Designated area migration agreements
A designated area migration agreement (DAMA) is a formal agreement between the Australian Government and a regional, state or territory authority. It provides access to more overseas workers than the standard skilled migration program. DAMAs operate under an agreement-based framework, providing flexibility for regions to respond to their unique economic and labour market conditions.
A DAMA is a two-tier framework covering a defined regional area. The first tier is an overarching five-year deed of agreement (head agreement) with the region’s representative. The second tier comprises individual labour agreements with employers under the settings of the head agreement for that region.
DAMA labour agreements are between the Australian Government and endorsed employers operating within the relevant region. They:
- are generally in effect for five years, and
- use the subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS), subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)*, and subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa programs.
Employers must seek and gain endorsement from the Designated Area Representative before lodging a labour agreement request.
Under the DAMA framework, employers in designated areas experiencing skills and labour shortages can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers. Individuals cannot directly access a DAMA. Individuals need to be sponsored:
- by an employer operating in a designated region
- for an occupation that is specified in the head agreement.
DAMAs ensure employers recruit Australian citizens and permanent residents as a first priority. Among other things, employers must demonstrate a genuine attempt to recruit Australians prior to getting access to a DAMA labour agreement.
If your region is interested in a DAMA, email
For information about labour agreements or other options for regional areas, the following resources are available:
There are currently seven DAMAs in place:
*Available under the Adelaide City and SA Regional DAMAs only.