Cancellation of an AoS


The purpose of an AoS is to ensure financial support is provided for the migrant by the assurer. An AoS that has come into force in respect of a person remains in force for 12 months, 2 years, 4 years or 10 years in respect of that person in spite of any change of circumstances.

An AoS is an undertaking by the assurer to repay certain social security payments paid to the assuree during the AoS period, irrespective of whether the assuree continues to hold the visa for which the AoS was signed or not, except where the assuree is granted a refugee visa. This would include a situation where a person changes from one visa type to another or ceases to hold the visa when they obtain citizenship. Subsequent changes to the assuree's visa or residential status, such as becoming an Australian citizen will not be a reason for cancellation of an AoS.

Once an AoS comes into force, it may be cancelled only in the following situations:

  • an assuree, other than a Community Support Programme (CSP) entrant, having entered Australia on a visa which has an AoS and subsequently being granted refugee status by the Department of Home Affairs, (refugee visas, except the subclass 202 Global Special Humanitarian visa under the CSP, do not have an AoS or a waiting period for income support payments), or
  • cancellation of the visa of the person identified in the AoS as the assuree, or
  • there is only one assuree and the assuree dies, or
  • there is only one assurer and the assurer dies, or
  • special circumstances such as:
    • where an accident, disability, illness or other circumstance to the assurer has critically affected the assurer's ability to provide adequate support.

It would be appropriate to cancel the AoS in the above situations.

An AoS does not come into force where an AoS has been signed and the visa has been granted but the assuree has not travelled to Australia. Such a situation could occur, because of the assuree's inability to travel due to a deteriorating serious medical condition, such as a terminal illness. In such an event the AoS may be cancelled provided the assuree's inability to travel to Australia is supported by a medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner and other supporting medical evidence and the Secretary is satisfied that the assuree's condition will not improve but is likely to deteriorate.

In the event of cancellation of an AoS due to the death of an assuree, the AoS should not be cancelled if the assuree had been in receipt of a recoverable social security payment, as this is a debt owed to the Commonwealth and should be recovered from the assurer. The amount paid as income support should be deducted from the security before the AoS is cancelled.

Where an assurer dies the AoS should not be cancelled if there has been a recoverable social security payment paid to the assuree as this is a debt that has accrued and is recoverable from the estate of the assurer. As such the executor of the estate of the deceased assurer should be informed.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZZGH(1) Determinations, section 1061ZZGA(a)(i) What is an assurance of support? section 1061ZZGF(1)(b) When an accepted assurance is in force

Policy reference: SS Guide Duration of the AoS Period

Last reviewed: 2 January 2019