The Australian Government has announced the establishment of a Community Support Programme (CSP) from 1 July 2017.
The CSP will enable communities and businesses, as well as families and individuals, to propose humanitarian visa applicants and support new humanitarian arrivals in their settlement journey. This initiative will build on the success of the Community Proposal Pilot (CPP) which has been operating for three years.
Proposers under the CSP will be required to show they are able to provide adequate support to enable the proposed entrant to achieve financial self-sufficiency within the first year of arrival in Australia. This approach is used internationally and leads to strong settlement outcomes for refugees through greater integration within communities.
The CSP is designed to harness community support for refugees including the willingness of the Australian business community to support refugees in practical ways. Greater community and business engagement in refugee resettlement benefits refugees, as well as the broader Australian community, by contributing to social cohesion and economic participation.
The Visa Application Charge for the CSP will be the same as for the CPP. However, an assurance of support will be required for working age entrants under the CSP.
The Humanitarian Programme will increase to 16,250 places in 2017-18, up from 13,750 places in 2016-17 and will include up to 1000 places for CSP.
The Australian Government remains committed to a strong Humanitarian Programme focused on assisting vulnerable people overseas entering under a planned, orderly process. Australia plays a leading role in global efforts to assist refugees and continues to rank as one of the top three resettlement countries each year, along with the United States and Canada.
Applications under the CPP are no longer being accepted.
Further details of the new CSP will be announced prior to commencement on 1 July 2017.