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Pilbara Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)

Welcome to the Pilbara Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) site.


Everything you need to know about how the DAMA can work for you, and how

to access it for your business can be found on these pages. 

The Pilbara DAMA, signed by the Minister for Immigration on 28 March 2022,  is a five-year agreement between the Federal Government and Regional Development Australia (RDA) Pilbara, developed in partnership with the City of Karratha and the Town of Port Hedland. A variation to the head agreement was approved by the Hon. Andrew Giles MP on 18 January 2024 which includes the expansion of the DAMA to the Shire of East Pilbara and an additional 69 occupations.



The Pilbara DAMA exists to provide businesses in the City of Karratha, the Town of Port Hedland and the Shire of East Pilbara with a mechanism to address current workforce shortages and to support future workforce planning. It is a priority for RDA Pilbara and the Federal Government to always promote jobs for Australians first, however, the DAMA allows employers who are unable to find suitably qualified Australians to supplement their workforce with overseas workers.


As the overseas worker is being sponsored through a labour agreement, it ensures the terms and conditions they receive are no less favourable than those provided to Australian workers. This provides protection for both employers and employees.

The Pilbara DAMA is accessible to all employers operating in the City of Karratha, Town of Port Hedland and Shire of East Pilbara, that meet the employer requirements.  The Pilbara DAMA head agreement specifies a range of eligible occupations, as well as agreed terms and concessions to the skilled visa eligibility criteria.  


The Pilbara DAMA operates differently to the standard skilled migration pathways by using a labour agreement framework by:

  • Enabling the employer to obtain their own labour agreement, which is valid for 5 years, that gives pre-approval for occupations in a variety of skilled and semi-skilled occupations;

  • The employer does not need to have already identified the skilled worker to be able to access the DAMA labour agreement - the employer can nominate, or sponsor, overseas workers already employed in their business, or attract skilled and experienced workers from overseas with concessions (if applicable).

  • The labour agreement can be varied if the needs of the business change, to include additional occupations or increasing the ceiling of nominations.


There are four steps involved in the process.  The following diagram shows the steps and who is responsible for each.




For information on how to access and apply for the Pilbara DAMA, please click here.  An information sheet for Employers, on how to access the Pilbara DAMA can be downloaded from here.


RDA Pilbara is the Designated Area Representative (DAR) for the Pilbara DAMA.  RDA Pilbara can provide general information on how the DAMA works, how to access and apply.  RDA Pilbara is not able to provide information about labour agreements, visas or immigration advice.

There is no requirement that a business applying for the DAMA seeks advice or services of a Registered Migration Agent, however, all businesses should do their due diligence, and if a commercial decision is made to use the services of a migration agent, the business should ensure that the migration agent is registered.  The Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) portal can be accessed here.

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Proudly supported by the City of Karratha, Town of Port Hedland and Shire of East Pilbara

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