South-West DAMA – Apply Now!

Applications for the South-West Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) are now open.

A positive endorsement allows South-West businesses to request a Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs.

Please note than an individual worker cannot apply for a visa independently under the South West DAMA, so potential visa applicants should look for a job with a South-West business who may be willing to sponsor them.

The South-West DAMA uses the following skilled and employer-sponsored visas: Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482), the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) and the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 494) all under the Labour Agreement stream.

Please note that a positive endorsement from the DAR does not guarantee a positive outcome for the Labour Agreement, Nomination and Visa Applications stages, these are assessed by the Department of Home Affairs against the current migration legislation.

Flow chart of DAMA process

Image source: Department of Home Affairs

There are several steps to accessing workers under the South-West DAMA:

Step 1 - DAR Endorsement (Shire of Dardanup)

Your business needs to apply to the South West DAMA Designated Area Representative (Shire of Dardanup) for endorsement. To do this, fill out the Endorsement Form and submit the required supporting documentation. Read the Employers Guide to Accessing a Labour Agreement, and Checklist for Sponsors to understand what supporting documents are required. Make payment for the application for business endorsement through the Shire of Dardanup.

If further documentation is required to assess your application, this will be requested from the DAR (Shire of Dardanup). Once all documentation has been provided, if your application for endorsement is successful, a letter of endorsement and instructions for lodging a Labour Agreement will be sent to the business (or their Registered Migration Agent, if you are using one), the letter of endorsement and any supporting documentation will be sent to the Department of Home Affairs.

If your application is unsuccessful, you will be notified by the DAR.

If you already have a potential applicant for the position, you may want to notify them to start to organise their documentation, to start the English and skills assessments, health assessments and to apply for their police clearances.

Step 2 - Labour Agreement (Department of Home Affairs)

Your business can then request a Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs through ImmiAccount.

The South-West DAR (Shire of Dardanup) will send you an ImmiAccount guide with your positive endorsement which includes details specific to the South-West DAMA to be provided at the Labour Agreement stage.

Step 3 - Nomination (Department of Home Affairs)

Your business submits a nomination application to the Department of Home Affairs via ImmiAccount for every overseas worker you wish to employ under the South-West DAMA.

Step 4 - Visa Application (Department of Home Affairs)

Your overseas worker can apply for a TSS (subclass 482), a SESR (subclass 494) or an ENS (subclass 186) visa under the Labour Agreement stream.

Your business must provide the overseas worker with settlement information (available from the DAR):

  • prior to them starting work with you, or
  • If they are already working for you, prior to them lodging their visa application, unless they have been living and working in the South-West for at least 12 months prior to them lodging their visa application.

Fees and Charges

There are fees and charges which are subject to change over time for the following:

  • Application for endorsement by the South-West DAMA Designated Area Representative (Shire of Dardanup) to access the South-West Designated Area Migration Agreement ($275/nomination)
  • Nomination and visa application charges (to be paid to Department of Home Affairs)
  • The Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy (to be paid to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment)

Criteria Being Assessed

The DAR and the Department of Home Affairs examines the business’ current and future workforce needs to determine:

  • The sponsoring business is located within the participating South-West region, and that the applicant will live and work within the area
  • The occupations and concessions are available under the South-West DAMA, and how these occupations fit within the scope of the business
  • The business has made a genuine effort to recruit Australian citizens or permanent residents in the position requested, and are satisfied that they been unable to fill this role locally
  • The terms and conditions of employment to the applicant is no less favourable to an equivalent Australian worker and that the salary offered aligns with the current Australian Market Salary Rate
  • If concessions to TSMIT or English language have been sought, a business case has been provided to support the request for concession
  • The sponsoring employer has no adverse information against them, or that any relevant information is disclosed to the DAR
  • The business has been operating within the area for at least the last 12 months, and is financially viable and able to support the number of workers requested

Subsequent Year Endorsement Process

Endorsement to access the South-West DAMA is for up to five years, however the application for endorsement in specified occupations and numbers are for the first year only. Businesses seeking to access new overseas workers will need to apply to the DAR for endorsement each subsequent year.

To lodge an application with the South West DAR

For information on the fees and charges for associated with nomination and visa applications, always visit the Department of Home Affairs website for the latest information.

You may wish to engage a lawyer or Registered Migration Agent (RMA) to manage all or part of the process of sponsoring an overseas worker. If engaging an RMA, please ensure they are registered with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA), you can search for registered migration agents through OMARA.

Need help?

Please contact the DAMA Officer at the Shire of Dardanup on 08 9724 0000 or by email

Quick Links

Form 232 - Endorsement Application Form 

Employers Guide to Accessing a Labour Agreement


DAMA Glossary

Department of Home Affairs – Labour Agreements
Department of Home Affairs – Labour Market Testing
Department of Home Affairs – Market Salary and TSMIT