Far North Queensland DAMA
We are very pleased to announce the arrival of the latest DAMA, the FNQ DAMA.
After months of advocating, research, information sessions and the preparation and presentation of an extensive business case, we are pleased to announce the approval of the Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (FNQ DAMA).
In consultation and collaboration with the Cairns Chamber of commerce we have successfully lobbied the Federal government to acknowledge the specific needs of our region and have found a solution which will assist in filling specific skills shortages facing the Cairns region.
What is a DAMA?
A DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement) is a type of labour agreement which allows employers to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers in positions which they are unable to fill with local available workers.
The DAMA allows employers to nominate workers for Subclass 482 (TSS) visas with its very own list of occupations. The FNQ DAMA has 71 occupations available. The DAMA also contains a few exemptions such as English levels, Skill criteria and TSMIT.
“The FNQ DAMA is an important way to attract skilled migrants to our state where local workers are not available to fill jobs; it is only if suitable local recruits cannot be found that skilled migrants can be accessed by the DAMA process. Our first priority is always to fill jobs with Australians, but the immigration system can play an important role in helping to address regional skills gaps” said Debbie-Anne Bender, CEO, Cairns Chamber of Commerce.
Who is the DAMA for?
The DAMA is designed for businesses within the region to fill skills shortages that they are unable to fill with the local labour available. For potential employees a DAMA can be a great way to transition from a temporary visa (such as a student visa) all the way to Permanent residency. The DAMA occupation list will be released in full shortly however it covers a variety of skilled and semi-skilled occupations in industries including Hospitality, Agriculture, Tourism, health and much more.
How do i Access the DAMA?
The DAMA is an employer sponsored migration scheme, an Employer must be approved to access the Labour agreement by the DAR (designated Area Representative). The Cairns chamber of commerce has been appointed by the Department of Home Affairs to be the DAR. Once the Labour Agreement has been approved, the employer is then able to nominate workers for Subclass 482 visas, who will be able to progress to permanent residence once the normal requirements for transitioning to permanent residence are met e.g. three years with the same employer, unless different requirements are specified in the Labour Agreement.
Where does the FNQ DAMA Cover?
The FNQ DAMA is very specific and covers the Far North Queensland region including the Cassowary Coast, the Tablelands, Mareeba, Cairns & the Douglas Shire.
When can i apply for a DAMA?
The DAMA has only just been announced, there is still some hard work required to have all of the systems in place to apply to be a part of the DAMA. We are hoping to be able to submit applications by June 2019. Watch this space for further updates and an official commencement date.
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