9.4.2 Providing an AoS
This section describes providing an AoS and covers the following:
- who can provide an AoS,
- lodging an AoS application,
- AoS interviews, and
- lodging an AoS application from overseas.
Who can provide an AoS?
Individuals, corporations such as businesses and unincorporated bodies (such as community groups) will be able to provide an AoS, providing they meet income test requirements for individuals and other requirements such as proof of company registration in Australia.
Lodging an AoS application
Once the prospective migrant has lodged the visa application with the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Home Affairs will advise whether an AoS is required. The visa applicant will then approach a potential assurer. The assurer must meet the requirements specified in 9.4.3 of the SS Guide.
A potential assurer may be in Australia or outside Australia at the time of making the application and throughout the AoS duration, providing they fulfil the definition of 'Australian resident' as defined by SSAct section 7.
AoS interviews in Australia
A potential assurer is required to have an interview with Centrelink. This interview may be face-to-face or by telephone. At this interview the rights and responsibilities of becoming an assurer will be explained to them by the Centrelink officer. The Centrelink officer will explain to the potential assurer the following obligations and responsibilities that are to be undertaken by the assurer under the AoS:
- financial responsibility for the support of the assuree for the duration of the AoS period which is 12 months, 2 years, 4 years or 10 years, and
- repayment of any recoverable social security payments which may be paid to the assuree during the AoS period.
The Centrelink officer will also advise the potential assurer that if the assuree makes a claim for a recoverable payment as a result of domestic violence, that the assurer may not be advised immediately of their potential debt.
Failure of a potential assurer to be interviewed by Centrelink will result in the rejection of the application for an AoS by the relevant assurer.
Lodging an AoS application from overseas
A potential assurer may lodge an AoS application at the Australian High Commission or Embassy overseas, if they are an Australian resident as defined by SSAct section 7(2) and (3) and intend to remain so throughout the duration of the AoS period.
POI and other relevant documents that need to be lodged with the AoS application must be certified or verified by an officer of the Australian High Commission or the Embassy or a Department of Home Affairs officer who is located in the Australian High Commission or the Embassy.
After the AoS application has been assessed by a Centrelink officer in Australia, the potential assurer will be required to meet an officer from the Department of Home Affairs in the Australian High Commission or Embassy overseas who will arrange a telephone interview with a Centrelink officer in Australia.
Centrelink will interview the potential assurer over the phone and explain their rights, responsibilities and obligations under the AoS. Once both parties are satisfied (Centrelink and the potential assurer) that the rights, responsibilities and obligations under the AoS are clearly understood, the potential assurer will proceed to sign the 'Statement by Assurer' (attached to the AoS claim) in the presence of the officer from the Department of Home Affairs.
Act reference: SSAct section 7 Australian residence definitions, section 1061ZZGB Who may give an assurance of support?, section 1061ZZGC How to give an assurance of support
Policy reference: SS Guide 188.8.131.52 Residence requirements