Individuals and Travellers

Labour agreements

Labour agreements enable approved businesses to sponsor skilled overseas workers when there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and standard temporary or permanent visa programs are not available.

Labour agreements are developed between the Australian Government (represented by the Department) and employers. They are generally in effect for five years and provide for visas to be granted under one or both of the following visa programs:

Additional information is provided below on:

  • the types of labour agreements that are available
  • how to request a labour agreement and
  • template labour agreements that are in place for specific industries.


Types of labour agreements

There are currently five main types of labour agreements as outlined below:

Company-specific labour agreements

A company specific labour agreement is developed directly with an employer and will be considered only where a genuine skills or labour shortage for an occupation exists which is not already provided for in an industry labour agreement, or relevant project or designated area migration agreement. The terms and conditions of a company-specific agreement are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Global Talent Scheme (GTS) agreements

GTS agreements are for an accredited employer seeking to fill a small number of niche highly-skilled roles, where their needs cannot be met under existing skilled entry programs. Compared to traditional labour agreements, the GTS provides fast processing and flexible concessions for approved participants via an Established Business stream and a Startup stream - see Visas for innovation.

Industry labour agreements

An industry labour agreement provides fixed terms and conditions agreed to by the Minister in consultation with key industry stakeholders, specific to an industry sector. An industry agreement might be considered if the Department has received a number of similar submissions from an industry and there is evidence of ongoing labour shortages within that industry. When an industry labour agreement is in place, no further concessions can be considered, other than the concessions written into the industry agreement.

There are currently eight industry agreements in place - see Copies of labour agreement templates below.

Designated area migration agreements

A designated area migration agreement (DAMA) provides flexibility for states, territories or regions to respond to their unique economic and labour market conditions through an agreement-based framework. Under the DAMA framework, employers in areas experiencing skills and labour shortages can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers. DAMAs are designed to ensure employers recruit Australians as a first priority and prioritise initiatives and strategies to facilitate the recruitment and retention of Australian workers. There is currently only one overarching DAMA in place to cover the Northern Territory. For further information on DAMAs, email

Project agreements

Project agreements allow infrastructure or resource development projects experiencing genuine skills or labour shortages access to skilled and specialised semi-skilled temporary overseas workers through this program. They are designed to complement existing Australian Government initiatives to address skill and labour shortages by ensuring that shortages do not create constraints on major projects and jeopardise Australian jobs.

Project companies with projects endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the China-Australia Investment Facilitation Arrangement (IFA) can request a project agreement. For further information on project agreements, email

How to request a labour agreement

To make your request, you must follow the steps below:

1Read Information ab​out requesting a labour agreement (253​KB PDF)​ and determine if you meet the minimum requirements and are in a position to lodge a request for a labour agreement with all required supporting documentation.
2Obtain the most current Labour Agreement Business Case Proforma from the Department by emailing
3Request, complete and email the proforma together with required supporting documentation to the Department at
4The Department will then make an assessment based on the information you have provided in your proforma and all required supporting documentation.
5​​If the Department is satisfied to proceed with the labour agreement, you will then be sent the relevant labour agreement template.

If you already have a labour agreement in place and you wish to renew it, or make a change to it, please ensure that you lodge your request and allow for at least three months in advance. Failing to do so may result in the cessation of your current agreement before a new agreement is approved.

Copies of labour agreement templates

For company specific templates, the agreement template is below – noting that it will be adapted dependant on negotiations with the relevant employer.

For Industry labour agreements, the agreement templates will be as follows:

Note: Templates for DAMA or Project labour agreement are not available on our website.

List of current labour agreements

A list of current labour agreements is available.