The Eastern Christian Works Agency Ltd (ECWA) is pleased to announce that it has now been recognised as an Approved Proposing Organisation (APO) by the Department of Home Affairs.
ECWA will be able to propose visa applicants to the Department of Home Affairs for a Subclass 202 Global Special Humanitarian Visa for priority processing of their Australian Visa.
ECWA works with the Australian supporters, settlement service providers and employers during the visa application stage and post-arrival stage to aid the visa applicants resettle in Australia.
ECWA hopes that it will be able to assist families to be reunited, and to escape persecution in their home countries.
The Community Support Program makes it possible for people in Australia to support a person in humanitarian need to come to Australia and assist them with their settlement.
To apply for a visa under the Community Support Program, a visa applicant must be sponsored by an Approved Proposing Organisation.
Approved Proposing Organisations are community organisations that have approved by the Department of Home Affairs to participate in the Community Support Program.
ECWA will be able to sponsor visa applicants to the Department of Home Affairs for a subclass 202 Global Special Humanitarian Visa for priority processing under the Community Support Program.
The directors of ECWA are the Archbishops, Bishops and Patriarchal Vicars of the various middle eastern Christian religions, and include the following Australian heads of churches:
To apply as a visa applicant through ECWA, you must be living outside your country of origin, either satisfy the legal definition of a refugee in accordance to 1951 Refugee Convention and living outside your home country and be subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of their human rights.
ECWA will screen potential visa applicants to ensure that the main applicant fits within the following criteria:
Australian supporters are community members (including individuals and families), businesses and community organisations which work with ECWA to support the visa entrants both financially and socially.
Australian supports provide support in the following ways:
There are substantial costs involved in applying for this visa if you apply through the Community Support Programme. These are:
The Australian Supporter under the Community Support Program will have the following obligations:
Under the Community Support Program, the Department of Home Affairs requires each visa application to have an Assurer of Support. An Assurance of Support is a legal commitment by the Australian Supporter to repay to the Australian Government certain welfare payments paid to the visa.
The Australian Supporter will be required to sign a form making a legal commitment to repay to the Australian Government any recoverable Centrelink payments made to the visa applicants covered by the Assurance of Support.
When the Australian Supporter signs the form, they are making a legal commitment to repay to the Australian Government any recoverable Centrelink payments made to the visa applicants covered by the Assurance of Support while the Assurance of Support is in force. If the Assurer dies, their estate will be liable for these repayments.
Recoverable payments currently are:
The Department of Social Services has an income test for Assurers providing an Assurance of Support.
The income test required is incremental and depends on the following factors:
The formula to work out the income requirement for the Australian Support (assurer) is as follows:
For example –
An Assurer must reside in Australia at the time of application and be:
The assurer needs to consider their circumstances and assess whether they are able to meet the legal and financial obligations placed on them by giving an Assurance of Support. The Assurer does not have to be the sponsor of the new migrant to give an Assurance of Support.
An assurer may assure a maximum of 2 adults at any one time under the Community Support Program. An adult is someone aged 18 years or over at the time of the visa application. If there are more than 2 adults in the application, another person will need to give a separate Assurance of Support.
The assurer’s responsibilities as an assurer will start when the visa applicant arrives in Australia or is granted the Global Special Humanitarian visa, whichever happens later.
The Assurance of Support remains in force for 12 months from this date. The Assurance of Support period may start and end at different times for each visa applicant if they arrive in Australia at different times.