9.4.3.100 AoS - requirements for unincorporated bodies

Requirements for unincorporated bodies

Unincorporated bodies (such as community organisations, which have not been registered with the Registrar-General) are able to provide an AoS for a migrant.

Unincorporated associations must have an address in Australia, and intend to maintain an address in Australia while an AoS given by the body remains in force.

The unincorporated body must prove that it is based in Australia, through provision of an address, tax returns lodged by the body, bank account statements and the like.

When assessing the AoS, the Secretary must be satisfied that the unincorporated body has not been set up for the sole purpose of providing an AoS. For example, if the unincorporated body is set up immediately prior to the AoS application and/or the unincorporated body has not been trading or is not trading, the AoS should not be accepted.

If a member of the unincorporated body has applied to provide an AoS on the body's behalf, Centrelink may ask to see a copy of the rules of the association in order to establish the member's authority to sign on behalf of the association. If someone provides an AoS on behalf of an unincorporated body while knowing that they were not authorised to do so, it is possible that the person may be guilty of an offence (under either social security legislation or the criminal code).

Unincorporated bodies are not required to meet the income requirements. For visas that require a mandatory AoS requirement a security in the form of a bank guarantee is required. For visas that are discretionary there is no requirement for any security. The value of the security will depend on the length of the assurance period. The security will be deposited in the name of the unincorporated body.

For an AoS given by an unincorporated body other than a State agency the following values will apply for the specified periods:

  • if the assurance is for 2 or 4 years - $10,000 (the AoS to cover a maximum of 2 adult assurees), or
  • if the assurance is for 10 years - $20,000 (the AoS to cover a maximum of 2 adult assurees).

A partner in the unincorporated body may act on behalf of the body and the other partners in the body. An AoS that is given by an unincorporated body or State agency must be signed on behalf of the body or State agency by a person who is duly authorised in writing to sign the AoS.

The unincorporated body may not give an AoS for an adult if:

  • the body has previously given an assurance for 2 adults (whether in a single assurance or 2 separate assurances) and each assurance remains in force, or
  • the body has previously given an AoS for
    • 1 adult and that assurance remains in force, and
    • 1 adult for whom the Secretary has not yet accepted or rejected the assurance, or
  • the body has given an assurance for 2 adults (whether in a single assurance, or 2 separate assurances) and assessment of the application is pending, accepted or rejected for either or both of those assurances.

An unincorporated body may not give an AoS for an Community Support Program adult if:

  • the body has previously given an assurance for 2 Community Support Program adults (whether in a single assurance or 2 separate assurances) and each assurance remains in force, or
  • the body has previously given an AoS for
    • 1 Community Support Program adult and that assurance remains in force, and
    • 1 Community Support Program adult for whom the Secretary has not yet accepted or rejected the assurance, or
  • the body has given an assurance for 2 Community Support Program adults (whether in a single assurance, or 2 separate assurances) and assessment of the application is pending, acceptance or rejection for either or both of those assurances.

The unincorporated body may not give an AoS if it would result in more than 2 adults being assured for any non-Community Support Program. Separately the unincorporated body may not give an AoS if it would result in more than 2 adults being assured under the Community Support Program.

Note: There are no restrictions on the number of children for whom a body may give an AoS.

An unincorporated body cannot give an AoS jointly with another body, State agency or person.

If a debt occurs, Centrelink will recover the debt from all members of the body or an individual who is acting on behalf of the body. The body's funds will be used to repay the debt. If this does not occur, the signatory/s of the AoS will be liable for any debt.

Example: Camberwell Country Women's Association wishes to provide an AoS for Nadia. Nadia has applied for a visa which has an AoS for a period of 4 years. To provide proof of their address the Association has to provide their bank statements, tenancy agreement and any other relevant documents.

If Nadia makes a claim for and is granted a recoverable social security payment, Centrelink will recover the resulting debt from the association.

Act reference: SSAct Chapter 2C Assurances of support, Part 2C.4 Determinations, Part 2C.5 Assurances by unincorporated bodies

Social Security (Assurances of Support) Determination 2018

Last reviewed: 1 July 2019