Assurance of Support
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
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.
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.
To be an assurer you must:
- pass the income test for the current and 2 previous financial years
- be an Australian resident and be in Australia when you submit your application
- be 18 or older
- give us proof of identity
- be able to get a bank guarantee if we ask for one
- not owe money to the Australian Government
Incorporated and unincorporated organisations
An organisation can be an assurer. 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 steady trading for at least 24 months before the date you apply
The organisation must be genuine. It can’t be set up just to be able to give an assurance of support.
To prove an organisation is genuine we need to see documents that could be:
- tax returns
- letters from their accountant, or
- a statement from the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC)
Check if you’re eligible
Use our Assurance of Support checker to work out if you’re eligible to be an assurer. This will also let you know if you meet the financial requirements.
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
If you’re an organisation, the income test doesn’t apply to you, but you must give us a bank guarantee.
The Community Support Program is the only visa type where organisations don’t currently need to give a bank guarantee.
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
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.
Apply to give an assurance of support
Before you start
Check if you're eligibile 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 2 financial years, for example Notice of Tax Assessments for 2016-17 and 2015-16
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 apply by form. You also need to give us:
- proof of identity documents for the person applying on behalf of the organisation
- proof the organisation is operating in Australia – this can be an active Australian Business Number
- evidence the organisation has been trading for at least 2 years - 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 and a Centrelink online account. Your Centrelink online account must be linked to myGov.
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 CRN to get an account. 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.
Complete the Application to provide an Assurance of Support form unless you’re applying under the Community Support Program. Then you need to complete the Application to provide an Assurance of Support for Community Support Program form instead.
You’ll need to sign the declaration on the last page of the form in front of a service officer.
Submit your claim
If you’re applying online, you can submit your application and most supporting documents electronically at the end of the process. 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
Payments from us
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
Help in your language
Payment and Service Finder
Payment and Service Finder can help you work out amounts of:
- Centrelink payments, including pensions and allowances
- Family Tax Benefit
- Child care fee assistance
To work out how much money you may get, answer the questions and choose a payment you want to estimate.
Manage your money
- how our payments and services may help you manage your money day to day
- how to manage money and debt
- about how borrowing and credit can help you better manage your money
- ways to manage your money to build savings
Read about how to manage your money.