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.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? The Chamber is holding fortnightly FNQ DAMA Information Sessions at Chamber offices at The Pier - for details and bookings see our Events page!
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. This list indicates the various concessions that may be sought for each occupation. For the details relating to each concession, refer to the Concessions tab below.
Broader range of occupations available than through standard skilled migration pathways
As well as access to wider range of skilled and semi-skilled occupations not available in standard skilled migration pathways, the FNQ DAMA is unique in that it also 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 FNQ DAMA also provides access to a permanent visa pathway for select occupations, that might not otherwise be available under standard skilled migration pathways. The caveats that apply to many occupations under standard skilled migration pathways do not apply to occupations under the FNQ DAMA.
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.
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 permanent visas 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 Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshhold, or TSMIT, which currently sits at $53,900 applies).
Under the FNQ DAMA, TSMIT concessions are available for some 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, the subsequent Labour Agreement will specify the relevant Skills Assessing Authority, as outlined in the information below.
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:
ANZSCO Skill Level 1 to 3 Occupations
Overseas workers filling ANZSCO skill level 1 to 3 occupations in the above table must meet the following skills and experience requirements;
All other ANZSCO skill level 1 to 3 occupations in the FNQ DAMA Occupation List that are not included in the table above must meet the following skills and experience requirements: