What occupations are available under DAMA?

Please refer to the list of sponsored occupations.

How do the DAMA concessions compare with the Standard Business Sponsorship requirements for a Subclass 457 visa?

A. English language proficiency

Standard Subclass 457 sponsorship requirements

When sponsoring an overseas worker under the Standard Business Sponsorship arrangements for a Subclass 457 visa, the overseas worker will need to demonstrate that they meet one of the following requirements:

  1. That they have achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of at least 5.0 with no individual test component result in: speaking, reading, writing and listening being less than 4.5. These results must have been achieved in same test and be no more than three years old at time their visa application is lodged. 
  2. That they are a native English speaker and a current holder of a passport from one of the following countries:
    • Canada
    • New Zealand
    • the Republic of Ireland
    • the United Kingdom
    • the United States of America. 
  3. That they have completed at least five years of continuous full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where all instruction was conducted in English.

DAMA concessions

If a Northern Territory employer has requested a concession to the English language requirements under the DAMA, then the overseas worker needs to demonstrate that they have an IELTS overall band score of 5.0 with none of the test components: speaking, reading, writing and listening being less than IELTS 4.0, unless they meet either points 2,3 or 4 above. The IELTS result must also have been achieved on the same test and be no more than three years old at time of application lodgement.

There are some occupations for which an English language concession is not available.

** For the occupation of Cook (Specialist Ethnic Cuisine), the overseas worker must also achieve an IELTS overall band score of 5.0 however, no minimum individual test component score applies.

B. Skills and qualifications

Standard requirement

When sponsoring an overseas worker under the Standard Business Sponsorship arrangements for a Subclass 457 visa, the business will only be able to access those occupations that are on Department of Immigration and Border Protection's (DIBP) combined list of eligible skilled occupations. The overseas worker will need to demonstrate that they hold qualifications or have relevant work experience to the standard specified in the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) dictionary for their nominated occupation, or if necessary, have the required formal skills assessment.

DAMA concessions

If a Northern Territory employer has requested a concession to the skill requirement, then the business may be able to access a number of occupations that are not on the DIBP's combined list of eligible skilled occupations. For these occupations the overseas worker will need to demonstrate one of the following:

For the occupations of Aged or Disabled Carer and Child Care Worker:

  1. Relevant AQF or equivalent Diploma or higher level qualification with at least one years (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience, or
  2. At least four years full-time (no less than 38 hours per week) relevant experience.

For the occupations of Hotel Service Manager, Office Manager, Retail Manager (General), Dental Therapist and Master Fisher:

  1. At least a relevant​ AQF or equivalent Diploma or higher level qualification with at least one years (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience.

For the occupations of Butcher or Smallgoods Maker, Pressure Welder, Nursery Person, Telecommunications Cable Jointer, Telecommunications Technician and Vehicle Painter

  1. Relevant AQF or equivalent Certificate III with at least two years (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience, or
  2. Relevant AQF or equivalent Certificate IV with at least one years (20 hours plus per week) relevant post qualification experience, or
  3. At least four years full-time (no less than 38 hours per week) relevant experience.

For other ANZSCO Skill Level 4 occupations:

  1. A qualification equivalent to an AQF Certificate IV with at least one years (20 hours per week) relevant post qualification experience, or
  2. A qualification equivalent to an AQF Certificate III (in a field directly related to the nominated occupation and which has been assessed by a registered training authority) and two years of relevant work experience (verified by employment references confirming the dates of employment and setting out the work undertaken along with copies of the overseas workers’ payslips), or
  3. A qualification equivalent to an AQF Certificate II (in a field directly related to the nominated occupation and which has been assessed by a registered training authority) and three years of relevant work experience (verified by employment references confirming the dates of employment and setting out the work undertaken along with copies of the overseas workers’ payslips), or
  4. For some occupations in the absence of a relevant formal overseas or Australian qualifications, where an applicant is relying on work experience alone, they must show that they have no less than four years work experience in the same or closely related occupation (at least 20 hours per week) that is verifiable by employment references that not only confirm employment but also provide detail of the specific duties undertaken along with copies of the overseas worker's payslips.

If the prospective visa applicant holds a qualification equivalent to an AQF Certificate IV or higher it will be assessed by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation or the Overseas Qualifications Unit of the Northern Territory Chief Minister's Office. The department will also independently verify the overseas worker’s work experience.

C. Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold

Standard Subclass 457 sponsorship requirements

When sponsoring an overseas worker under the Standard Business Sponsorship arrangements for a Subclass 457 visa, the business must ensure that the salary and conditions an overseas worker receives are the same as what an Australian citizen or permanent resident doing the same job in the same location can also expect to receive. This is referred to as the market rate for the position. To meet the relevant requirements, the standard sponsor must show that the market rate for a position they have nominated is no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) which is currently $53 900 per annum.

DAMA concession

Where a Northern Territory employer has negotiated a concession to the TSMIT under the DAMA, then they may be able to sponsor an overseas worker to fill a position at a base rate of pay that is below the TSMIT provided they can show that the terms and conditions offered to the overseas employee are no less favourable than what an Australian could expect doing the same job in the same location. 

There are three options for salary concessions available under the DAMA. The Northern Territory employer will need to provide a business case to support their application for a TSMIT concession and how an overseas worker will be able to meet their living expenses if they are paid this amount.

What do we need to show when asking for the concession?

The information that the Northern Territory employer will need to provide to department when requesting any of the DAMA concessions is outlined in the Request for Endorsement to Access a Labour Agreement under the DAMA form.​