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Community Support Program

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

  1. be aged between 18 and 50;
  2. have functional English;
  3. have an offer of employment (or a pathway that leads to employment)  or have personal attributes that would enable them to become financially  self-sufficient within 12 months of arrival in Australia;
  4. be from a class of individuals that the Australian Government considers to be a priority for refugee resettlement.


The role of ECWA as an Approved Proposing Organisation will be to:

  1. link Australian employers with prospective humanitarian applicants;
  2. lodging visa applications;
  3. ensuring the provision and management of resettlement services following arrival in Australia; and
  4. assist the visa entrants to become financially independent within the first 12 months of their arrival in Australia.


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: 

  1. visa application charges of $2,995  per application at the time of  application and an extra $16,444 for the main applicant and $2,680 for  each family member before a visa is granted;
  2. medical screening as required by the Department of Home Affairs;
  3. airfares for the visa applicants to arrive to Australia;
  4. on-arrival support such as initial accommodation;
  5. general resettlement services in Australia.
  6. ECWA costs of $12,500.

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.


For more information, contact the Community Support Programme officer at ECWA today:


Phone: +61407006010

All consultations are by appointment only.

Press here for further information relating to the  Dispute Resolution Policy.

Contact Us

5 John St

Lidcombe NSW 2141 Australia

+61 407 006 010