Support for humanitarian visa holders

Proposer responsibilities

The Australian Government does not fund travel costs for Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) visa holders. Successful applicants or their proposer must pay for their travel to Australia. Assistance may be available under the IOM No-Interest Loan Scheme. The costs of medical and x-ray examinations are met by the Australian Government.
See: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

On arrival in Australia, the proposer is expected to assist in the settlement of the applicant⁄entrant (the applicant becomes an entrant on arrival in Australia). The proposer should:

  • meet the entrant at the airport
  • provide for the entrant's immediate accommodation needs
  • assist the entrant to find permanent accommodation
  • familiarise the entrant with services and service providers such as:
    • Centrelink
    • banks
    • public transport
    • translating and interpreting services
    • health care
    • permanent housing
    • education
    • employment services
    • childcare.

Support for humanitarian visa holders

The Australian Government helps humanitarian visa holders to prepare for travel to and life in Australia and settle into the Australian community.

The Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) Program

The Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) Program is offered to humanitarian visa holders who are preparing to settle in Australia. It is delivered overseas, before the entrants begin their journey to Australia.

AUSCO is designed to provide an initial introduction to aspects of Australian life, aiming to enhance participants' settlement prospects, create realistic expectations for their life in Australia, and help them acquire information concerning Australian culture prior to arrival. It is the beginning of the settlement process.

AUSCO is available to all humanitarian visa holders over the age of five, and is delivered over five days to ensure AUSCO adequately covers all topics in sufficient detail.
See: The Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) Program

The IOM No-Interest Loan Scheme

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) No-Interest Loan Scheme provides loans to people entering Australia on a Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) visa, or their Australian proposers, to assist with the expense of travelling to Australia.

The scheme provides loans of up to 75 per cent of the travel costs, to be repaid in full by the SHP visa holder or their proposer in an agreed time frame. As well as arranging the travel bookings, IOM provides advice and support before, during and after the person's journey to Australia.

Details of the fund and application forms are available from IOM at:
Website: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Settling in Australia

The Life in Australia book is a resource to help migrants understand Australian history, culture, society and the values we share before they sign the Australian values statement.
See: Life in Australia book

Humanitarian Settl​​ement Program

​The Department of Social Services is responsible for the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP), which assists humanitarian entrants to settle into the community.
See: Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP)​