Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)

A Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a formal pact forged between the Australian Government and regional, state, or territory authorities. It offers an avenue to bring in more overseas workers than the conventional skilled migration program. 


Two-Tier Structure of DAMA 

DAMAs operate on a two-tier framework within a defined regional area. The first tier encompasses a comprehensive five-year deed of agreement, known as the “head agreement,” with the representative of the region. The second tier consists of individual labour agreements with employers, following the guidelines set by the head agreement for that specific region. 

DAMA head agreements are established between the Australian Government and a Designated Area Representative. These representatives typically include regional bodies like Chambers of Commerce, Regional Development Australia offices, or Shire Councils. They cover various occupations and agreed-upon terms and concessions to meet skilled visa eligibility criteria. Once a DAMA head agreement is in place, businesses within the region can seek individual DAMA labour agreements, adhering to the terms and concessions outlined in the head agreement. 


Individual DAMA Labour Agreements 

Individual DAMA labour agreements are made between the Australian Government and endorsed employers or businesses operating within the designated region. These agreements generally remain in effect for five (5) years and are applicable to visa programs such as the subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS), subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional), and subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS). 

To initiate the process, employers must secure endorsement from the Designated Area Representative (often referred to as DAR) before submitting a labour agreement request online through ImmiAccount. The online form on ImmiAccount outlines the specific requirements and supporting documentation necessary for labour agreement requests. 


Prioritizing Australian Workers 

DAMAs prioritize the recruitment of Australian citizens and permanent residents. Employers must demonstrate their sincere efforts to recruit Australians before gaining access to a DAMA labour agreement. Seeking endorsement from a DAR constitutes the initial step of this two-stage process. The subsequent stages involve nominating individual Overseas Workers and obtaining their visas. 


Current DAMAs in Place 

Presently, there are twelve (12) active DAMAs. Here is a list of these agreements along with links to the respective Designated Area Representative websites, providing information on how to access each DAMA and the regions, locations, or shires covered: 


New South Wales






Western Australia


South Australia


Northern Territory 


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