Assurance of Support

What you need to know if you want to give someone an assurance of support for certain types of visas and agreeing to support them financially.

You need to know

About

An assurance of support is:

  • a legal agreement with us
  • a way to help someone get a visa to live in Australia
  • a promise to pay us back for any income support we give them

Assurer and assuree

If you give an assurance of support you’re the assurer.

The assuree is the visa applicant you support. It can be a family of up to 2 adults and their dependent children.

An assurer must be an Australian resident or organisation. Usually it’s a family member of the assuree.

Who needs one

After someone applies for a visa, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection:

  • decides if they’re in a visa category that needs an assurance of support
  • writes to them to say if they need one

How you become an assurer

You need to apply. After we get your claim, we’ll have an interview with you to discuss:

  • what you need to do as an assurer
  • if you can meet these obligations

Bank guarantee

As an assurer you may need to give us a bank guarantee through the Commonwealth Bank.

This is to make sure you can pay us back if your assuree needs a payment from us.

Types

There are 2 types of assurance of support. Which one you need depends on the visa type.

1. Mandatory

To get some types of visas you must have an assurance of support. These are:

  • aged dependent relative
  • contributory parent, contributory aged parent, parent or aged parent
  • remaining relative

The assurer must give a bank guarantee.

2. Discretionary

Some visas may need an assurance of support. It's up to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to decide in each case. These visa types are:

  • adoption
  • child
  • former resident
  • orphaned relative under 18

There's no need for a bank guarantee, unless the assurer is an incorporated or unincorporated organisation.

Eligibility

To be an assurer you must:

  • pass the income test for 2 financial years – this year and last year
  • be an Australian resident
  • be 18 or older
  • give us proof of identity
  • be able to get a bank guarantee if we ask for one

Income test

The income you need to pass this test depends on:

  • how many people are in your immediate family
  • if you’ll have 1 or 2 adult assurees
  • if you’ll be the only assurer or giving a joint assurance
  • how many dependent children you have

To find out more, call the assurance of support for visa applicants line or ask at a service centre.

Incorporated and unincorporated organisations

Incorporated and unincorporated organisations must:

  • be genuine
  • be able to support the assuree

Proof we need

You need to give us proof of:

  • registration
  • steady trading for at least 24 months before the date when you apply

You also need to prove that you haven’t set it up just to be able to give an assurance of support.

Proof of this can be:

  • tax returns
  • letters from your accountant
  • a statement from the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC)

Income and bank guarantee

There’s no income test for organisations but they must always give a bank guarantee.

Bank guarantee

If you give a bank guarantee you should be ready to put money in the bank to cover its value.

Amounts

How much the guarantee is for depends on:

  • if the assurer is a person or an organisation
  • if there are 1 or 2 adult assurees
  • if the assurance of support is for 2 years or 10 years

From a person

For 2 years

  • $5,000 for 1 adult
  • $7,000 for 2 adults

For 10 years

  • $10,000 for 1 adult
  • $14,000 for 2 adults

If the assurer is an organisation, it must guarantee:

  • $10,000 for 1 or 2 adults for 2 years
  • $20,000 for 1 or 2 adults for 10 years

Assurance of support period

An assurance of support can last for 2 or 10 years. It depends on the type of visa.

When it starts

The period starts on the later of:

  • the date the assuree arrives in Australia
  • the date they get their visa

What you need to do

You must tell us when your assuree:

  • arrives in this country
  • gets their visa

Payments from us

Normally assurees and their dependants can’t get income support from us during this period. This is the rule even if they become exempt from the 2 year waiting period for most payments.

If we do agree to give income support to your assuree, you’ll need to pay us back.

If you want to cancel

Once you give an assurance of support, you can’t cancel it.

This is the rule even if:

  • your assuree becomes an Australian citizen
  • your relationship with them breaks down
  • you’re in financial hardship

We may cancel the agreement if your assuree dies.

 

Applying

To become an assurer:

  1. Fill in an Application to Provide an Assurance of Support form.
  2. Get any documents the form says you need to give us.
  3. Take your form and documents to a service centre.
  4. Attend a phone interview where we discuss:
    • what an assurer needs to do
    • if you can meet these obligations
  5. We will assess your claim and let you know the outcome.

Existing customers

Payments from us

We may pay income support to your assuree during the assurance of support period if:

  • you can’t support them, or
  • they can’t accept support from you

We normally speak to both of you before we do this.

What you need to repay

As the assurer, you’ll owe us money for any recoverable payments made to your assuree in the assurance of support period.

You’ll need to pay back any money your assuree gets from:

You may also need to pay back any add ons such as:

How we get the money back

We get the money back from you:

  • through a debt notice that you have to pay
  • from your bank guarantee if you have one, or
  • from your bank guarantee plus a debt notice, if the amount to repay is more than the bank guarantee

Bank guarantee release

You can ask us to release your bank guarantee.

When

You can ask us when the assurance of support period ends. We can’t release it until the end of this period.

How

  1. Fill in the Assurance of Support Bank Guarantee Release form.
  2. Submit it to us online, by post or at a service centre. The details are on the form.

Resources

Help in your language

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We provide free interpreters and translation of documents needed to access our payments and services.

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Manage your money

 

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Read about how to manage your money.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017