The Community Support Programme

The Community Support Programme (CSP) was introduced on 1 July 2017. However, the Department must recruit Approved Proposing Organisations (APOs) before visa applicants can be proposed under the CSP.

APOs registered under the Community Proposal Pilot must reapply.

Individuals interested in applying under the CSP can only lodge an application through a registered APO once recruitment is finalised. Details of all successful APOs will be available on the Department’s website from October 2017.

The Community Support Programme (CSP) enables communities and businesses, as well as families and individuals, to propose humanitarian visa applicants with employment prospects and support new humanitarian arrivals in their settlement journey.

The CSP harnesses community support for refugees, including the willingness of the Australian business community to support refugees in practical ways through employment. Under the CSP, Australian supporters (through their Approved Proposing Organisation (APO)) are required to demonstrate they are able to provide adequate support to enable new arrivals to achieve financial self-sufficiency within the first year in Australia.

The APOs key focus in the CSP will be to engage with employers to source employment opportunities for CSP entrants.

The 2017-18 Humanitarian Programme includes 16,250 places, up from 13,750 places in 2016-17 and includes up to 1000 places for the CSP.

Applicant eligibility

CSP applicants must align with the regional, global and settlement priorities of the Australian Government, and be able to satisfy all Class XB subclass 202 visa criteria.

See: Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202)

CSP applicants

Only APOs may propose applicants under the CSP.

Potential CSP 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’).

APOs may assist Australian supporters to identify potential applicants who do not have links to Australia.

The APO will screen potential applicants and Australian supporters against the requirements of the CSP and ensure suitable support is available for the applicant before proposing the applicant/s by lodging a Class XB subclass 202 visa application. 

CSP priorities

Priority will be given where the principal applicant is between 18 and 50 years of age and has an offer of employment (or a pathway that leads to employment) and/or personal attributes that would enable them to become financially self-sufficient within 12 months of arrival. Additional priority will be given to applicants willing to live and work in regional Australia.

Costs

The Visa Application Charge for CSP entrants has two parts:

  • AUD2,680 per application is required at the time of application
  • an additional AUD16,444 for the primary applicant and AUD2,680 for each family member is required before the visa is granted.

APOs will be required to engage with employers to identify suitable employment opportunities for prospective CSP applicants as well as ensure settlement services are provided to entrants for up to 18 months following arrival. APOs may charge the Australian supporters for these services. 

The Australian supporters (community group, business and/or individual) will be required to fund:

  • visa application charges
  • airfares
  • medical screening
  • settlement.

An assurance of support (AoS) will also be required. General information about existing AoS requirements is available at Department of Human Services website.

Further information regarding the AoS for CSP applicants will be available on the Department of Human Service's webpage after 1 July 2017.

Approved Proposing Organisations (APOs)

APOs are individuals, community groups, or businesses that have applied and been authorised under a Deed with the Department to propose applicants who are in humanitarian situations overseas. APOs 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.

To be authorised as an APO, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the capacity to:

  • engage with the business community to source suitable employment opportunities from reputable employers for prospective humanitarian applicants
  • ensure that CSP entrants receive essential settlement services.

The APO will also be responsible for assisting entrants to become financially independent within the first 12 months of arrival.

Community members (including individuals and families), businesses and community organisations can work with APOs and enter into arrangements to propose, and support CSP entrants. Such arrangements would be a matter for the individuals and the APOs involved.

Australian supporters

Australian supporters are community members (including individuals and families), businesses and community organisations which work with APOs and enter into arrangements to propose, and support CSP entrants. Such arrangements would be a matter for the APOs and Australian supporters to determine.

The APO application process

If you are interested in becoming an APO, follow the below application steps:

Note this email address is for APO enquiries ONLY. The Government expects to announce APOs from October 2017. Applicants must contact APOs, once engaged, to discuss the application process and eligibility. The Department will not respond to visa enquiries through this mailbox.