Migration Mentor Felix Carao

For International students, sc485 visa holders and other overseas workers, the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement II (NT DAMA II) might be your best option to become an Australian permanent resident.

This is especially applicable to those who have completed at least a Diploma qualification in Aged / Disabled Care, Community Support Services, Childcare or Commerce. As the relevant occupations, you can nominate with these qualifications which are mostly available to be sponsored in regional areas of Australia. Most of these occupations, as well as other semi-skilled occupations, are currently only found in the NT DAMA II program.

The NT DAMA II is an employer-sponsored visa program which comes under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS Subclass 482 labour agreement stream). Businesses must apply to the NT Government to access the NT DAMA II for the occupations, concessions and number of workers they require.

If the business is endorsed by the NT Government and if the Australian Government signs a labour agreement with the business, they can then submit nomination applications for the skilled workers they have identified. A prospective applicant interested in a 482 visa cannot apply independently.

Prospective applicants are not guaranteed permanent residency under the NT DAMA II

Workers must meet the eligibility requirements for permanent residency under the NT DAMA II. The current pathway to permanent residency is through the subclass 186 (labour agreement stream) permanent residency sponsorship in an employer’s choice.

However, prospective applicants are eligible to be sponsored for PR after working for their sponsor for at least three years.

There is no age limit for a sc482 visa applicant. However, businesses and workers intending to access the permanent residence pathway must be aware that this has an age limit of 49 years old (cannot have turned 50) at time of permanent residence nomination.

What are the qualifications and experience an applicant must have?

If a business is endorsed to access an occupation on the Australian Government’s current list of eligible skilled occupations (the short-term skilled occupation list, medium and long-term strategic skills list or regional occupation list), the applicant will need to demonstrate the same level of qualifications and experience as the standard Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa programs.

Skill level 1 to 3 occupations

Applicants filling any NT DAMA II occupations that are not on the Australian Government’s short-term skilled occupation list, medium and long-term strategic skills list or regional occupation list must meet the following requirements:

  • undergo a skills verification regional area nominated registered training organisation or the Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, and
  • meet the skill level as defined in ANZSCO, and
  • have at least two years post qualification experience.

Specified skill level 4 occupations

Applicants seeking to be nominated to fill occupations listed in the table below must have at least a relevant Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) diploma or equivalent or higher-level qualification and at least one year (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience.

ANZSCO code Occupation ANZSCO skill level
423111 Aged or disabled carer 4
421111 Child care worker 4
423211 Dental assistant 4
421112 Family day care worker 4
423312 Nursing support worker 4
421114 Out of school hours care worker 4
423313 Personal care assistant 4
423314 Therapy aide 4

Other skill level 4 occupations

Applicants seeking to be nominated to fill any other skill level 4 occupations eligible for the NT DAMA II must have:

  • an AQF Certificate II or equivalent and at least one and a half years (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualifications experience, or
  • at least a relevant AQF Certificate III or equivalent and at least one year (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience, or
  • at least two years (38 hours plus per week) relevant experience.

Photo credit: denisbin | Flickr

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