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
How Assurance of Support works.
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 may need to 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. However, you may need to give us a bank guarantee.
If you’re still not sure if you’re eligible either:
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, 4 years or 10 years
From a person
For 2 and 4 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 or 4 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, 4 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 4 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. How to apply to give an assurance of support
Complete the following steps to apply to give an assurance of support.
Steps to apply to give an assurance of support
1. Get ready to apply
The easiest way to apply is online. Check if you're eligible to give an assurance of support before you apply. You need to have a clear understanding of your role as an assurer. This may include paying us back money.
To apply online, you need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink online account you’ll need to set them up.You may need to confirm your identity with us before you start your application.
If you can’t apply online print and complete either the:
- Application to provide an Assurance of Support for Community Support Program form, if you’re applying under the Community Support Program
- Application to provide an Assurance of Support form, if you're not applying under the Community Support Program.
Read about the Community Support Program on the Department of Home Affairs website.
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.
Go to a service centre to sign the declaration and submit your form.
2. Get your documents ready to apply
You’ll need to get some documents ready for your application.
3. Start your application
- Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
- Select Menu, then Assurance of Support, then Assurance of Support again.
- Read about your obligations. If you understand and accept them, tick the box then select Get started.
- Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help you complete the application. This includes how to submit your supporting documents.
- Submit your appliction.
When you're ready:
4. Track your application
After you submit your application online, you’ll get a receipt telling you:
- your application was submitted
- the ID number of your application
- an estimated completion date
- a link to track its progress.
You can track the progress of your application online. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
We’ll also let you know the result of your application. We'll send a letter to either your:
- myGov Inbox
- Centrelink online account.
If you don't get electronic letters, we'll send you a letter in the mail.
If we need more details we’ll ask you for them.
If you think we’ve made a mistake you can ask us to review our decision.
Setting up online accounts for Centrelink
To do your business with us, create a myGov account and link to Centrelink.
Create a myGov account
With myGov, you can access government services online.
To get Centrelink payments and services, you need to create a myGov account and link it to Centrelink.
You need your own email address to create a myGov account.
For help, read our create a myGov account guide.
Centrelink online account and the CRN
You must have a Customer Reference Number (CRN) to:
- set up your Centrelink online account through myGov
- link your myGov account to Centrelink.
If you have received a Centrelink payment or service from us, you’ll have a CRN.
Read more about Centrelink Customer Reference Numbers.
Confirm your identity
Confirm your identity when you claim a payment or service.
What are common documents to confirm identity
You need to give us these original documents to confirm your identity:
- 1 Commencement document to confirm your birth or arrival in Australia
- 1 Primary document to show the use of your identity in the community
- 1 Secondary document to show the use of your identity in the community.
At least 1 of these documents must have a photo of you on it. The documents must show the same name as your claim. If you can’t do this, you need to give evidence you’ve changed your name.
We can’t accept:
- copies or certified copies
- expired documents, except an expired Australian Passport for up to 3 years from the expiry date
- Australia Post Keypass identity card
- the same document twice.
If you can’t give us the documents we need, tell us. We’ll talk to you about other options.
We may ask you to give us documents again if you claim another payment or we review your circumstances.
Jenny uses her Australian passport as her Commencement document to prove her birth or arrival in Australia. This means Jenny can’t use her passport as a Primary or Secondary document. She’ll need to use other documents from the list.
Commencement documents to confirm your birth or arrival in Australia
You must give us 1 of the following.
|Australian birth certificate||A full birth certificate in your name or former name issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages. We can’t accept birth extracts or birth cards.||No|
|Australian visa||A current resident or tourist visa issued in your name or former name. We can’t accept expired visas.||No|
|Australian citizenship certificate||Issued in your name or former name. If your name appears on your parents’ certificate, you can use that.||No|
|ImmiCard||A card issued in your name or former name by the Department of Home Affairs.||Yes|
|Australian passport||Issued in your name or former name, within 3 years of the expiry date.||Yes|
|Certificate of identity||Issued in your name or former name by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.||Yes|
|Document of identity||Issued in your name or former name by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.||Yes|
Primary documents to show the use of your identity in the community
You must give us either:
- another Commencement document
- 1 of the following.
|Australian driver licence - motor vehicle||A current licence issued in your name with your photo or signature. We can accept current a learner permit and provisional licence.||Yes|
|Australian marriage certificate||Issued by a state or territory government. We can’t accept ceremonial, church or celebrant issued certificates.||No|
|Foreign passport||A current passport issued by another country, with a valid entry stamp or visa.||Yes|
|Proof of age card||Issued by a state or territory government in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Shooter or firearm licence||A current licence, issued in your name with your photo or signature. We can’t accept minor or junior permits or licences.||Yes|
|Secondary student ID card||A current ID card, issued in your name with your photo or signature. You can only use this if you're under 18 and don’t have the other documents.||Yes|
Secondary documents to show the use of your identity in the community
You must give us either:
- another Commencement document
- another Primary document
- 1 of the following.
|Security licence||A current security protection industry or crowd control licence. It must be in your name and show your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Bank or financial institution card, statement or passbook||Issued by a bank, credit union or building society. Cards Statements or passbooks must be current, in your name. Your signature must be on the card and your current address on the statement or passbook. We can’t accept documents from foreign banks or institutions.||No|
|Child’s birth certificate||Australian birth certificate with your name as a parent or guardian.||No|
|Defence Force identity card||Issued by the Australian Defence Force and shows your name and photo or signature.||Yes|
|Australian divorce papers||In your name or former name. For example, a Decree Nisi or Decree Absolute.||No|
|Educational certificate||From an Australian school, TAFE, university or Registered Training Organisation. This must be in your name or former name.||No|
|Certified academic transcript||From an Australian university in your name or former name.||No|
|Mortgage papers||For an Australian property in your name or former name. These need to be legally drawn.||No|
|Name change||Legal change of name or deed poll certificate.||No|
|Veterans’ Affairs card||A current card issued in your name.||No|
|Tenancy agreement or lease||A current formal agreement or lease in your name and showing your address.||No|
|Motor vehicle registration||Current registration papers with your name, address and proof of payment.||No|
|Documents issued by foreign governments||Foreign birth, marriage or education certificate. Driver licence, national identity card or a lapsed passport.||No|
|Australian government issued photo ID card||A current photo ID card issued by the Commonwealth, state or territory in your name.||Yes|
|Rates notice||A paid rates notice issued in your name with your address that is less than 12 months old.||No|
Water, gas, electricity or phone account with a receipt number. This must be in your name, show your address and be less than 12 months old. Must be a paid account.
|Student ID card||
A current student ID card from an Australian secondary school, TAFE, university or Registered Training Organisation. It must have your name with your photo or signature.
|Electoral enrolment||Proof of enrolment card in your name and showing your address.||No|
|Aviation security identity card||A current card issued in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Maritime security identity card||A current card issued in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Police identity card||A current card issued in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Prison release certificate||In your name with your photo or signature.||No|
|Tangentyere Community ID card||A current card issued in your name and with your photo.||Yes|
How to submit your documents
To confirm your identity, you’ll need to give us your original identity documents. You can do this at either:
- a service centre
- an Agent or Access Point.
If we can’t confirm your identity, we’ll ask you:
We must confirm your identity before you can make a claim.
Once we verify your photo identity, you can give us the other identity documents online. You can do this when you claim:
- Newstart Allowance
- Youth Allowance
- Age Pension
- Carer Payment
- Carer Allowance
- Parenting Payment.
You can also give us the other identity documents online, if you apply for one of these concession cards:
- Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card
- Foster Child Health Care Card
- Low Income Health Care Card.
What happens if you have an authorised nominee
We understand sometimes people can’t visit a service centre. You may be able to confirm your identity through an authorised nominee.
How to change or correct your legal name
It’s important to tell us if you change your legal name.
To change or correct your legal name, we’ll need an original document issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages. We can’t accept copies or certified copies.
When you need to confirm a partners identity
We need to confirm both your and your partner's identity, if you're claiming:
- Parenting Payment
- Low Income Health Care Card
- Farm Household Allowance.
If we’ve already confirmed your partner’s identity, we may not need further documents from them.
Documents you need to provide to give an assurance of support
You need to give us a copy of the assuree’s letter from the Department of Home Affairs. The letter will say the visa applicant must have an assurance of support.
If you’ll be the only assurer, or you’re giving a joint assurance, you can apply online.
You also need to give us all of the following:
- proof of your identity
- your Customer Reference Number (CRN), if you have one
- proof of your Australian residence status
- evidence that you have a job or ongoing income.
To prove your Australian residence status you can give us a record of either your:
- Australian citizenship
- permanent residency.
To prove you have a job or ongoing income you can give us either:
- 2 recent consecutive payslips
- a letter from your accountant
- a letter from your employer
- a profit and loss statement.
You also need to give us evidence of your income for the previous financial year. For example a Notice of Tax Assessment for 2016–17. In some cases, you can get a letter from the Australian Taxation Office.
If you’re an organisation you can’t apply online. You need to apply by form.
If you’re an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, you need to give us all of the following:
- all of the same documents as an individual needs to give us
- proof of identity documents for the person applying on behalf of the organisation
- proof your organisation has an address in Australia - this can be an active Australian Business Number
- evidence of recent trading history for your organisation - either a tax return or a letter from a registered accountant
- proof the authorised person can sign on behalf of the organisation.
If you’re an incorporated organisation you also need to give us evidence you’re on the Australian Business Register website.
3. Existing customers Assurance of Support
How to use Assurance of Support for existing customers
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
Tools, information and other services we offer.
Help in your language
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