111 Baker 3
070499# Bar attendant – supervisor^ 4
431112 Barista 4
451111 Beauty therapist 4
121312 Beef cattle farmer 1
551211 Bookkeeper 4
731211 Bus driver^ 4
351211 Butcher or smallgoods maker 3
394111 Cabinetmaker 3
342411 Cabler – data and telecommunications 3
141111 Café or restaurant manager 2  ✓
331212 Carpenter 3
351311 Chef 2
111111 Chief executive or managing director 1
421111 Childcare worker^ 4
134111 Childcare centre manager^ 1
312212 Civil engineering technician 2
411711 Community worker 2
149311 Conference and event organiser 2  ✓
351411 Cook 3
070499# Cook – specialist ethnic cuisine 3
149212 Customer service manager 2  ✓
442213 Crowd controller^ 4
899211 Deckhand^ 4
423211 Dental assistant 4
321212 Diesel motor mechanic 3
411712 Disabilities services officer 2
399911 Diver 3
241111 Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher^ 1
721211 Earthmoving plant operator – general 4
311412 Earth science technician 2  ✓
342211 Electrical linesworker^ 3
342314 Electronic instrument trades worker – general 3
721214 Excavator operator 4
149913 Facilities manager 2
421112 Family day care worker^ 4
411713 Family support worker 2
323211 Fitter – general 3
323212 Fitter and turner 3
323213 Fitter-welder 3
332111 Floor finisher 3
231113 Flying instructor^ 1
721311 Forklift driver 4
121213 Fruit or nut grower 1
431311 Gaming worker 4
142114 Hair or beauty salon manager 2
391111 Hairdresser 3
313111 Hardware technician 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  ✓
272412 Interpreter^ 1
362213 Landscape gardener 3
141411 Licensed club manager 2
721912 Linemarker 4
221112 Management accountant 1
225113 Marketing specialist 1
322311 Metal fabricator 3
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
321213 Motorcycle mechanic 3
423312 Nursing support worker 4
512111 Office manager 2
421114 Out of school hours care worker^ 4
324111 Panelbeater 3
423313 Personal care assistant 4
311215 Pharmacy technician 2
334111 Plumber – general^ 3
322312 Pressure welder 3
511112 Programme or project administrator 2
612112 Property manager 3
272612 Recreation officer 1
411715 Residential care worker 2
142111 Retail manager – general 2
621511 Retail supervisor 4
131112 Sales and marketing manager 1
322211 Sheetmetal trades worker 3
231212 Ship’s engineer 1
231213 Ship’s master^ 1
321214 Small engine mechanic 3
399516 Sound technician 3
133611 Supply and distribution manager 1
221113 Taxation accountant 1
342412 Telecommunications cable jointer 3
342413 Telecommunications linesworker 3
342414 Telecommunications technician 3
423314 Therapy aide 4
451412 Tour guide 4
733111 Truck driver – general^ 4
121221 Vegetable grower 1
324311 Vehicle painter 3
361311 Veterinary nurse 3  ✓
070499# Waiter supervisor 4
712921 Waste water or water plant operator 4
313113 Web administrator 2
232414 Web designer 1
322313 Welder – first class 3
272613 Welfare worker 1
411716 Youth worker 2


# 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
423211 Dental assistant 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
423314 Therapy aide 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.

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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