Northern Territory Skilled Migration Visa Options
FAQ – Northern Territory Skilled Migration Occupation list and Visa Options
What is a Designated Area Migration Agreement?
This is a labour agreement between a specific region and the Australian Government to enable them to meet the employment needs unique to their region. Under this framework, skilled and semi-skilled workers can be sponsored by employers who are struggling to find employees. Currently, the only DAMA is with the Northern Territory government and applies across the entire territory.
Which visa Subclasses are available under the DAMA?
The NT DAMA can be found under the labour agreement stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and the Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186).
What are the Benefits to Applying under the NT DAMA?
i) The NT DAMA offers pathways to permanent residency for NT DAMA visa holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders) that would not be accessible under any other stream or location within Australia.ii) There are a larger number of occupations that reflect NT skilled and semi-skilled shortages, with no caveats to apply, and that are not available elsewhere in Australia.
iii) There are lower English language requirements for some occupations.iv) Some of the occupations on the NT DAMA allow for salaries below the standard threshold, that reflect real NT market rates. There will be no change to worker terms and conditions of employment, however, it will ensure that NT businesses and consumers are not subjected to the higher running costs of businesses in other locations around Australia.
v) The agreement will reduce the amount of red tape a business and an applicant will have to go through in order to sponsor an overseas worker.
What are the changes to the English Language requirements?
Under the NT DAMA, some occupations will have a lower English language requirement than what is currently expected under the standard 482 and 186 visa subclasses. This will enable people in semi-skilled occupations to be sponsored.
Will the changes in the Salary threshold mean that I won’t earn as much as an Australian in the same position?
Under the NT DAMA, all workers will be employed under the same conditions as an Australian would be who was employed to perform the same job in the same location. However, the minimum salary would be that which suits the position and the location rather than the TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) which currently applies to all subclass 482 and 186 visas across the rest of Australia.
What qualifications and skills will I need to be sponsored under this agreement?
The same level of qualifications and experience as would be required under the standard Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa programs will be required under the NT DAMA.
There are various arrangements for the skills and qualifications required for different occupations and their level of expertise within the ANZSCO framework.
Which Businesses are eligible to sponsor under the NT DAMA?
Under the NT DAMA, the Northern Territory (NT) Government considers a range of factor to determine if a business is eligible to sponsor foreign workers.
i) Located and operating in the Northern Territory for at least 12 months and all positions to be filled must be located in the NT
ii) Each business will be evaluated by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation to determine the current and future workforce needs and therefore which occupation(s) and concession(s) will be approved. This will also include the number of positions that can be nominated for each occupation/concession. These endorsements are only valid for one year and must be reapplied for each year.
iii) Each business will need to demonstrate that they have tested the local labour market and are not able to find a suitably qualified Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position. The LMT requirements of duration, content and mediums of advertising as outlined in the Department of Home Affairs website, are still applicable to all applications under the NT DAMA. The terms and conditions of employment offered under this agreement must be the same as regular Australian workplace standards and must be no less than what an Australian would be paid at the same location to perform the same job.
iv) In order for a business to be granted concessions regarding the English or Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, they will need to demonstrate why the concession(s) are needed for the position(s) they are trying to fill.
What type of adverse information could prevent my business from eligibility under the NT DAMA?
For businesses that want to access the labour agreement program under the NT DAMA, any investigation, conviction, finding of non-compliance, administrative action or legal proceeding against them in immigration, industrial relations or occupational health and safety could prevent the government from endorsing that business.
What is the process for accessing a visa under the NT DAMA?
Before you can apply for a visa under the NT DAMA, you must find an employer who is willing to sponsor you. The process is simple.
- i) The business must apply to be endorsed by the NT Dept of Trade, Business and Innovation.
- ii) Once endorsed, they can apply for a labour agreement directly to the Department of Home Affairs.
iii) The business identifies a suitably qualified and experienced overseas worker for the occupation that has been endorsed under the NT DAMA.
- iv) For some workers/occupations the Department of Home Affairs will require a skills assessment before proceeding.
- v) A nomination application is submitted to the Department of Home Affairs for every overseas worker that the business wants to sponsor.
- vi) The overseas worker can then apply for their visa.
What occupations are available under the NT Designated Area Migration Agreement?
For a full list of skilled occupation and semi-skilled occupations that are available under this agreement.