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Accessing the EK DAMA
Where do I start?
Your first step is to check the EK DAMA Occupations and Concessions List in detail and to seek professional advice as necessary about whether the EK DAMA is appropriate to your needs. Be sure to read the explanatory notes at the end of the list to understand what the columns mean.
The main factors the EKCCI will consider in assessing a request to be endorsed to access the EK DAMA are:
- Whether you have been lawfully operating within the EK DAMA “designated area” for at least 12 months;
- Whether you have a genuine need for the occupation (or occupations) and position/s you are seeking to access under the EK DAMA;
- Whether you have genuinely tested the Australian Labour market to fill the position/s;
- Whether the salary and conditions proposed for the overseas worker/s are at least equivalent to what would be acceptable for an Australian citizen or permanent resident in that occupation/position in the East Kimberley region;
- Whether any concessions you request (eg. age, English, salary) are justifiable and appropriate.
The other document you should read is the EK DAMA Information Guide. This guide explains in detail what you need to demonstrate when requesting access to the EK DAMA, as well as the more technical information.
You will find all other information, including non-ANZSCO occupation position descriptions, in the Resources section of this page.
Submitting a EK DAMA Request for Endorsement
- Complete a EK DAMA Request for Endorsement Form;
- Provide the information in the checklist at Part F of that form;
- Provide a EKCCI credit card authority for payment of the DAR endorsement fee, to match the number of positions being requested. Note that the fee is per position sought.
EKCCI Members $885 (incl GST) per position
Non-Members $985 (incl GST) per position
Note: The EKCCI must send all of your supporting information to the Department of Home Affairs with its EK DAMA endorsement letter, except the EKCCI credit card authority. For this reason, please ensure that your information is provided in PDF (or similar) format and that the credit card authority is a separate attachment of its own.
What happens next?
- The EKCCI aims to finalise properly prepared requests for endorsement within five business days but will contact you (or your agent if you are using one) if they need any further information to consider your request.
- If endorsed, the EKCCI then sends an endorsement letter to the Department of Home Affairs with all of the supporting information you provided. The EKCCI will also send a copy of the endorsement letter to you (or your agent) with instructions about how to submit a request for an EK DAMA Labour Agreement online with the Department of Home Affairs.
- You can then submit your EK DAMA Labour Agreement request online for the occupation/s and positions/s endorsed by the EKCCI. The Department of Home Affairs does not charge a fee for the Labour Agreement request. It is important to note that if you have identified prospective overseas worker/s for the endorsed position/s, in most circumstances you can lodge nominations for those individuals within a couple of days of requesting the EK DAMA Labour Agreement – in most circumstances you do not need to wait until the Labour Agreement is approved.**
- Once your EK DAMA Labour Agreement is approved and signed you can continue to nominate individual/s against the approved occupation/s and position/s. The Department of Home Affairs will then decide the nominations/visas for the individuals. Note that nominations and associated visa applications are subject to the government’s Visa Application Charges and also the Skilling Australia Fund Levy as they are outside the EK DAMA. In calculating the costs, note that the EK DAMA labour agreement replaces the need to become an approved sponsor and uses the Labour Agreement Stream of each visa category.
Your EK DAMA Labour Agreement will generally be for five years. During that time you can seek endorsement to vary the agreement, adding occupations and/or positions, or adding concessions, as needed.
**Overseas workers who are in Australia may be eligible for a bridging visa in the interim depending on their individual circumstances. You should obtain professional advice or check with the Department of Home Affairs as an individual person’s immigration status or circumstances may, in some cases, prevent a successful nomination or access to a bridging visa. The EKCCI is not involved in any considerations around the individuals.
Resources (forms and downloads)
The EKCCI cannot advise whether or not you should use a Migration Agent. The EKCCI cannot advise on specific migration matters and in many cases you may need to seek professional help. Whilst you make the decision, the EKCCI has developed an Endorsement Guide that may assist by outlining the type of information required throughout the endorsement request.
You may also need:
ANZSCO occupation descriptions are available in the ANZSCO website – you can search by occupation name or six-digit ANZSCO code. If requesting non-ANZSCO positions (code 070499), the position descriptions are as follows: