Assurance of Support
Assurance of Support
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What you need to know if you want to give someone an assurance of support for certain types of visas and agree to support them financially.
1. You need to know Assurance of Support
About an assurance of support
An assurance of support is a legal agreement you make with us to help someone get a visa to live in Australia. It's your 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 Home Affairs:
- 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
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.
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.
Types of assurance of support
There are 2 types of assurance of support. Which one you need depends on the visa type.
To get some types of visas you must have an assurance of support. These are:
- an aged dependent relative visa
- a contributory parent or contributory aged parent visa
- a parent or aged parent visa
- a remaining relative visa
- a humanitarian entrant visa under the Community Support Program
The assurer must give a bank guarantee for all visa types except the Community Support Program.
Read more about the Community Support Program on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Some visas may need an assurance of support. It's up to the Department of Home Affairs to decide in each case. These visa types are:
- former resident
- orphaned relative under 18
If the assurer is an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, they must give a bank guarantee.
Eligibility for an Assurance of Support
To be eligible to become an assurer for an assurance of support you must meet certain criteria.
To be an assurer you must:
- pass the income test for the current and previous financial year
- be an Australian resident
- be 18 or older
- give us proof of identity, and
- be able to get a bank guarantee if we ask for one
An organisation can be an assurer too. To do this they must be:
- a genuine incorporated or unincorporated organisation, and
- able to support the assuree
They need to give us proof:
- of registration
- of recent steady trading history before the date they apply
The organisation must be genuine and not just recently set up in order to give an assurance of support.
To prove an organisation is genuine we need to see:
- tax returns
- letters from their accountant, or
- a statement from the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC)
Check if you’re eligible
You need to pass an income test to be eligible.
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
Use our Assurance of Support checker to work out if you are eligible to be an assurer. This will also let you know if you meet the financial requirements.
If you’re an organisation, the income test doesn’t apply to you, but you must give us a bank guarantee.
You don’t need to give us a bank guarantee if you’re an organisation supporting someone in the Community Support Program. This is the only visa type where organisations don’t need to give a bank guarantee.
If you’re still not sure if you’re eligible:
Bank guarantee for an assurance of support
If you give a bank guarantee you should be ready to put money in the bank to cover its value.
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
Bank guarantee release
You can ask us to release your bank guarantee when the Assurance of Support period ends.
When we can release your bank guarantee
We can’t release it until the end of the Assurance of Support period.
At the end of the period we send you and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia a letter.
As long as the assuree didn't get any payments from us, the letter will say:
- the bank guarantee has been cancelled, and
- the bank can release it to the assurer
How to ask us to release your bank guarantee
- fill in the Assurance of Support Bank Guarantee Release form.
- submit it to us online, by post or at a service centre - the details are on the form.
Assurance of support period
The assurance of support period depends on the type of visa you apply for. It can last for 1, 2 or 10 years.
When it starts
The period starts on the later of:
- the date the assuree arrives in Australia, or
- the date they get their visa
What you need to do
You must tell us when your assuree:
- arrives in country Australia
- gets their visa
How it affects payments from us
Normally assurees and their dependants can’t get income support from us during the specified period. This is the rule even if they are 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.
2. Applying Assurance of Support
Apply to give an assurance of support
The easiest way to apply to give an assurance of support is online.
Before you start
Check if you're eligible to give an assurance of support.
Information you need
Make sure you have a:
- letter from the Department of Home Affairs that says a visa applicant must have an assurance of support
- clear understanding of your role as an assurer, including that you may have to pay us back money
If you’ll be the only assurer or you’re giving a joint assurance, you need:
- documents that confirm your identity
- your Customer Reference Number (CRN) if you have one
- proof of your Australian residence status - for example a record of your Australian citizenship or permanent residency
- evidence of income for the previous financial year, for example Notice of Tax Assessments for 2016-17
In some instances, your evidence of income can be a letter from the Australian Taxation Office.
You also need evidence of ongoing income. This can be:
- 2 recent consecutive payslips
- a letter from your accountant
- a letter from your employer, or
- a profit and loss statement
If you’re an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, you need to give us all of the above. We also need:
- proof of identity documents for the person applying on behalf of the organisation
- proof the organisation has an address in Australia - this can be an active Australian Business Number
- evidence of recent trading history for the organisation - this can be a tax return or a letter from a registered accountant
- proof the authorised person can sign on behalf of the organisation
- evidence the incorporated organisation is on the Australian Business Register website
If you’ll be the only assurer, or you’re giving a joint assurance, you can apply online. If you’re an organisation you can’t apply online. You need to apply by form.
Start your claim online
To apply online you need a myGov account. You need to link your myGov account to your Centrelink online account.
I have a Centrelink online account linked to myGov
Sign in to myGov to start your application.
I don’t have a Centrelink online account or a myGov account
If you’ve received a payment or service from us, you can use your Customer Reference Number (CRN). Find this on a letter we’ve sent you and register for a Centrelink online account.
You can then create a myGov account and select Services to link Centrelink.
If you need help with your Centrelink online account or mobile app
- read the online account guides or
- watch our video demonstrations
Unable to apply online
If you’re unable to apply online you can apply by form.
The form you need to complete depends on if you're applying under the Community Support Program or not.
If you're not applying under the Community Support Program complete the Application to provide an Assurance of Support form.
If you are applying under the Community Support Program complete the Application to provide an Assurance of Support for Community Support Program form.
Don’t sign the declaration on the last page of the form until you submit it. You need to sign it in front of a service officer.
Submit your claim
If you’re applying online, you can electronically submit:
- your application, and
- most supporting document.
Read more about submitting your documents online.
Submit your form and supporting documents in person, at a service centre.
You’ll need to sign the declaration on the last page of the form in front of a service officer.
Wait for the results
We'll tell you if your application is successful.
You have the right to appeal our decision. Read more about reviews and appeals.
3. Existing customers Assurance of Support
Payments from us during an assurance of support period
We may pay income support to the 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:
- Newstart Allowance
- Parenting Payment
- Sickness Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Widow Allowance
- Youth Allowance
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
4. Resources Assurance of Support
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