The new Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) lets the Northern Territory (NT) employers sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers. It is the second version of the NT DAMA and applies to the whole of the NT and is tailored to address current and emerging labour market shortages and local terms and conditions of employment.
NT DAMA utilises the labour agreement stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), businesses enter into a labour agreement with the Australian Government and workers are then granted a subclass 482 visa.
The key elements of NT DAMA are:
pathways to permanent residency for NT DAMA visa holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders)
a broad range of occupations that reflect NT skilled and semi-skilled shortages, with no caveats to apply
English language concessions for some occupations
salary concessions that reflect NT market rates, ensuring that worker terms and conditions of employment are not eroded, and NT businesses and consumers are not subjected to inflationary costs
a range of risk and integrity actions to ensure that the rights of both employees and employers are protected
a five year agreement to reduce red tape.
Users of the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement
Businesses can access the NT DAMA if they are actively operating in the NT and:
are viable and have been operating for at least 12 months
have no history of not meeting its obligations to employees
are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that align with one of the occupations on the NT DAMA list
can demonstrate they cannot fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents
can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.
Occupations included in the agreement
The table shows occupations that are eligible for sponsorship under the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA).
It also shows the concessions that may be applied.
Your business can seek a Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) concession. However, there must be a strong business case provided to support a TSMIT concession.
Your business has to show that the salary offered to a prospective overseas worker is at least what an Australian citizen or permanent resident could expect doing the same job in the same location.
|ANZSCO code||Occupation||ANZSCO skill level||English concession may be available||TSMIT concession may be available|
|221111||Accountant – general||1|
|423111||Aged or disabled carer||4||✓|
|721111||Agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operator||4||✓||✓|
|342111||Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic^||3||✓|
|323111||Aircraft maintenance engineer – avionics^||3||✓|
|323112||Aircraft maintenance engineer – mechanical^||3||✓|
|070499#||Bar attendant – supervisor^||4||✓||✓|
|121312||Beef cattle farmer||1||✓||✓|
|351211||Butcher or smallgoods maker||3||✓||✓|
|342411||Cabler – data and telecommunications||3||✓|
|141111||Café or restaurant manager||2||✓|
|111111||Chief executive or managing director||1|
|134111||Childcare centre manager^||1|
|312212||Civil engineering technician||2||✓|
|149311||Conference and event organiser||2||✓|
|070499#||Cook – specialist ethnic cuisine||3||✓||✓|
|149212||Customer service manager||2||✓|
|321212||Diesel motor mechanic||3||✓|
|411712||Disabilities services officer||2||✓|
|241111||Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher^||1|
|721211||Earthmoving plant operator – general||4||✓||✓|
|311412||Earth science technician||2||✓|
|342314||Electronic instrument trades worker – general||3||✓|
|421112||Family day care worker^||4||✓|
|411713||Family support worker||2||✓|
|323211||Fitter – general||3||✓|
|323212||Fitter and turner||3||✓|
|121213||Fruit or nut grower||1||✓||✓|
|142114||Hair or beauty salon manager||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||✓|
|141411||Licensed club manager||2||✓|
|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||✓||✓|
|423312||Nursing support worker||4||✓|
|421114||Out of school hours care worker^||4||✓|
|423313||Personal care assistant||4||✓|
|334111||Plumber – general^||3||✓|
|511112||Program or project administrator||2|
|411715||Residential care worker||2||✓|
|142111||Retail manager – general||2||✓|
|131112||Sales and marketing manager||1|
|322211||Sheetmetal trades worker||3||✓||✓|
|321214||Small engine mechanic||3||✓|
|133611||Supply and distribution manager||1||✓|
|342412||Telecommunications cable jointer||3||✓|
|733111||Truck driver – general^||4||✓||✓|
|712921||Waste water or water plant operator||4|
|322313||Welder – first class||3||✓|
The Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) provides eligible businesses access to occupations not available through the standard stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) visa. It also provides for English language and Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) concessions.
View the occupation included in the agreement for the concessions that are available for each occupation. Not all occupations are eligible for concessions.
Overseas worker to demonstrate qualifications and experience
If a business is endorsed to access an occupation on the Australian Government’s current list of eligible skilled occupations (the short-term skilled occupation list, medium and long-term strategic skills list or regional occupation list), the overseas worker will needed to demonstrate the same level of qualifications and experience as the standard Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa programs.
How businesses are assessed as being eligible
The Northern Territory (NT) Government considers all of the following factors to determine if a businesses can use the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA).
If you are operating and located in the NT:
- businesses must have been actively operating for at least 12 months
- all positions to be filled must be located in the NT.
What your workforce needs are:
- the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation will assess your current and future workforce needs to determine which occupation(s) and concession(s) requested will be endorsed under the NT DAMA
- how many positions can be nominated for each occupation and for each concession
- the endorsement to access the NT DAMA is for up to five years, however the endorsement of occupations and numbers of positions to be filled is valid for one year. Businesses seeking to access more overseas workers will need to apply to the department for endorsement of occupation(s) and the number of vacant positions each year.
Whether you are unable to employ an Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position and whether you are offering terms and conditions of employment that meet market rates:
- businesses need to demonstrate they have undertaken appropriate labour market testing and are unable to employ an Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position
- the standard of labour market testing including duration, content and eligible mediums of advertising, are defined by the Department of Home Affairs, for more information on labour market testing requirements go to the Department of Home Affairs website
- businesses need to provide evidence the terms and conditions of employment are in line with Australian workplace standards – they must be no less than what an Australian would be paid to undertake the same job in the same location.
Whether you can be endorsed to access concessions:
- businesses seeking endorsement for the English or Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold concessions will need to demonstrate why the concession(s) are needed for the position(s) they are trying to fill.
If you are seeking endorsement to access the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) certain information about your business could be considered to be adverse information.
This may include any investigation, conviction, finding of non-compliance, administrative action or legal proceeding relating to a federal, state or territory law in areas like:
- industrial relations
- occupational health and safety.
How to find an Australian worker
If you want Northern Territory (NT) Government endorsement to get overseas workers under the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement you have to show that you have not been able to get suitably qualified and skilled Australian citizens or permanent residents to fill positions.
Local recruitment options
You must provide evidence of your local recruitment efforts over the last six months. There are many ways you can do this. You could:
- contact a recruitment agency
- advertise a vacancy in:
- professional and trade publications
- industry associations’ newsletters.
- advertise on a recruitment website like:
- CareerOne – if you advertise a vacancy in the NT News or the Centralian Advocate your vacancy will also be published on this site
- Australian JobSearch.
- work with Job Services Australia, who work with businesses to assess the types of workers required and attempt to match them with trained and work ready job seekers.
- consider employing an apprentice – if you don’t have enough work for an ongoing or full-time apprenticeship position, group training organisations can organise to share an apprentice with another business, go to the Australian Apprenticeships website.
The market rate requirement for Subclass 482 visa holders
To be endorsed to access the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) you have to show that the overseas worker you are sponsoring will be paid at least the local market rate for the occupation to which they are to be sponsored.
You must demonstrate that the terms and conditions of employment you are offering your overseas worker will be no less than those that you would provide to an equivalently skilled and experienced Australian worker performing the same work at the same location.
The proposed terms and conditions must also reflect the market rate for the occupation in the region.
The only time the market rate does not apply is when the proposed guaranteed annual earnings of the overseas worker will be at least exemption salary rate set by the Australian Government, which is $250,000 per year.
Fees and charges
There are no charges for:
- endorsement by MigrationNT to access the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement – Northern Territory Government
- labour agreement – Australian Government
- skills verification for selected occupations – Northern Territory Government.
There are fees, which change over time, for:
- nomination application – Australian Government
- worker visa application – Australian Government
- Skilling Australians Fund levy – Australian Government.
For information on the fees and charges for visas go to the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website.
How to apply
There are several steps in the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) process.
Your business needs to apply to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation for endorsement. Fill the forms below and submit with the supporting documentation in the checklist.
Request for endorsement to access a labour agreement under the DAMA (64.9 kb)
Summary of domestic recruitment efforts (45.3 kb)
Summary of salary concessions (37.0 kb)
Submit your electronic application as a single PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a hardcopy to:
Department of Trade, Business and Innovation
GPO Box 3200
Darwin NT 0801
If your business is eligible to access NT DAMA, a letter of endorsement and copies of the supporting documents will be sent to the Australian Government and your business.
Your businesses can then apply for a labour agreement through their ImmiAccount.
The labour agreement request form can be found in your ImmiAccount under a new labour agreement category on the new application page.
Your business identifies an overseas worker that is suitably skilled and experienced for the occupation that has NT DAMA approval. You must provide each worker with a settlement package (which will be provided to you) before the worker lodges their visa application.
Under some occupations the department must verify whether the overseas worker, that the businesses intends to nominate, has qualifications and / or experience that match those required for the nominated NT DAMA occupation.
When the verification is completed the department will issue a skills verification letter to be included with the overseas workers visa application.
Your business submits a nomination application to the Australian Government for every overseas worker you want to employ under the NT DAMA using your ImmiAccount.
Your overseas worker can then apply for a visa.
Subsequent year endorsement process
Endorsement to access the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) is for up to five years, however initial allocation of occupation types and number of vacancies are for the first year only. Businesses seeking to access new overseas workers will need to apply to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation each subsequent year.
Most applications are for additional numbers of the same endorsed occupation type(s), however additional occupations included in the agreement can be applied for.
Looking for further assistance on skill select invitations works? Book a consultation today with our experts or drop your queries at Bansal Immigration Services.