Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement



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 codeOccupationANZSCO skill levelEnglish concession may be availableTSMIT concession may be available
221111Accountant – general1  
551111Accounts clerk4
423111Aged or disabled carer4 
721111Agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operator4
231111Aeroplane pilot^1  
342111Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic^3 
323111Aircraft maintenance engineer – avionics^3 ✓ 
323112Aircraft maintenance engineer – mechanical^3 ✓ 
121111Aquaculture farmer1
321111Automotive electrician3 
070499#Bar attendant – supervisor^4
451111Beauty therapist4 
121312Beef cattle farmer1
731211Bus driver^4
351211Butcher or smallgoods maker3
342411Cabler – data and telecommunications3 
141111Café or restaurant manager2  ✓
111111Chief executive or managing director1  
421111Childcare worker^4 
134111Childcare centre manager^1  
312212Civil engineering technician2 
411711Community worker2 
149311Conference and event organiser2  ✓
070499#Cook – specialist ethnic cuisine3
149212Customer service manager2  ✓
442213Crowd controller^4 
423211Dental assistant4 
321212Diesel motor mechanic3 
411712Disabilities services officer2 
241111Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher^1  
721211Earthmoving plant operator – general4
311412Earth science technician2 ✓ 
342211Electrical linesworker^3 
342314Electronic instrument trades worker – general3 
721214Excavator operator4
149913Facilities manager2  
421112Family day care worker^4 
411713Family support worker2 
323211Fitter – general3 
323212Fitter and turner3 
332111Floor finisher3
231113Flying instructor^1  
721311Forklift driver4
121213Fruit or nut grower1
431311Gaming worker4
142114Hair or beauty salon manager2 
313111Hardware technician2 
141311Hotel or motel manager2 ✓ 
542113Hotel or motel receptionist4 
431411Hotel service manager3
313112ICT customer support officer2 ✓ 
313199ICT support technicians nec2 ✓ 
362213Landscape gardener3 
141411Licensed club manager2 ✓ 
221112Management accountant1  
225113Marketing specialist1 
322311Metal fabricator3 
121411Mixed crop and livestock farmer1
121216Mixed crop farmer1
121317Mixed livestock farmer1
321211Motor mechanic – general3 
899411Motor vehicle parts and accessories fitter – general4
621311Motor vehicle or caravan salesperson4 
621312Motor vehicle parts interpreter4
321213Motorcycle mechanic3 
423312Nursing support worker4 
512111Office manager2  
421114Out of school hours care worker^4 
423313Personal care assistant4 
311215Pharmacy technician2 
334111Plumber – general^3 
322312Pressure welder3 
511112Program or project administrator2  
612112Property manager3  
272612Recreation officer1  
411715Residential care worker2 
142111Retail manager – general2 
621511Retail supervisor4 
131112Sales and marketing manager1  
322211Sheetmetal trades worker3
231212Ship’s engineer1 
231213Ship’s master^1  
321214Small engine mechanic3 
399516Sound technician3
133611Supply and distribution manager1 ✓ 
221113Taxation accountant1  
342412Telecommunications cable jointer3 
342413Telecommunications linesworker3 
342414Telecommunications technician3 
423314Therapy aide4 
451412Tour guide4
733111Truck driver – general^4
121221Vegetable grower1
324311Vehicle painter3
361311Veterinary nurse3  ✓
070499#Waiter supervisor4
712921Waste water or water plant operator4  
313113Web administrator2 
232414Web designer1 
322313Welder – first class3 
272613Welfare worker1 ✓ 
411716Youth worker2 

Concessions available

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.

Adverse information

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:

  • immigration
  • 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:
    • newspapers
    • 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
    • Seek
    • Adzuna
    • 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.

Step 1

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.

Form 1:

Request for endorsement to access a labour agreement under the DAMA (64.9 kb)

Form 2:

Summary of domestic recruitment efforts (45.3 kb)

Form 3:

Summary of salary concessions (37.0 kb)


Submit your electronic application as a single PDF to or mail a hardcopy to:

Department of Trade, Business and Innovation
GPO Box 3200
Darwin NT 0801

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

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