Western Australian DAMA: A New Opportunity for Skilled Migration

Published on July 5, 2024

This article provides an overview of the new Western Australia Designated Area Migration Agreement (WA DAMA), highlighting its significance, eligibility criteria, and benefits for businesses and skilled migrants.

Effective from 1 July 2024, the new state-wide Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) for Western Australia has come into effect. This marks a significant expansion of the DAMA program within the state, adding to the existing regional agreements in the Goldfields, Kimberley, Pilbara, and South West regions.

What is a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)?

A DAMA is a formal agreement between the Australian Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs and a regional, state, or territory authority. It provides regions with access to more overseas workers than the standard skilled migration programs. DAMAs operate under an agreement-based framework, offering flexibility for regions to address their unique economic and labor market conditions.

source: Designated Area Migration Agreement(DAMA)

Existing DAMAs in Western Australia

Currently, there are four regional DAMAs tailored to meet the specific labor demands of their respective areas:

This article provides an overview of the new Western Australia Designated Area Migration Agreement (WA DAMA), highlighting its significance, eligibility criteria, and benefits for businesses and skilled migrants.

source: Designated Area Migration Agreement(DAMA)

  1. Goldfields DAMA
    • Covers City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Shire of Coolgardie, Shire of Dundas, Shire of Esperance, Shire of Laverton, Shire of Leonora, Shire of Menzies, and Shire of Ravensthorpe.
  2. Kimberley DAMA
    • Covers Shire of Wyndham East-Kimberley, Shire of Broome, Shire of Halls Creek, and Shire of Derby-West Kimberley.
  3. Pilbara DAMA
    • Covers City of Karratha, Town of Port Hedland, and Shire of East Pilbara.
  4. South West DAMA
    • Covers City of Bunbury, City of Busselton, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Shire of Boyup Brook, Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Shire of Capel, Shire of Collie, Shire of Dardanup, Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup, Shire of Harvey, Shire of Manjimup, and Shire of Nannup.

Introduction of the WA DAMA

The Western Australia Designated Area Migration Agreement (WA DAMA) is the fifth DAMA for the state, designed to complement the existing agreements and support the entire state. This new agreement allows employers to access a broader list of occupations and concessions, providing more opportunities for businesses to meet their labor needs with skilled migrants.

Eligibility and Application Process

To participate in the WA DAMA, businesses must obtain endorsement from the Department of Training and Workforce Development through Migration Services, the authorised Designated Area Representative (DAR). The following visa pathways are available under the WA DAMA:

  • Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) visa
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494) visa
  • Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa

Key Requirements for Businesses

To be considered for endorsement, businesses must meet several eligibility criteria, including:

  1. Evidence of Operation in Western Australia:
    • Businesses must provide proof that they operate within the state.
  2. Evidence of Workforce Needs:
    • Employers need to demonstrate their inability to recruit appropriately qualified Australians for the positions they seek to fill with overseas workers.
  3. Concessions and Endorsement Validity:
    • Specific concessions related to the skilled visa eligibility criteria and the terms of endorsement validity will apply.

Benefits of the WA DAMA

The WA DAMA provides significant benefits for businesses struggling to fill positions with local talent. By allowing access to a broader range of occupations and offering various concessions, it helps address the unique labor market challenges faced by different regions in Western Australia.

Expressions of Interest

The WA Government is currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from businesses seeking to access the WA DAMA. Interested businesses should prepare the necessary documentation and evidence to support their application for endorsement.

In the next article, we will discuss the eligibility requirements for the WA DAMA.

For more detailed information on the WA DAMA, please visit the WA Government’s DAMA page.

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