Permanent residence pathway

The new Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) provides a pathway to permanent residence.

Eligible employees will be able to apply for permanent residence through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) subclass 186 visa.

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Employees must meet the following at the time of nomination:

  • be under 50 years of age.
  • hold a subclass 457 or subclass 482 visa issued under the current NT DAMA
  • meet the qualifications and experience requirement
  • if you are nominated for an occupation which is eligible for English language concession, you must have a minimum score of an overall 5 and a minimum 4.5 in each band in an IELTS test or equivalent
  • if you are nominated for an occupation that is not eligible for an English language concession, you must have a minimum score of at least 6 in an IELTS test or equivalent
  • meet the work requirement
    • have worked full-time in the NT, for at least three of the four years prior to nomination in one or more NT DAMA endorsed businesses
    • in those three years, you must have worked in your nominated occupation or in an occupation in the same ANZSCO four-digit level; that occupation must be specified in the NT DAMA eg personal care assistant (ANZSCO 423313) and therapy aide (ANZSCO 423314) are on the same ANZSCO four-digit level
    • in those three years, you must have been on a subclass 457 or subclass 482 visa issued under the NT DAMA
  • meet the requirements from the Department of Home Affairs website.

Nominating businesses must meet the following nomination requirements:

  • the occupation you are nominating must be the one connected to the employee’s subclass 457 or subclass 482 visa
  • you must offer full-time employment to the nominee for at least two years, with the possibility of extension.

Nominating businesses must be endorsed under the current NT DAMA and have an associated labour agreement in place with the Australian Government.

This means that businesses who hold a labour agreement under previous NT DAMA(s) must be endorsed under the current NT DAMA and enter into a new labour agreement to nominate for a subclass 186 visa.

In addition to the above, nominating businesses must also meet the endorsement criteria including labour market testing requirements, and meet the requirements from the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you are a business with an existing NT DAMA II labour agreement:

Step 1: Your business needs to apply to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation for subsequent year endorsement. You can find the checklist and forms on the subsequent year endorsement process page.

Step 2: Once endorsed, the Department of Home Affairs will contact you and work with you to amend your existing labour agreement.

Step 3: Submit your nomination application for the subclass 186 to the Department of Home Affairs.

Step 4: The employee can then lodge an application for a subclass 186 visa.

If you do not have an existing NT DAMA II labour agreement:

Step 1: Your business needs to apply to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation for endorsement. You can find the checklist and forms on the how to apply page.

Step 2: Once endorsed, you must request a labour agreement from the Department of Home Affairs through ImmiAccount.

Step 3: Submit your nomination application for the subclass 186 to the Department of Home Affairs.

Step 4: The employee can then lodge an application for a subclass 186 visa.

Last updated: 05 June 2019

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