Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)

The South Australian DAMA, is a Designated Area Migration Agreement between the Commonwealth Government and the South Australian Government to enable employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers, for positions that they are unable to fill with local workers. SA has two DAMAs: 

The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement is the Designated Area Migration Agreement covering the Adelaide Metropolitan region only.

The South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement is the Designated Area Migration Agreement covering the entire state of South Australia.

No. The DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program which comes under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482 labour agreement stream). Employers must apply to Skilled & Business Migration to access the SA DAMA.

The Designated Area Representative (DAR) is the signatory to the DAMA and is responsible for overseeing the Agreement, including endorsing employers seeking to access overseas workers through the DAMA. The South Australian Designated Area Representative (DAR) is Skilled & Business Migration, part of the Department for Innovation and Skills.  

Skilled & Business Migration is the Designated Area Representative (DAR) and is responsible for overseeing the DAMA, endorsing employers, monitoring and evaluation as per the Agreement with the Commonwealth.

Occupations are determined through consultation with industry associations and key employers, together with government  data about skills shortages in the target industries. As part of the management of the SA DAMA, there is an opportunity for an annual review of this list.

Eligible businesses operating in South Australia experiencing skills and labour shortages can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers. South Australian employers can sponsor prospective workers residing in Australia or overseas. 

The South Australian Government undertook a comprehensive consultation with industry stakeholders as part of the DAMA business case process and occupations were subject to concession negotiation with the Commonwealth, notably not all occupations were offered concessions. The occupations not offered concessions will be closely monitored over the next 12 months with a view to submitting a revised business case to the Commonwealth should sufficient evidence of the need for the concessions be established. 

No. The DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program which comes under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482 labour agreement stream). Employers must apply to Skilled & Business Migration to access the SA DAMA. 

There will be opportunities for pathways to permanent residency, for selected visas and occupations and workers will be required to meet the eligibility requirements.  

The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs is responsible in making all visa decisions. 

You can consider commencing labour market testing for an identified occupation listed on the DAMA occupation list.

If you are already a Standard Business Sponsor approved by the Department of Home Affairs, ensure this is current and you have the supporting documentation.

You can read more information on the endorsement requirements criteria as listed on the Skilled & Business Migration website.

You may also consider engaging a registered migration agent if you require professional services.

Employers interested in a Labour Agreement under the DAMA must first be endorsed by the Designated Area Representative (DAR).  If the employer is endorsed, the DAR will provide a Letter of Endorsement to the employer and the Department of Home Affairs. The endorsed employer may then apply for a DAMA Labour Agreement using the Department’s online lodgement portal, ImmiAccount.  The employer needs to attach supporting documents (including the Letter of Endorsement) during the application process.

A DAMA Labour Agreement is an agreement between the Australian Government and an employer, under the terms and conditions specified in the DAMA.  Under a DAMA Labour Agreement, an employer may sponsor an agreed number of overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa and, where available, the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa.   

Employers seeking to nominate overseas workers under a DAMA are required to provide evidence that they cannot find a suitable Australian Worker. Before an overseas worker can be nominated, employers need to test the local labour market by advertising the vacant position in Australia. Evidence of Labour Market Testing is required when applying for a DAR endorsement and at the nomination stage.

Yes, for more information read the Skilling Australians Fund website

No. The South Australian Migration Agreements are an employer-sponsored visa program which come under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482 labour agreement stream). Businesses must apply to the Government of South Australia to access the South Australian Migration Agreements for the occupations, concessions and number of workers they require. 

If the business is endorsed by the Government of South Australia and if the Australian Government signs a labour agreement with the business, they can then submit nomination applications for the appropriately skilled workers they have identified. A worker interested in a visa cannot apply independently. 

The Designated Area Representative (DAR) can be contacted by submitting an online enquiry through the Skilled & Business Migration portal.

Applications for endorsement must be submitted electronically on the Skilled & Business Migration portal.

If you do not have an account, you will need to log onto Skilled & Business Migration portal and create an account.

  1. Choose registration type from the drop down menu: South Australian Employer
  2. Complete your contact details on the 'Register here' section then click on the 'register now' button.

If you are already registered as a South Australian Employer, login to your account and select to apply for Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) - 482.

There are no review rights should the DAR decide not to endorse an employer for a labour agreement. Similarly, there are no review rights if the Department declines a labour agreement request.

No. The Department takes the DAR endorsement into consideration when assessing a labour agreement request. A positive DAR endorsement does not guarantee Departmental approval of a labour agreement request. For example, there may be information before the Department that the DAR is not aware of and that is not appropriate for the Department to disclose.

Skilled & Business Migration can provide information and guidance to assist you with the Request for Endorsement Application process. Following endorsement we will provide you with information guides on how to apply for the DAMA Labour Agreement process. 

Employers or nominees who need assistance with whole or part of the migration application process, including the Labour Agreement, nomination and/or visa application should consider engaging a registered migration agent.

If you decide you want professional help, use an agent registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). 

Whilst there are limited circumstances where self-sponsorship can be considered under the standard TSS program, self-sponsorship is not supported under any labour agreements, including DAMAs.

There is no application fee for applying endorsement through Skilled & Business Migration, Department for Innovation and Skills.. However, you must pay for all other Federal Government costs associated with nominating and sponsoring an overseas worker. The Department of Home Affairs determines its own costs

An Overseas Worker who is successfully sponsored under the SA DAMA is granted a Temporary Skill Shortage visa subclass 482 (labour agreement stream) visa or Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa subclass 494 (labour agreement stream).