DAMA for Cairns

The Far North Queensland region (FNQ) DAMA program provides more flexibility for both employers and workers compared to the standard skilled migration program at the federal level. The key benefits of the FNQ DAMA include:

  1. Broader occupations available pursuant to the FNQ DAMA Occupations, encompassing:
    • Semi-skilled as well as skilled occupations (Skill Levels 1-5);
    • Locally specific occupations that are not found in the ANZSCO.
  2. Offering permanent visa pathways for all 168 occupations in the FNQ DAMA Occupation list.
  3. Concessions on the Age, English language proficiency and Income Threshold.
  4. Multiple visa options available: Subclass 482 TSS; 186 ENS; 494 SESR leading to 191 PESR.
  5. More lenient Labour Market Testing requirements than the standard requirements.
  6. Priority processing times.


Concessions Criteria

Age Concession

For 164 out of the 168 occupations as specified in the list of FNQ DAMA Occupation, the age concession applies to individuals up to the age of 55. For the occupations listed below, the age concession is 50.

  • Commercial Housekeeper
  • Fruit Farm Worker
  • Fruit Picker
  • Other Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers (nec)


English Language Concession

English language concessions generally do not apply to many occupations, except the 33 occupations as written below:

Aquaculture SupervisorDiesel Motor MechanicGardener (General)Pastry Cook
BakerDiverHorticultural Supervisor or SpecialistSenior Broadacre Crop and Livestock Farm Worker
Beauty TherapistsEarthmoving Plant Operator (General)Hotel Service ManagerSmall Engine Mechanic
BrewerElectronic Instrument Trades WorkerMetal Fabricator/BoilermakerTelecommunications Cable Jointer
Cabler (Data and Telecommunications)Farm InspectorMetal Fitters and Machinists (nec)Truck Driver
CarpenterFitter-WelderMobile Plant Operators (nec)Vehicle Painter (includes aircraft)
Commercial HousekeeperForklift DriverMotor Mechanic (General)
CookFruit Farm WorkerMotorcycle Mechanic
Deck HandFruit PickerOther Hospitality Workers (nec)

TSS and SESR concession:

  • An IELTS score of 5.0 overall (or its equivalent) is required, with no minimum score in each band, unless registration or licensing requires a higher level of English.

ENS concession:

  • An IELTS score of 5.0 overall (or its equivalent) is required, with no component allowed to fall below IELTS 4.0 or its equivalent, except in cases where registration or licensing stipulates a higher level of English proficiency.

Other accepted English language tests are:

  • Occupational English Test (OET);
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT);
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test; or
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test.


TSMIT Concession

Effective July 1, 2023, the TSMIT will increase from $53,900 to $70,000. However, for specific occupations covered under FNQ DAMA, this amount will be reduced to $63,000. The FNQ DAMA offers a concession for many occupations (Skill Levels 3-5) listed in the FNQ DAMA occupation list.

Here are two types of TSMIT concessions.

Type 1Type 2
Monetary EarningsAt least Reduced TSMITAt least Reduced TSMIT
Non-monetary earnings
(Food and Board)
No more than 10% of
Total Annual EarningsAt least Reduced TSMITAt least TSMIT

When determining an Overseas Worker’s Annual Earnings, monetary earnings should not fall below the Reduced TSMIT threshold. Additionally, the value of non-monetary earnings, such as food and board, should not exceed 10% of TSMIT.


Pathway to Permanent Residency Visa

All occupations in the FNQ DAMA Occupation and Concessions List offer access to a specific permanent visa pathway. A TSS visa holder granted under an FNQ DAMA labor agreement may also become eligible for an ENS visa after three years. Similarly, a SESR visa holder granted under an FNQ DAMA labor agreement may become eligible for a 191 visa after three years.

*Please note that access to the ENS for Skill Level 5 occupations, as outlined below, is conditional when the applicant holds a TSS visa (refer to sections 1.9 and 1.10).

  • Other Hospitality Workers (nec)
  • Fruit Picker
  • Fruit Farm Worker
  • Commercial Housekeeper


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