South Australia DAMA

South Australia Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs)

The South Australian Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a formal agreement between the Australian Government, represented by the Department of Home Affairs and the South Australian Government, Department of Innovation and Skills.

The South Australian Government has entered into two DAMAs:

  1. Adelaide Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement – which focuses on Adelaide’s high-tech growth industries including defence, space, technology and advanced manufacturing industries.
    The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement is the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) covering the Greater Adelaide planning region.
  2. South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement – which focuses on the South Australia’s regional high growth industries including agribusiness, forestry, health and social services, tourism and hospitality, construction and mining.
    The South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement is the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) covering the entire state of South Australia.

The DAMAs will enable South Australian employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers. Employers experiencing skills and labour shortages can apply for endorsement to enter into a DAMA labour agreement. This enables them to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers with more flexible requirements than are available via the standard skilled visa programs.

The South Australian Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) provides a framework for local employers to sponsor overseas workers in skilled and semi-skilled positions which are experiencing skills and labour shortages.
Concessions such as English language, salary, skills and experience and age to facilitate pathways to permanent residency are offered in a range of selected positions.

Approved occupations and concessions

The list of approved occupations, and range of concessions that are eligible for sponsorship under the SA DAMA, falls under two agreements:

Adelaide Innovation and Technology Agreement

There are 60 occupations on the Adelaide Innovation and Technology Agreement which supports the Adelaide City Deal. These occupations provide employers in the defence, space, and advanced manufacturing and technology industries with the ability to access and retain a highly-skilled workforce.

The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement covers the Greater Adelaide planning region.

Concessions offered on this Agreement address specific challenges including, attracting a skilled workforce by offering pathways for permanent residency in South Australia. Following the required period of time on a temporary skilled visa talented individuals may be enabled to meet permanent residency by accessing the age concession when applying for the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa, subject to the occupation and concession being on the DAMA occupation list at time of application.

Download Adelaide Innovation and Technology Agreement PDF document here

South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement

There are 114 occupations on the South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement which provide employers in key regional growth industries of agribusiness, health and aged care, hospitality and tourism, mining and construction sectors with the ability to access and retain a skilled workforce.

The South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement covers the entire state of South Australia. Agribusiness occupations will apply to the businesses located in the 5110 – 5734 postcodes.

Concessions for occupations vary and include:
  • Up to 10% reduction of the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), which is set nationally
  • English language concessions at IELTS (or equivalent in another accepted English language test) 4.5 with no less than 4.0 in any of the four test components
  • Skills assessment concession
  • Age concession to enable pathways to permanent residency
The South Australian Designated Area Migration Agreement also provides eligible businesses access to 4 occupations not listed in ANZSCO, these are identified under the code ‘ANZSCO 070499’.

Download SA Regional Workforce DAMA PDF document here

In order to enter into a DAMA Labour Agreement with the Australian Government, South Australian employers are required to be endorsed by the Designated Area Representative (Immigration SA).

Who can access the South Australian DAMA?

South Australian businesses which are actively operating in SA and:
  • Are financially viable and have been actively operating for at least 12 months
  • Have no adverse history of not meeting their obligations to employees
  • Are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that align with occupations on the Agreements occupation lists
  • Can demonstrate they cannot fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • Can provide conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.

Labour Hire companies are excluded from accessing endorsement under the SA DAMA.

Key Elements

The South Australian DAMA:
  • Provides a framework for local employers experiencing skillls and labour shortages to sponsor overseas workers in skilled and semi-skilled positions. 174 occupations have been approved offering a ceiling of 1,050 positions in the first year
  • Concessions such as English language, salary, skills and experience and age to facilitate pathways to permanent residency are offered in a range of selected positions
  • Employers will need to be endorsed by the Designated Area Representative, Immigration SA, in order to enter into a DAMA Labour Agreement with the Australian Government
  • Employers will need to meet a range of risk and integrity requirements to ensure that the rights of the worker and employer are protected
  • Uses the employer-sponsored visa program, labour agreement stream of the Temporary Skills Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  • Individual workers cannot apply for a visa independently.

Employer Eligibility

South Australian employers will be required to provide the DAR with evidence that the following criteria have been fulfilled:

  1. Employers will be asked to request the number of positions they need to fill in one year, detailing the occupation(s) and concession(s) they seek
  2. Employers must show they are based in South Australia
  3. Are lawfully operating that business for more than 12 months
  4. Are financially viable
  5. Demonstrate the position is genuine and there is a genuine vacancy
  6. Labour Market Testing (LMT) has been completed in accordance with requirements.
  7. Demonstrate requested occupations and concessions are reasonable with regard to current labour market conditions in the region
  8. Show employment terms and conditions are reasonable and lawful
  9. Provide detail on any recent changes to workforce composition in the last 6 months
  10. Show that concessions will not undermine Overseas Worker’s ability to support themselves or lead to exploitation
  11. Declare there is no adverse information about the employer.

Process Overview

The following diagram outlines the end-to-end process and parties responsible for each process stage.
  1. Employer applies for DAR endorsement
  2. DAR undertakes assessment for endorsement
  3. DAR issues a Letter of Endorsement to the employer and notifies Department of Home Affairs
  4. Employer requests DAMA Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs
  5. Home Affairs assess Labour Agreement application and notifies employer of outcome
  6. Employer proceeds to lodge nomination and visa application with Home Affairs

Fees & Charges

There are no fees and charges applicable for the following:
  • Endorsement by Immigration SA to access South Australia’s DAMAs
  • Entering into a labour agreement with the Australian Government
Please note that there will be fees and charges applicable for:
  • Nomination application – Australian Government
  • Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy – Australian Government
  • Worker visa application – Australian Government
  • Fees associated with professional services and evidence gathering.

Contact us today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.