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A Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a formal agreement between the Australian Government and a Designated Area Representative (DAR), in this case, Regional Development Australia (RDA) Pilbara.

The Pilbara DAMA lets employers in the City of Karratha and Town of Port Hedland sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers.  It is tailored to address current and emerging labour market shortages and local terms and conditions of employment.

The Pilbara DAMA is a two-tier framework covering the City of Karratha and Town of Port Hedland. The first tier is an overarching five-year deed of agreement (Pilbara DAMA head agreement) between the Australian Government and RDA Pilbara.  The second tier comprises individual labour agreements with employers under the settings of the Pilbara DAMA head agreement.

The Pilbara DAMA head agreement specifies a range of eligible occupations, as well as agreed terms and concessions to the skilled visa eligibility criteria.  Businesses within the City of Karratha and the Town of Port Hedland may seek individual DAMA labour agreements under the head agreement terms and concessions.

How does the Pilbara DAMA work?

The Pilbara DAMA is an employer-sponsored program that operates under the labour agreement streams allowing endorsed businesses to nominate and sponsor overseas skilled workers under one or more of the following visa programs:

  • Temporary Skills Shortage visa (TSS subclass 482);

  • Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional visa (SESR subclass 494); and

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS subclass 186).


To access the Pilbara DAMA, employers must first seek and gain endorsement from the Designated Area Representative (DAR) being Regional Development Australia (RDA) Pilbara before lodging a labour agreement request with the Department of Home Affairs. 

Where a DAMA labour agreement is approved, the business will be able to nominate and sponsor skilled and semi-skilled workers for one or more occupations listed in the Pilbara DAMA. 


The Pilbara DAMA ensures employers recruit Australian citizens and permanent residents as a first priority. Amongst other things, employers must demonstrate a genuine attempt to recruit Australians prior to getting access to a DAMA labour agreement.


We are encouraging all businesses in the Shire of East Pilbara who are having issues attracting and retaining skilled workers, to fill out the survey in the link below.  This information will assist in a business case that will be presented to the Department of Home Affairs to have the Shire of East Pilbara included in the Pilbara DAMA. 

Please fill out the survey as soon as possible by clicking here.

STEP 1 - Preparation

Prepare all information and documentation required for your application

STEP 2 - Submission

Submit your application via the RDA Pilbara website or by email

STEP 3 - Assessment and Outcomes

The DAR will assess your application and advise if your nomination is granted

STEP 4 - Visa Application

Make your visa application with the Department of Home Affairs

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Proudly supported by the City of Karratha and Town of Port Hedland

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