The Eastern Christian Works Agency (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 now 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.
To apply as a visa applicant through ECWA, you must be living outside your country of origin and be subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of human rights.
ECWA will screen potential visa applicants to ensure that the main applicant fits within the following criteria
The role of ECWA as an Approved Proposing Organisation will be to:
The Australian Supporter must demonstrate their ability to provide adequate assistance to enable the visa applicants achieve financial self-sufficiency within the first year of arrival in Australia.
The Australian supporters will fund the following costs:
Based on the above, an estimation of the cost to an individual or business to sponsor a family of 5 people (2 adults entering Australia to work + 2 children under ‘working age’) up to their arrival would be:
Under this visa programme, 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 applicant during the first twelve months in Australia.
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. Recoverable payments include the following Centrelink payments (1) Austudy Payment (2) Crisis Payment (3) Newstart Allowance (4) Parenting Payment (5) Sickness Allowance (6) Special Benefit (7) Widow Allowance (8) Youth Allowance.
An Australian Supporter may assure a maximum of 2 adults at any one time under the Community Support Programme.
Settlement Services International (SSI) delivers settlement services to refugees and humanitarian entrants in NSW since 2011. In a typical year, SSI supports more than 3,000 people to start new lives in Australia. SSI is contracted by ECWA to provide humanitarian settlement services to support the development of skills and knowledge that build the social and economic wellbeing of refugees and humanitarian entrants.
Refugees receive support on arrival to Australia that includes airport pickup, short-term accommodation, community orientation and health assessments. They are also assisted with making links to their community, a basic household goods package and finding affordable long-term accommodation.
For six to 18 months, individuals receive tailored support from a case manager, who enhances self-reliance with a focus on English language skills, education and employment. This assistance improves refugees’ social and economic participation and, ultimately, sets them up to live independent lives in Australia.