This information booklet provides information on the Community Support Program (CSP) visa, a type of Australian permanent residency visa for refugees who are subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of their human rights.

most frequent Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions

The Australian Government introduced the Community Support Program (CSP VISA) on 1 July 2017. 

The CSP visa enables communities, businesses, families, and individuals to propose humanitarian visa applicants with employment prospects and to support new humanitarian arrivals in their settlement journey.

Visa entrants that apply through the Community Support Program will be granted an Australian Permanent Residency visa by the Department of Home Affairs.

Potential CSP VISA applicants are not required to have existing links to Australia, and can be identified by an individual (such as a family member in Australia), a community organisation or a business with an interest in supporting refugees (known as ‘Australian supporter’) or by an Approved Proposing Organisation.

APO’s are individuals, community groups, or businesses that have been authorized to propose applicants who are in humanitarian situations overseas. 

APO’s key focus will be to link employers with prospective humanitarian applicants. APOs are also responsible for lodging visa applications and ensuring the provision and management of settlement services to these people following arrival in Australia.

The APOs will work with local and international community and business networks to identify and screen CSP applicants that:

  1. satisfy all Global Special Humanitarian (subclass 202) requirements, 
  2. have an Assurer in Australia that is willing and financially capable to assure them under the Assurance of Support provisions, and 
  3. has either an offer of employment and/or personal attributes that will enable them to become financially self-sufficient within 12 months of arrival.

To apply as a visa applicant, you must be living outside your country of origin, be a refugee and be subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of your human rights.

We will screen potential visa applicants to ensure that the main applicant fits within the following criteria:

  1. be aged between 18 to 50;
  2. have functional English;
  3. have an offer of employment (or a pathway that leads to employment) or have personal attributes that would enable them to become financially self-sufficient within 12 months of arrival in Australia;
  4. be from a class of individuals that the Australian Government considers to be a priority for refugee resettlement.

Australian supporters are community members (including individuals and families), businesses and community organisations, which work with the APO to support the visa entrants both financially and socially.

Australian supports provide support in the following ways:

  1. setting up employment pathways for the visa applicant;
  2. paying costs relating to the services provided to the visa applicant;
  3. providing an Assurance of Support.

There are substantial costs involved in applying for the Community Support Program visa.  These are: 

  1. Department of Home Affairs base visa application charge of $490 per application, payable at the time of lodgement of the application; 
  2. Department of Home Affairs second visa application charge payable before the CSP visa is approved of $7,280; 
  3. medical screening as required by the Department of Home Affairs;
  4. airfares for the visa applicants to arrive to Australia;
  5. on-arrival support such as initial accommodation;
  6. general resettlement services in Australia; and
  7. APO administration fees.  We will assess these fees after the applicants have been assessed as qualifying for the CSP Visa.

Under the Community Support Program, the Department of Home Affairs requires each visa applicant to have an Assurance of Support. 

An Assurance of Support is a commitment to provide adequate support to a person applying to migrate to Australia, so that the migrant will not have to rely on welfare payments from Services Australia. 

The person or corporation providing the Assurance of Support is known as the Assurer.

The Assurer will be required to sign a form making a legal commitment to repay to the Australian Government any recoverable Centrelink payments made to the visa applicants covered by the Assurance of Support, within the first 12 months of the visa entrants’ period in Australia.

Recoverable Centrelink payments currently are:

  1. Austudy Payment
  2. Crisis Payment
  3. Newstart Allowance
  4. Parenting Payment (Partnered)
  5. Parenting Payment (Single)
  6. Sickness Allowance
  7. Special Benefit
  8. Widow Allowance
  9. Youth Allowance

The Assurer providing the Assurance of Support can be an individual person, or a group of persons, or an Australian corporation. 

As an individual you may assure a maximum of 4 adults at any one time under the Community Support Program.

An Australian Corporation may assure a maximum of 15 adults at any one time under the Community Support Program.

An adult is someone aged 18 years or older at the time of the visa application. 

An individual Assurer must reside in Australia at the time of application and be:

    1. an adult (aged 18 years or over);
    2. an Australian citizen, the holder of an Australian permanent visa or an eligible New Zealand citizen;
  • able to provide proof of income at or above the income test threshold for the current and previous financial year.

The assurer’s responsibilities as an assurer will start when the visa applicant arrives in Australia.

The Assurance of Support remains in force for 12 months from this date. The Assurance of Support period may start and end at different times for each visa applicant if they arrive in Australia at different times.

A criterion to be satisfied for the primary Visa Applicants under the Community Support Program is that they must be able to demonstrate they have a genuine offer of employment in accordance with Australian workplace laws, or a detailed pathway that leads to employment (thorough employment plan). 

If a CSP entrant’s proposed employment does not eventuate after they arrive, the Australian Supporter is expected to work toward obtaining alternative employment.