DAMA - Designated Area Migration Agreement

What is DAMA?

Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a type of Labour Agreement.


Labour Agreements are work agreements which enable approved employers to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers and in response to identified market shortages. These agreements are negotiated between the Department and employers or industrial associations.


Other types of labour agreements also include: Company specific labour agreements, Project agreements, Global Talent Scheme (GST) agreements and Industry labour agreements.

DAMAs are labour agreements between a Designated Area Representative (DAR) and the Australian Government and provide access to additional occupations and concessions to standard migration programs under the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa or the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa.

Once a DAMA is in place, local businesses can apply for endorsement and enter into individual labour agreements under the conditions of the relevant DAMA.

Active DAMA

There are currently seven DAMAs in place:

How to Apply for a Visa under DAMA?

As DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program, individual workers cannot apply independently. Employers must apply to the relevant DAR to access the DAMA for the occupations, concessions and number of workers they required.

Generally, the application process consists of:

  • Step 1. The employer (sponsoring business) applies to the relevant DAR for endorsement.

  • Step 2. The DAR assesses the endorsement application.

  • Step 3. If the assessment is positive the DAR issues a letter of endorsement to the employer and notifies the Department.

  • Step 4. The sponsoring business makes an application to enter into an individual DAMA labour agreement with the Department.

  • Step 5. The Department assesses the DAMA application.

  • Step 6. On receiving a positive outcome from the Department, the employer can proceed to lodge a nomination for the employee and the employee can also lodge a visa application under the labour agreement stream with the Department.

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