The Community Support Program

The Community Support Program (CSP) was introduced on 1 July 2017. The department is currently in the first stage of establishing the CSP – recruiting Approved Proposing Organisations (APOs) with the skills and experience to manage the application and settlement process on behalf of visa applicants and their Australian supporters.

The APO selection process has not yet been finalised – this page will be updated as soon as APOs are announced. Individual visa applications cannot be lodged until APOs have been appointed.

What is the CSP?

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

Under the CSP, Australian supporters (through an 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 2017-18 Humanitarian Program 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’) or by he APO.

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


APOs can only propose applicants who are from CSP priority groups. These are:

  • aged between 18 and 50
  • have an offer of employment (or a pathway that leads to employment) 
  • personal attributes that would enable them to become financially self-sufficient within 12 months of arrival
  • 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 are 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) are required to fund:

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

An assurance of support (AoS) is 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 been authorised 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.

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.