New Assurance of Support Rules

Old Jan 8th 2008, 10:45 pm
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Exclamation New Assurance of Support Rules

A significant set of changes have taken place for the Assurance of Support scheme (which now only applies to family migration applications). The significant changes are increased bond payments and a restructured income test, as follows:


Changes to the Assurance of Support Scheme from 1 January 2008

The Assurance of Support (AoS) Scheme enables some people to migrate to Australia who would not normally qualify. This is possible because a person or organisation (the assurer) agrees to support the new migrant (the assuree) for a period of time after they arrive in Australia so that the assuree will not have to rely on payments from Centrelink. Most newly arrived residents have to live in Australia as permanent residents for two years before they can get most Centrelink income support payments. By signing an assurance, the assurer agrees to financially support the assuree and also commits to repay any recoverable Centrelink payments made to the assuree during the period of the assurance. This is either two or ten years, depending on the visa subclass. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) decides which visa applications require an assurance while Centrelink assesses the capacity of prospective assurers to provide an assurance. A number of changes to the AoS scheme were announced in the 2007 Federal Budget. These changes came into effect on 1 January 2008: Assurances will no longer be required for migrants applying for Skilled visas or Carer visas.

The amount of the security Centrelink requires for a two-year assurance increased from $3,500 to $5,000 for the primary applicant and from $1,500 to $2,000 for a secondary applicant. The total amount required where there are two people covered by a two-year assurance has therefore increased from $5,000 to $7,000. There will be no changes to the amount of the security required for ten-year assurances. This will remain as $10,000 for an individual and $14,000 where there are two people covered by the assurance.
Organisations that wish to be assurers no longer have to satisfy an income test but must now provide a bank guarantee in all cases including those where the visa applied for does not require a security. The security required is $10,000 for two-year assurances and $20,000 for ten-year assurances, regardless of whether the assurance covers one or two adults.

Organisations will be limited to assuring two people at any time, as is currently the case for individuals.

There will be a simpler income test for assurers linking the income requirement to the maximum annual basic rate of Newstart Allowance as at 1 July.

Currently assurers must have income of $11,931 gross for themselves and $11,931 for each adult they assure. These amounts apply to all visas and will be indexed annually.

Examples of income required by an assurer:

o Single assurer assuring one adult = $23,862
o Single assurer assuring 2 adults = $35,793
o Married assurer assuring one adult = $23,862
o Married assurer assuring two adults = $35,793

The income threshold shown above will be increased by the annual base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A - which is currently $1,890 - for each of the assurer’s dependant children. This threshold calculation only takes into account dependent children of the assurer who are under 18 years of age and disregards the dependent children in the families of assurees.

In situations where prospective assurers do not have sufficient Australian taxable income other forms of income may be accepted. This includes a person’s foreign income, tax-free pension or benefit paid or payable, reportable fringe benefits and any tax-free salary received during overseas deployment as a member of the Australian Defence Force or Federal Police for the financial year.

Proof of income will be required for the current year and one of the last two financial years, not two of the last three as is currently required.

The provision to consider the value of a person’s assets if the income level is not satisfied has been removed.

There are changes to recoverable payments – Parenting Payment and Sickness Allowance will be included and add-ons and smaller payments such as telephone allowance and Crisis payment will only be recoverable where the primary payment is recoverable.

The full list of recoverable payments are:

* Austudy Payment * Sickness Allowance * Crisis Payment * Special Benefit * Newstart Allowance * Widow Allowance * Parenting Payment * Youth Allowance * Mature Age Allowance * Partner Allowance Assurers will no longer be allowed to withdraw once the visa has been issued.
For more information:

DIAC 13 1881 Internet: www.diac.gov.au
Centrelink 13 2850 Internet: www.centrelink.gov.au


These changes take effect immediately.

Cheers,

George Lombard
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Old Jan 10th 2008, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by George Lombard View Post
The Assurance of Support (AoS) Scheme enables some people to migrate to Australia who would not normally qualify...
Thanks for the info on the changes.

Out of interest what sort of people does this AoS enable to migrate who would not normally qualify?
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Old Jan 11th 2008, 2:52 am
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by hottroc View Post
Thanks for the info on the changes.

Out of interest what sort of people does this AoS enable to migrate who would not normally qualify?
The AoS is a discretionary requirement for partner visas and a mandatory requirement for most other family visas, eg remaining relative, parent, aged dependant, contributory parent etc.

Cheers,

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Old Jan 11th 2008, 11:51 am
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Thanks for that George.

So, can i just get this clear....We applied for a 138 skilled-Australian sponsored visa in August 2007 and have just recieved a full acknowledgement.
Do these rules mean that an AoS IS NO LONGER REQIURED for our visa subclass. Therefore our assurer in Australia (my wife`s uncle) will not be assessed by centrelink and our application will simply no longer require this? We have no children either.
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Old Jan 11th 2008, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by ralphand nic View Post
Thanks for that George.

So, can i just get this clear....We applied for a 138 skilled-Australian sponsored visa in August 2007 and have just recieved a full acknowledgement.
Do these rules mean that an AoS IS NO LONGER REQIURED for our visa subclass. Therefore our assurer in Australia (my wife`s uncle) will not be assessed by centrelink and our application will simply no longer require this? We have no children either.
I think it is. Wait for your good news.
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Old Jan 11th 2008, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by George Lombard View Post
The AoS is a discretionary requirement for partner visas and a mandatory requirement for most other family visas, eg remaining relative, parent, aged dependant, contributory parent etc.

Cheers,

George Lombard
Thanks George, it was their wording "...would not normally qualify" which confused me as I thought the family visas you mention WOULD normally qualify.
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Old Jan 11th 2008, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by hottroc View Post
Thanks George, it was their wording "...would not normally qualify" which confused me as I thought the family visas you mention WOULD normally qualify.
Dear HT,

No, that's just spin. When something's a requirement and you don't meet it, then you don't qualify. Nothing more cerebral.

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Old Jan 13th 2008, 9:20 am
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Proof of income will be required for the current year and one of the last two financial years, not two of the last three as is currently required.

Does this mean that you no longer have to be working for 2 years in Australia before submitting an application to sponsor parents? Could this now be done after say 14 months (12 months for previous financial year, and two months into current financial year)? Or do you still need to wait the 2 years to prove that you are settled?

Thank you!
Lynette
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Old Jan 13th 2008, 9:23 am
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by lynh View Post
Proof of income will be required for the current year and one of the last two financial years, not two of the last three as is currently required.

Does this mean that you no longer have to be working for 2 years in Australia before submitting an application to sponsor parents? Could this now be done after say 14 months (12 months for previous financial year, and two months into current financial year)? Or do you still need to wait the 2 years to prove that you are settled?

Thank you!
Lynette
Hi Lynette,

No, these are just the Centrelink requirements. The "settled" requirement is from DIAC and hasn't changed.

Cheers,

George Lombard
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 4:27 am
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by ralphand nic View Post
Thanks for that George.

So, can i just get this clear....We applied for a 138 skilled-Australian sponsored visa in August 2007 and have just recieved a full acknowledgement.
Do these rules mean that an AoS IS NO LONGER REQIURED for our visa subclass. Therefore our assurer in Australia (my wife`s uncle) will not be assessed by centrelink and our application will simply no longer require this? We have no children either.
We applied under 138 and now no longer have to pay the AoS. Good job I held off for a while....our case officer said if we were happy to have the visas granted after 1st Jan 2008 then AoS was no longer required. Sure enough the Visa Grant letter appeared a couple of days ago.

We did apply initially back in Sept 06, not sure if the rules are different for 138s applied for a bit nearer to present time.
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Old Jan 22nd 2008, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by George Lombard View Post
A significant set of changes have taken place for the Assurance of Support scheme (which now only applies to family migration applications). The significant changes are increased bond payments and a restructured income test, as follows:


Changes to the Assurance of Support Scheme from 1 January 2008

The Assurance of Support (AoS) Scheme enables some people to migrate to Australia who would not normally qualify. This is possible because a person or organisation (the assurer) agrees to support the new migrant (the assuree) for a period of time after they arrive in Australia so that the assuree will not have to rely on payments from Centrelink. Most newly arrived residents have to live in Australia as permanent residents for two years before they can get most Centrelink income support payments. By signing an assurance, the assurer agrees to financially support the assuree and also commits to repay any recoverable Centrelink payments made to the assuree during the period of the assurance. This is either two or ten years, depending on the visa subclass. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) decides which visa applications require an assurance while Centrelink assesses the capacity of prospective assurers to provide an assurance. A number of changes to the AoS scheme were announced in the 2007 Federal Budget. These changes came into effect on 1 January 2008: Assurances will no longer be required for migrants applying for Skilled visas or Carer visas.

The amount of the security Centrelink requires for a two-year assurance increased from $3,500 to $5,000 for the primary applicant and from $1,500 to $2,000 for a secondary applicant. The total amount required where there are two people covered by a two-year assurance has therefore increased from $5,000 to $7,000. There will be no changes to the amount of the security required for ten-year assurances. This will remain as $10,000 for an individual and $14,000 where there are two people covered by the assurance.
Organisations that wish to be assurers no longer have to satisfy an income test but must now provide a bank guarantee in all cases including those where the visa applied for does not require a security. The security required is $10,000 for two-year assurances and $20,000 for ten-year assurances, regardless of whether the assurance covers one or two adults.

Organisations will be limited to assuring two people at any time, as is currently the case for individuals.

There will be a simpler income test for assurers linking the income requirement to the maximum annual basic rate of Newstart Allowance as at 1 July.

Currently assurers must have income of $11,931 gross for themselves and $11,931 for each adult they assure. These amounts apply to all visas and will be indexed annually.

Examples of income required by an assurer:

o Single assurer assuring one adult = $23,862
o Single assurer assuring 2 adults = $35,793
o Married assurer assuring one adult = $23,862
o Married assurer assuring two adults = $35,793

The income threshold shown above will be increased by the annual base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A - which is currently $1,890 - for each of the assurer’s dependant children. This threshold calculation only takes into account dependent children of the assurer who are under 18 years of age and disregards the dependent children in the families of assurees.

In situations where prospective assurers do not have sufficient Australian taxable income other forms of income may be accepted. This includes a person’s foreign income, tax-free pension or benefit paid or payable, reportable fringe benefits and any tax-free salary received during overseas deployment as a member of the Australian Defence Force or Federal Police for the financial year.

Proof of income will be required for the current year and one of the last two financial years, not two of the last three as is currently required.

The provision to consider the value of a person’s assets if the income level is not satisfied has been removed.

There are changes to recoverable payments – Parenting Payment and Sickness Allowance will be included and add-ons and smaller payments such as telephone allowance and Crisis payment will only be recoverable where the primary payment is recoverable.

The full list of recoverable payments are:

* Austudy Payment * Sickness Allowance * Crisis Payment * Special Benefit * Newstart Allowance * Widow Allowance * Parenting Payment * Youth Allowance * Mature Age Allowance * Partner Allowance Assurers will no longer be allowed to withdraw once the visa has been issued.
For more information:

DIAC 13 1881 Internet: www.diac.gov.au
Centrelink 13 2850 Internet: www.centrelink.gov.au


These changes take effect immediately.

Cheers,

George Lombard
Do the sponsor & the person who pays the AOS have to be the same person?
My sister is sponsoring my parents & my dad wants to pay the AOS. Can this be done? If so after the 10years or what ever it is who will recieve the payment back? My sister or my parents?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks
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Old Jan 24th 2008, 4:54 am
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

The AoS needs to be in the name of a current citizen or permanent resident, whether it be the sponsor or someone completely different.

Of course, your dad could pay the money to your sis who would then pay it to Centrelink when she has her interview/meeting and it would be returned to her after the 2 years.

That's how I understand it as that was my situation before they decided to drop the AoS in my case! I was going to send the money to my uncle who was then going to pay it and act as my sponsor and my Assurer.

Hope that made sense, good luck!

Originally Posted by tawkins1 View Post
Do the sponsor & the person who pays the AOS have to be the same person?
My sister is sponsoring my parents & my dad wants to pay the AOS. Can this be done? If so after the 10years or what ever it is who will recieve the payment back? My sister or my parents?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks
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Old Jan 24th 2008, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by derson View Post
The AoS needs to be in the name of a current citizen or permanent resident, whether it be the sponsor or someone completely different.

Of course, your dad could pay the money to your sis who would then pay it to Centrelink when she has her interview/meeting and it would be returned to her after the 2 years.

That's how I understand it as that was my situation before they decided to drop the AoS in my case! I was going to send the money to my uncle who was then going to pay it and act as my sponsor and my Assurer.

Hope that made sense, good luck!
hi,

how come thye dropped the AOS for you ?
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Old Jan 24th 2008, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

We applied under the 138 general-skilled sponsor visa. My case officer told me that due to rule changes an AoS was no longer required as long as we were happy for them to grant the visa after Jan 1st 2008. That was fine by me!

Sure enough last week we got the grant letter and we had the visas stuck in the passports a couple of days later. And no AoS payment was required - which also saved my uncle the hassle of hiking down to the Centrelink offices for interviews and form-filling etc....

Originally Posted by jutang View Post
hi,

how come thye dropped the AOS for you ?
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Old Jan 24th 2008, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: New Assurance of Support Rules

Originally Posted by derson View Post
The AoS needs to be in the name of a current citizen or permanent resident, whether it be the sponsor or someone completely different.

Of course, your dad could pay the money to your sis who would then pay it to Centrelink when she has her interview/meeting and it would be returned to her after the 2 years.

That's how I understand it as that was my situation before they decided to drop the AoS in my case! I was going to send the money to my uncle who was then going to pay it and act as my sponsor and my Assurer.

Hope that made sense, good luck!
Fab! Thanks for your help
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