Assurance of Support

Some visa applicants need to provide an Assurance of Support (AoS) before their visa application can be granted.

What is an Assurance of Support

The AoS scheme allows welfare costs for certain migrants to be met by an Australian permanent resident or citizen, rather than the Australian community.

An AoS is a legal commitment by a person (the assurer), to provide financial support to a person applying to migrate (the assuree) so that they will not have to rely on social welfare payments.

It is also a commitment to repay to the Australian Government certain welfare payments if payments are paid to the assuree during their AoS period.

In some circumstances, an assurer will also need to provide a financial bond.

Roles and responsibilities

The Department of Social Services

The Department of Social Services has overall policy responsibility for the AoS scheme, which is based on the Social Security Act 1991. The Department of Social Services determines the duration of all AoS periods, the required bond amounts and eligibility requirements for social welfare payments.

The Department of Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) advises Visa applicants if they are required to have an approved AoS.

The Department does not assess AoS applications. Where an AoS is required the Department will decide a visa application based on advice from DHS whether an AoS has been accepted or not.

The Department of Human Services (DHS)

The AoS scheme is managed by the DHS, which is responsible for:

  • providing AoS application forms
  • assessing an Australian resident's capacity to provide an AoS
  • counselling assurers about the implications of the AoS undertaking
  • advising the requirements to be met by assurers, including joint assurers
  • advising about the bond lodgement as well as the procedures for bond release
  • informing the assurer about the recoverable social security payments affected by an AoS
  • considering any requests for cancellation of an AoS.

More information can be obtained from DHS Website.

What steps do I need to take to obtain an Assurance of Support

The Department will send you a letter advising that you need to obtain an AoS. You must forward this letter to your assurer. Your assurer needs to provide this letter to DHS to initiate the AoS assessment. DHS will advise your assurer how to make an application as well as the responsibilities that accompany an AoS commitment.

How will I find out about the outcome of the Assurance of Support assessment

DHS will advise the Department and the assurer of the results of the AoS assessment process.