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[NEWS] New Visa Option for Low-Skilled, Limited-English Migrants With PR Pathway!

Australian Immigration News

From the 1 January 2019, low/semi-skilled migrants with limited English can access a new pathway to permanent residency!


When: From 1st January 2019

Where: Regions currently covered by this new scheme are the entire state of Northern Territory and the Great South Coast region of Victoria (indicated in map below, includes: Warrnambol, Glenelg shire, Colac Otway shire, etc).

The Federal Government is currently in discussions with a range of other regions around the country experiencing skill shortages, including the Pilbara and the Kalgoorlie-Boulder regions in WA, Cairns in Far North Queensland, and the Orana region in central NSW. These agreements are still pending.

Map of Great South Coast region of Victoria

What: Recently, both the Northern Territory and Victorian (Great South Coast region only) governments signed new Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs). Limited information is only available for the Victorian DAMA, but the Northern Territory Agreement will have the following 7 features:


1. A New Pathway to PR

Northern Territory's previous DAMA which expired on the 31st December 2018, didn't provide workers with a pathway to PR. Both the new Northern Territory and Victorian agreements allows certain migrants to access PR, who may not have been able to otherwise, via the Labour Agreement Stream of the employer-sponsored 482 TSS --> 186 ENS pathway.


2. A Broader Range of Occupations

There are 117 occupations that are eligible for sponsorship under the Northern Territory DAMA. These occupations are listed below.

Of these, 31 occupations are additional occupations not currently on any of the Immigration occupation lists , indicated in bold below. Of these 31 occupations, 3 of the them are not even on ANZSCO! These 3 occupations are in bold and underlined.

This is great news! It means that anyone within these 31 occupations have a NEW pathway to PR.

These 31 occupations range from retail supervisor to motor vehicle parts and accessories fitter - general, forklift driver, hotel or motel receptionist, accounts clerk, bookkeeper and web designer. See full list below.

** The Victorian Great South Coast region government has not published their full occupation list, only mentioning that there are more than 20 occupations available to access the agreement, and that these occupations include those in the childcare, tourism and hospitality areas.

These occupations will be published in the first quarter of this year. Neither migration agents or the public will be advised any earlier. We will keep a close eye on this situation and advise as soon as we know of any updates.

Northern Territory DAMA Occupation List:

ANZSCO Code & Occupation

221111 Accountant - general 551111 Accounts clerk 423111 Aged or disabled carer 721111 Agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operator 231111 Aeroplane pilot^ 342111 Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic^ 323111 Aircraft maintenance engineer - avionics^ 323112 Aircraft maintenance engineer - mechanical^ 121111 Aquaculture farmer 362212 Arborist 321111 Automotive electrician 351111 Baker 070499# Bar attendant - supervisor^ 431112 Barista 451111 Beauty therapist 121312 Beef cattle farmer 551211 Bookkeeper 731211 Bus driver^ 351211 Butcher or smallgoods maker 394111 Cabinetmaker 342411 Cabler - data and telecommunications 141111 Café or restaurant manager 331212 Carpenter 351311 Chef 111111 Chief executive or managing director 421111 Childcare worker^ 134111 Childcare centre manager^ 312212 Civil engineering technician 411711 Community worker 149311 Conference and event organiser 351411 Cook 070499# Cook - specialist ethnic cuisine 149212 Customer service manager 442213 Crowd controller^ 899211 Deckhand^ 423211 Dental assistant 321212 Diesel motor mechanic 411712 Disabilities services officer 399911 Diver 241111 Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher^ 721211 Earthmoving plant operator - general 311412 Earth science technician 342211 Electrical linesworker^ 342314 Electronic instrument trades worker - general 721214 Excavator operator 149913 Facilities manager 421112 Family day care worker^ 411713 Family support worker 323211 Fitter - general 323212 Fitter and turner 323213 Fitter-welder 332111 Floor finisher 231113 Flying instructor^ 721311 Forklift driver 121213 Fruit or nut grower 431311 Gaming worker 142114 Hair or beauty salon manager 391111 Hairdresser 313111 Hardware technician 141311 Hotel or motel manager 542113 Hotel or motel receptionist 431411 Hotel service manager 313112 ICT customer support officer 313199 ICT support technicians nec 272412 Interpreter^ 362213 Landscape gardener 141411 Licensed club manager 721912 Linemarker 221112 Management accountant 225113 Marketing specialist 322311 Metal fabricator 121411 Mixed crop and livestock farmer 121216 Mixed crop farmer 121317 Mixed livestock farmer 321211 Motor mechanic - general 899411 Motor vehicle parts and accessories fitter - general 621311 Motor vehicle or caravan salesperson 621312 Motor vehicle parts interpreter 321213 Motorcycle mechanic 423312 Nursing support worker 512111 Office manager 421114 Out of school hours care worker^ 324111 Panelbeater 423313 Personal care assistant 311215 Pharmacy technician 334111 Plumber - general^ 322312 Pressure welder 511112 Program or project administrator 612112 Property manager 272612 Recreation officer 411715 Residential care worker 142111 Retail manager - general 621511 Retail supervisor 131112 Sales and marketing manager 322211 Sheetmetal trades worker 231212 Ship’s engineer 231213 Ship’s master^ 321214 Small engine mechanic 399516 Sound technician 133611 Supply and distribution manager 221113 Taxation accountant 342412 Telecommunications cable jointer 342413 Telecommunications linesworker 342414 Telecommunications technician 423314 Therapy aide 451412 Tour guide 733111 Truck driver - general^ 121221 Vegetable grower 324311 Vehicle painter 361311 Veterinary nurse 070499# Waiter supervisor 712921 Waste water or water plant operator 313113 Web administrator 232414 Web designer 322313 Welder - first class 272613 Welfare worker 411716 Youth worker


3. Lower English Requirements

These DAMA agreements have concessions for the level of English required. Where applicants would usually need a minimum of 5.0 overall and 4.5 minimum for each band to apply for the 482 TSS visa, for 68 of the 117 occupations in Northern Territory, you will only need 5.0 overall and 4.0 minimum for listening and speaking, with no minimum requirement for reading and writing.


4. Lower Salary Requirements

These agreements also have concessions for the salary amount to be paid to the applicant. 482 TSS and 186 visas typically require the employer to pay a salary that is at least equal, or higher, than TSMIT (currently at $53,900). For 68 of the occupations, employers may apply to be exempt from this requirement. The employer will need to have a strong business case and prove the lower salary is still equal to what an Australian permanent resident or citizen would be paid in the same position.


5. Time Spent Living and Working in Region

For Northern Territory, you will need to live and work in the region for at least 3 years before you can access permanent residency.


6. Qualification and Work Experience

If your occupation is on any of the TSS/ENS/RSMS Immigration occupation lists, you'll need to meet the regular qualification and work experience requirements of the respective visas.

If your occupation is not on these lists (i.e. your occupation is one of the 31 occupations highlighted in blue or yellow above), you'll need to meet these requirements instead:

  1. Undergo a skills verification by the regional area nominated registered training organisation or the Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation;

  2. Meet the skill level as defined in ANZSCO; and

  3. Have at least 2 years post-qualification experience.


7. Employer Requirements

Prospective employers must have been actively operating in NT for at least 12 months. Endorsement to access the DAMA will be valid for 5 years, but employers must apply yearly to determine specifically which occupations and concessions may be accessed.

Employers are still required to meet labour market testing requirements as per regular TSS, ENS, RSMS requirements.


Do you qualify for either the NT or Victorian DAMA? Feel like this could help you reach PR? Have a chat with our experienced agents today and confirm whether this is indeed a pathway for you!

Please head here to book in your FREE 30-minute 1-to-1 consultation.


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