Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement
Employers must first be endorsed by the Designated Area Representative (DAR) before submitting a DAMA Labour Agreement request with the Department of Home Affairs. The Cairns Chamber of Commerce is the appointed DAR for FNQ. The following diagram outlines the end-to-end process and parties responsible for each process stage.
In the first year, 70 occupation types are eligible for sponsorship under the Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (FNQ DAMA).
You can find a full list of occupations included in the FNQ DAMA here. It also shows the concessions that may be applied.
Among the concessions a business can seek is a Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) concession. However, there must be a strong business case provided to support a TSMIT concession.
Your business has to show that the salary offered to a prospective overseas worker is at least what an Australian citizen or permanent resident could expect doing the same job in the same location.
The FNQ DAMA is unique in that it provides access to three occupations not in the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
For the purposes of the FNQ DAMA these occupations have been given the code 070499.
For these occupations, applicants would need to demonstrate that skills, qualifications and experience align to the following sample position descriptions:
The FNQ DAMA provides eligible businesses access to occupations not usually available through the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) visa. It also provides for English language and Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) concessions, as well as concessions to qualifications and experience for select occupations.
The English language concession is available to overseas workers applying for a TSS visa when nominated for select positions under the FNQ DAMA. The occupations list indicates those occupations for which this English language concession may be sought.
The following English language concession applies to those select occupations:
For any occupations that are not listed in the occupations list as having an English language concession under the FNQ DAMA, the Overseas Worker is required to meet the minimum standard English language requirements applicable to the TSS and ENS non-labour agreement visa streams under the Migration Regulations.
Note there is no concession available for ENS nominated positions. Applicants seeking to transition to a permanent visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) will require a score of 6.0 (IELTS) on each or equivalent (i.e. there are no English language concessions available for ENS under the FNQ DAMA).
Note the English language requirements may be met if a visa applicant would be regarded as an 'exempt applicant' for the purpose of the legislative instruments applicable to TSS and ENS visas.
Other accepted English language tests are:
All workers employed under the FNQ DAMA must be employed under Australian employment conditions and receive no less than what an Australian would to undertake the same job in the same location.
Many employer-sponsored visa programs, including the standard TSS program, have a minimum threshold that can be paid. The TSMIT which currently sits at $53,900 also applies.
Please note TSMIT concessions are not available for all occupations. You can view the list of occupations and available concessions under the FNQ DAMA here. The TSMIT concessions available for the select occupations under the FNQ DAMA are summarised as:
For concessions types 3 and 4, when calculating an Overseas Worker's Earnings, the value of board (comprising accommodation and meals) should not exceed published home-stay rates for the Cairns Region (based on the standard EQI Rate at the time of application) https://eqi.com.au/study-options/fees.
For concessions type 2 and 4, when calculating an Overseas Worker's Earnings, the value of other non-monetary earnings (such as phone, vehicle) cannot exceed 10% of TSMIT.
Employers that seek concessions based on non-monetary benefits provided to overseas workers must ensure the:
If a business is endorsed to access an FNQ DAMA occupation that is also on the Australian Government’s current list of eligible skilled occupations, (which also specifies the relevant skills assessing authority), the overseas worker 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, and have their skills assessed (where required).
Overseas workers filling any FNQ DAMA occupations that are not on the Australian Government’s skilled occupation list must meet the following requirements.
ANZSCO Skill Level 1 to 3 Occupations
Overseas workers filling ANZSCO skill level 1 to 3 occupations that are not on the Australian Government's eligible skilled occupation list must meet the following skills and experience requirements;
Specified non-ANZSCO Skill Level 3 Occupations
Overseas workers filling any of the three non-ANZSCO occupations listed above must meet the following skills and experience requirements;
General ANZSCO Skill Level 4 Occupations
Overseas workers filling any of the general ANZSCO skill level 4 occupations listed above must meet the following skills and experience requirements;
The visa applicant must:
AND MEET ONE OF THE FOLLOWING GROUPS OF REQUIREMENTS
Specified ANZSCO Skill Level 4 Occupations
Overseas workers filling any of the specified ANZSCO skill level 4 occupations listed above (in the aged, disabled, health and child care sectors) must meet the following skills and experience requirements;
The visa applicant must: