482/TSS Designated Area Migration Agreement: Far North Queensland open for business

It was a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) planned and announced prior to the federal election this year, and finally the Far North Queensland DAMA is off the ground and accepting applications according to a recent media release from the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.

Far North Queensland now joins the following regions with active DAMAs:

  • Northern Territory;

  • Orana, NSW;

  • Warrnambool, Victoria;

  • Goldfields, WA;

  • Adelaide, SA; and

  • Regional South Australia.

DAMAs come under the Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa program to fill critical skill shortages particular to a local region that are outside the purview of the standard business sponsor framework. This can be seen with the Far North Queensland DAMA occupation list which list some of the usual suspects including the occupations of 423111 Aged or Disabled Carer, and 411411 Enrolled Nurse. It also has three “created” occupations, those not found in the ANZSCO:

070499 Farm Inspector,

070499 Farm Supervisor, and

070499 Restaurant Supervisor.

Most occupations provide a pathway to a permanent Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa provided the sponsored worker has been working in the position for at least 3 years of the last 4 years with a Far North Queensland DAMA endorsed business and in the same ANZSCO Unit Group as the holder of a 482/TSS visa, among other things.

There are also English language, salary, and skills and experience concessions for certain occupations. Local businesses will want to take heed of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce’s requirements to be endorsed.

Will all promised DAMAs now revealed, one wonders where too from here? Will there be further DAMAs negotiated in the future or will the government be happy to wait out the results of these and review their effectiveness?

The remaining Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) announced prior to the election, for Far North Queensland, is now accepting applications. DAMAs come under the Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa program to fill critical skill shortages in specific regional areas. This DAMA has access to permanent visas for most occupations and includes three occupations not found in the ANZSCO.