Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (FNQ DAMA Process)
The Cairns Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) is the Designated Area Representative (“DAR”) for the FNQ DAMA Agreement, Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (Fnq Dama Occupation List).
The FNQ DAMA Designated Area includes Australian postcodes 4852, 4854-4856, 4858-4861,4865, 4868-4875, 4878-4883, 4885-4886 and 4895, within the Cairns, Douglas, Mareeba,Tablelands, Cook, or Cassowary Coast local government areas, or the Torres Shire Council local government area, or the Weipa Town Authority area.
Note that while most occupations are accessible throughout the Designated Area, a small number of occupations are excluded from postcodes 4868, 4869, 4870 and 4878 (Cairns metropolitan area).
The FNQ DAMA is a four-stage process:
1. Endorsement from the Chamber (the DAR)
2. Request a Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs
3. Nomination application
4. Visa application
Stage 1 – DAR endorsement
This is undertaken by the Cairns Chamber of Commerce as the DAR. You cannot proceed to Stage 2 unless you have DAR endorsement.
A DAR endorsement letter is valid for one year, and for one or more occupations and positions listed in the FNQ DAMA Occupation list. Any associated request to the Department of Home Affairs to access a Labour Agreement under the FNQ DAMA must be submitted within the validity of the DAR endorsement letter.
Stage 2 – Requesting a Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs
A Labour Agreement under the FNQ DAMA is a legally binding agreement made between you and the Commonwealth aimed at allowing you to sponsor overseas workers under the following visa programs:
• Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa
• Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (SESR) Subclass 494 visa
• Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa
A Labour Agreement under the FNQ DAMA is for circumstances where:
• there is a genuine, significant demand for workers in particular FNQ DAMA occupations that cannot be met from within the Australian labour market; and
• the Overseas Worker could not otherwise be sponsored under standard skilled visa arrangements or apply for another type of visa.
If you are endorsed to access a Labour Agreement under the FNQ DAMA, you can then apply for the Labour Agreement online with the Department of Home Affairs.
A Labour Agreement, once signed, can be valid for up to five years, and generally specifies how many occupations and positions you can nominate in each year of the agreement. There is provision to vary and update to a Labour Agreement throughout its life. If this involves adding or changing occupation and/or positions and/or visa types then that will entail you seeking DAR endorsement for those additions or changes.
You will need to provide a valid DAR endorsement letter to the Department of Home Affairs when seeking additions or variations to an existing Labour Agreement.
Stage 3 – Nominating the visa applicant
Once you have a Labour Agreement in place with the government, you can then nominate specific individual Overseas Workers against the occupation/s and position/s stated in the Labour Agreement, up to the cap and within the year specified in that agreement. Naturally, the occupation must be listed on the FNQ DAMA occupation list.
Stage 4 – Nominee apply for work visa
This is the final stage when the nominated individuals apply for their work visa, undergo police checks, medical checks, and other criteria specific to them.
Given the recent increase in the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from A$53,900 to A$70,000, we expect to see an increase in requests for company-specific labour agreements, industry-specific labour agreements and DAMA labour agreements as the employers are able to seek various concessions such as salary concessions, age concessions or English language concessions.
Our team of registered migration agents are experts in DAMA labour agreements for all 12 approved DAMA regions.
Contact the registered migration agent at Visa Lounge Immigration if you require assistance with your DAMA application.