NT Opens Pathway to Permanent Residency for Low Skilled Migrants

Earlier this month the Northern Territory’s new Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) came into effect, significantly lowering the requirements for low skilled migrants looking to apply for permanent residency.

The Department of Immigration has published a skilled occupation list for individuals who wish to take part in the program, which offers a pathway to permanent residency for workers who remain in the NT for at least three years.

The agreement was made part of a broader strategy by the government to help re-distribute Australia’s migrant population outside of major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. The DAMA will apply to 117 different occupations, and is intended to attract migrants to regional areas.

Many of the occupations on the DAMA skilled occupation list are also eligible for concessions to the English language and Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) requirements usually associated with Australia’s skilled migration program.

The following 117 occupations have been shortlisted by the Department of Immigration as suffering skill shortages:

Accountant (General)

Accounts Clerk

Aeroplane Pilot

Aged or Disabled Carer

Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operator

Air conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)

Aquaculture Farmer


Automotive Electrician


Bar Attendant Supervisor


Beauty Therapist

Beef Cattle Farmer


Bus Driver

Butcher or Smallgoods Maker


Cabler (Data and Telecommunications)

Cafe or Restaurant Manager



Chief Executive or Managing Director

Child Care Centre Manager

Child Care Worker

Civil Engineering Technician

Community Worker

Conference and Event Organiser


Cook (includes Ethnic Cuisine)

Crowd Controller

Customer Service ManagerDeck Hand

Dental Assistant

Diesel Motor Mechanic

Disabilities Services Officer


Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher

Earth Science Technician

Earthmoving Plant Operator (General)

Electrical Linesworker

Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General)

Excavator OperatorFacilities Manager

Family Day Care Worker

Family Support Worker

Fitter (General)

Fitter and Turner


Floor Finisher

Flying Instructor

Forklift Driver

Fruit or Nut Grower

Gaming Worker

Hair or Beauty Salon Manager


Hardware Technician

Hotel or Motel Manager

Hotel or Motel Receptionist

Hotel Service Manager

ICT Customer Support OfficerICT Support Technicians nec


Landscape Gardener

Licensed Club Manager


Management Accountant

Marketing Specialist

Metal Fabricator

Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmer

Mixed Crop Farmer

Mixed Livestock Farmer

Motor Mechanic (General)

Motor Vehicle or CaravanSalesperson

Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitter (General)

Motor Vehicle Parts Interpreter

Motorcycle Mechanic

Nursing Support Worker

Office Manager

Out of School Hours Care WorkerPanelbeater

Personal Care Assistant

Pharmacy Technician

Plumber (General)

Pressure Welder

Program or Project Administrator

Property Manager

Recreation Officer

Residential Care Worker

Retail Manager (General)

Retail Supervisor

Sales and Marketing Manager

Sheetmetal Trades Worker

Ship’s Engineer

Ship’s Master

Small Engine Mechanic

Sound Technician

Supply and Distribution Manager

Taxation Accountant

Telecommunications Cable Jointer

Telecommunications Linesworker

Telecommunications Technician

Therapy Aide

Tour Guide

Truck Driver (General)

Vegetable Grower

Vehicle Painter

Veterinary Nurse

Waiter Supervisor

Waste Water or Water Plant Operator

Web Administrator

Web Designer

Welder (First Class)

Welfare Worker

Youth Worker

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman, lauded the new program, saying that it will benefit employers in rural areas.

“The Government is working to improve our immigration program to better match the needs of our states, territories and regional areas. Our first priority is always to fill jobs with Australians, but the immigration system can play an important role in helping to address regional skills gaps,” Coleman said.

“The NT has seen first-hand the benefits of using a DAMA to respond to their unique workforce shortages.

“I am pleased that we can continue to partner with the NT Government to support the skills needs of local businesses where Australian workers are not available to fill those jobs,” he said.

The NT Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, also praised the DAMA’s launch, saying that the offer of permanent residency would be a powerful incentive for migrants to settle in the state.

“The Territory Labor Government’s number one priority is jobs for Territorians but we know access to, and retention of, a suitably skilled workforce is a key issue for many employers and there is a need for additional workers,” Gunner said.

“We also know that more people moving to the Territory equals more jobs. The Territory Labor Government fought hard for the inclusion of the pathway to permanent residency in this new five-year agreement, which we expect to significantly increase the number of skilled migrants moving to the Territory.

“The NT has a long and proud history of migration of overseas nationals and they have been a key contributor to economic growth, population growth and social diversity. This new agreement will help that continue,” he said.

The CEO of Absolute Immigration, Jamie Lingham, lauded the migration agreement’s introduction, saying that, “we welcome the new DAMA and the level of flexibility that it affords to both employers and migrants looking to settle in rural and remote locations.”

”This should be a blueprint for further agreements to attract and retain workers through targeted migration, as opposed to the current program of human accumulation,” Lingham said.

If you have any questions or would like us to assist with your global immigration queries, simply click this link to schedule a call with one of our Registered Migration Agents  http://absoluteimmigration.com/schedule-a-call/ OR call 1300 ABSOLUTE (1300 227 658).