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Designated Migration Agreement DAMA


The Australian Government and a regional, state, or territory authority enter into a formal agreement known as a designated area migration agreement (DAMA). Compared to the ordinary skilled migration programme, it gives access to more international employees. DAMAs function within a framework based on agreements, giving regions the ability to react to their particular economic and labour market realities.

A DAMA is a two-tiered framework that covers a certain geographic region. The first tier consists of a broad deed of agreement (head agreement) with the representative of the region that is valid for five years. Individual labour agreements with employers that fall under the parameters of the head agreement for that region make up the second layer.

The Australian Government and a Designated Area Representative enter into DAMA head agreements (usually regional bodies such as Chambers of Commerce, Regional Development Australia offices, or Shire Councils). They include a variety of professions as well as negotiated terms and exceptions to the requirements for skilled visa eligibility. Businesses in the area may seek individual DAMA labour agreements under the terms and concessions of the head agreement after a DAMA head agreement is established.

The Australian Government and endorsed employers/businesses operating in the applicable specified region enter into individual DAMA labour agreements. They:

  • Are typically valid for five years, and
  • Make use of the subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS), subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional, and subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa programmes.

Before submitting a labour agreement request online through Immiaccount, employers must consult with and receive approval from the Designated Area Representative. The conditions and necessary proof are laid out in the online form in Immiaccount for requests for labour agreements.

The business will be permitted to propose and sponsor skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers for particular jobs when a DAMA labour agreement is granted (each DAMA Head Agreement covers a specified range of occupations).

DAMAs mandate that firms give top preference to hiring Australian nationals and permanent residents. Prior to being granted access to a DAMA labour agreement, employers must, among other things, show that they have made an honest effort to hire Australians.