DAMA – Designated Area Migration Agreements - SBS Korean

Introducing to you Talk Talk S Pod with Hong Tae Kyung – ‘Must-know’ details for living in Australia explained in an easy way.   


To our Talk Talk S Pod readers, we have dedicated this time to unravelling some key information you will need to know before settling into Australia. Most importantly, we will be navigating through one of the more essential topics for when you arrive. Yes, your visa requirements. For those of you who wish to obtain Australian residency status, let’s have a look at how you might settle in one of Australia’s local regions.  


To do this, we will be dissecting everything you will need to know about the ‘Designated Area Migration Agreements’, or what is more commonly referred to as DAMA. We will be led by John Kim, Partner and Immigration Specialist at H & H Lawyers in Sydney, who will be attending to all your queries: 


  • What is DAMA? 
  • What kind of processes will local businesses employing through DAMA need to go through in order to be selected? 
  • To this date, the Commonwealth government has declared 6 designated areas in total. It appears there are subtle differences amongst them. If so, what are those differences?  


Let us hear what Partner Kim has to say.  


Partner John Kim: I see, well. Why don’t we first begin by identifying those 6 designated areas. Producer Sungil Park has outlined for us the respective regional occupations for each area.  


DAMA – Northern Territory  

We will start with the region which appears to have the longest list of occupations – the Northern Territory. With roughly 117 occupations listed, the Northern Territory occupation list includes amongst others, accounting, child care, chef and wedding design. If we look closely, we can also see that some occupations currently on the list, but which were previously excluded from the existing MLTSSL (Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills), such as café or restaurant manager and hairdresser, reappear. For this reason, we see that the Northern Territory is gaining strong interest from prospective visa applicants.    


DAMA – New South Wales, Orana  

The second designated area is New South Wales Orana. In this region, there are up to 73 listed occupations for visa applicants, including amongst others nursing, chef and carpentry, etc.  


DAMA – Western Australia, Goldfields  

The third designed area is Goldfields located in the south eastern corner of Western Australia. Out of 72 total listed occupations for visa applicants, there includes General Accountant, Carpentry, Chef, truck driver, etc.  


DAMA – Victoria, Great South Coast  

The fourth designated area is the Great South Coast located in Victoria. With 27 listed occupations for visa applicants, there includes chef, truck driver, automotive electrician and hotel manager.  


DAMA – Far North Queensland  

The fifth designated area is Far North Queensland. Restaurant supervisor, mechanic, chef, childcare worker and farm inspector appear amongst the list of 70 occupations, with 200 visas to be offered.  


DAMA – Adelaide and South Australia  

The final designated area has been split into two regions, namely Adelaide and Southern Australia. Firstly, the Adelaide Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement constitutes an innovative precinct, designed to drive the technological growth industry within Adelaide. With a total of 60 listed occupations, a maximum of 300 workers will be sponsored per year.  


Secondly, through the South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement, local South Australian businesses will be sponsoring up to 750 workers per year out of 114 listed occupations.   


Well, now that we’ve briefly covered all 6 designated areas, let’s proceed with discussing the attractiveness of a DAMA.  


Q: In order to encourage labour inflow into the selected local regions, the 428 visa through DAMA appears to target lower skilled immigrants by easing the threshold for successfully obtaining a working visa. How might this compare to existing skilled visas? 


Partner John Kim: I think the fact that applicants are required to have worked within a designated region for at least 3 years prior to making an application for permanent residency is important to consider.  


A: Would then working whilst residing within one of those designated regions for 3 years guarantee the making of an application for permanent residency?  


Partner John Kim: I would suggest to all prospective visa applicants to undergo a stringent preliminary investigation before making any decisions. You want to seriously consider whether the particular work fits in with your future plans and make a move according to that. Before seeking any legal advice, it is also best to have a good understanding of the basic requirements and features of each DAMA region which are all available through their website. It’s difficult for an adviser to know the specific features for all 6 designated regions. By having a grasp of the basic understanding, you will be able to seek out more specific and tailored opinion with respect to your situation.  


Today we were joined by Partner John Kim who has helped us navigate DAMA – the Designated Area Migration Agreements – in relation to the 428 Working Visa.  


Talk Talk S Pod is always here to provide you with the latest information. 

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