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The Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) lets NT employers sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers in areas experiencing skills and labour shortages. DAMAs apply to a designated region.
If you are an eligible NT employer the NT DAMA lets you sponsor overseas workers. The NT DAMA provides employers with some concessions to the criteria for the mainstream Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa.
In some circumstances these concessions include:
- access to some occupations that are not available under the standard Subclass 457 visa arrangements
- limited concessions for English language requirements
- limited concessions for salary levels.
You must meet eligibility requirements to get NT Government endorsement to access the NT DAMA.
Once endorsed the NT Government will send you a letter stating:
- the occupations in which you can sponsor overseas workers
- how many overseas workers you can sponsor for each of those occupations in year one
- for which of the occupations the English and / or the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold concessions may be accessed.
Your endorsement to access NT DAMA is for three years but the initial allocation of the type and numbers of occupations is for the first year only.
The NT DAMA Stage 2 commenced in August 2015.
If you were endorsed under NT DAMA Stage 1 and would like to include additional occupations or workers to your NT DAMA endorsement please contact MigrationNT.
Users of the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement
You can access the NT DAMA if you are actively operating in the NT and your business:
- is viable and has been operating for at least 12 months
- has had no adverse findings from the Australian Government, Fair Work Australia or NT WorkSafe
- wishes to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that closely align with one of the occupations on the NT DAMA list
- can demonstrate it can’t fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents
- can demonstrate it meets the Subclass 457 approved sponsor requirements
- can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that accord with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.
Steps in the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement assessment process
There are several steps in the NT DAMA assessment process. Each involves assessment of the employer and the overseas worker.
The NT employer completes two application forms for NT Government endorsement. There are two formats of the same document. Please choose one format only.
In your request you need to state:
- which occupations you wish to sponsor in the first year
- what concessions you are seeking for each occupation
- the number of overseas workers for each occupation you are seeking in the first year.
If you meet the eligibility requirements you will be endorsed by the NT Government to access NT DAMA.
The NT Government will send its letter of endorsement to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection together with copies of the supporting documents you provided for assessment. You will also receive a copy of this endorsement letter. This letter of endorsement to the Australian Government automatically triggers your application for a labour agreement.
This step requires no immediate action from you. Generally the NT Government endorsement is all the Australian Government requires.
The Australian Government negotiates a labour agreement with you. This may include the type of occupations, the number of positions being sought and the concessions available to you in the agreement’s first year.
You find a prospective overseas worker with the appropriate skills and experience in an occupation for which you have the the NT DAMA approval.
For occupations not on the Australian Government’s current list of skilled occupations, the NT Government must verify whether the overseas worker to be nominated has qualifications and / or experience that match those for the nominated NT DAMA occupation.
The overseas worker must provide translated copies of their qualifications and verifiable evidence of their work experience.
If the worker provides work references as evidence of work experience, they must have specific details of the positions held and the duties undertaken. Other supporting evidence may include pay slips, contracts and position descriptions.
You need to give the NT Government a statutory declaration stating that you or a staff member interviewed the overseas worker and:
- the worker’s qualifications and work experience have been verified
- you are satisfied that the overseas worker has the skills required to perform the duties of the position.
Your nominated overseas worker must include the NT Government’s qualification and work experience verification letter with their visa application.
You submit a nomination application to the Australian Government using its ImmiAccount
Select the labour agreement stream and use the Permission Request ID number provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
You must submit a new nomination application to the Australian Government for every overseas worker you want to employ under the NT DAMA.
If you are endorsed under the NT DAMA you must provide each worker with a settlement package before the worker lodges their visa application. MigrationNT can provide you with this compulsory settlement package for your overseas worker.
You will automatically receive a transaction reference number (TRN) when you submit your nomination application through the ImmiAccount and pay the nomination fee. Your overseas worker will need this TRN to submit their Subclass 457 visa application through the ImmiAccount.