Australia has designed a special visa agreement to attract migrants to its regional areas. The Govt. hopes that this will help distribute the immigrant population away from major cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
Mr. David Coleman, Minister for Immigration, recently announced the new visa scheme. It would also offer a route to PR for immigrants. Known as Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), this scheme has been introduced for two regions as of now:
The above regions need a population boost as they are struggling with a labour shortage.
Employers in the above regions would be able to bring in foreign workers under the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482). The new visa agreement would feature occupations which are not otherwise available under standard visa schemes. Workers under this scheme would also receive concessions on English and salary requirements.
The Northern Territory had a DAMA earlier too. However, it did not have a provision for PR. The new DAMA will help a host of employers in NT to find skilled workers for their businesses.
Victoria will use the DAMA to fill in positions in the Agriculture and Hospitality sectors as well as other industries.
The provision for PR in the DAMA will be a major attraction for foreign workers. The DAMA will grant access to 117 skilled and semi-skilled occupations which are in shortage in Australia. Employers, however, will need to prove that they could not find a suitable Australian for the job before sponsoring a foreign worker.
Mr Coleman has said that the Australian Govt. is committed to supporting the skills need of the regional areas. He said that the Govt. is trying to improve the immigration system to meet the specific needs of the regional areas, as per SBS News.
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