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Assurance of Support

AoS - Assurance of support applicable to certain sponsored visas

Required Assurances of Support

Please note - effective 1 July 04 - the normal AoS procedure has changed.

Form 28 (and 28A) are no longer in use and does not apply for AoS anymore.

An Assurance of Support (AoS) is a legal undertaking that must be provided with certain visa sub-classes (and is a discretionary requirement in certain other visa categories).

In essence, an AoS is a commitment on the part of an adult person who is:

  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, and
  • usually resident in Australia, and
  • earning taxable income equal to or more than the income test threshold more of this below, and
  • able to confirm his or her taxable income by providing a notice of assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office for each of the last 2 tax years.

The commitment on the part of the assurer is to repay to the Commonwealth of Australia any of the following recoverable social security payments made to the principal applicant and his or her family included in the visa application in the 2 years from the date the person assured arrives in Australia or is granted the relevant visa, whichever is the later:

  • Special Benefit
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Widow Allowance
  • Mature Age Allowance
  • Parenting Payment (Partnered)
  • Partner Allowance
  •  Youth Allowance
  • Austudy Payment
  • Crisis Payment

So what visa sub-classes have a mandatory assurance of support?

 Offshore

  • 103, Parent
  • 114, Aged Dependent Relative
  • 115, Remaining Relative
  • 116, Carer
  • 117, Orphan Relative
  • 138, Skilled-Australian Sponsored
  • 139, Skilled-Designated Area Sponsored
  • 838, Aged Dependent Relative

Onshore

  • 804, Aged Parent
  • 835, Remaining Relative
  • 836, Carer
  • 837, Orphan Relative
  • 838, Aged Dependent Relative
  • 862, Skilled Australian Sponsored New Zealand Citizen
  • 863, Skilled Designated Area Sponsored New Zealand Citizen
  • 881, Skilled Australian Sponsored Overseas Student
  • 882, Skilled Designated Area Sponsored Overseas Student

The Income Test on the Assurer

As noted above, the assurer is required to demonstrate a level of income to satisfy the Department of Immigration that he or she will be able to repay the debt if called upon to do so.

The income test works as follows:

1. The assurer is required to have a minimum annual income as evidenced by their income tax assessment notices for the last 2 years of (for 2002/03) at least A$30,806 (this amount represents the maximum income eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A and is increased from one year to the next - note that the amount on form 28 and in the Migration Booklets as at the time of writing this article is the old amount for income year 2001/02.

2. This amount is adjusted upwards by:
- A$2,000 per dependent adult within the assurer's family
- A$624 per dependent child in the assurer's family over and above the first child (which is taken to be included in the A$30,806 above)
- A$2,000 per adult in the migrating family
- A$624 per child in the migrating family

By way of an example, if an assurer has a dependent spouse and 2 children under 18 and he/she is lodging an AoS for 2 adults and 2 children the required income is:

- The assurer and 1 child (A$30,806), plus
- Assurer's dependent spouse (A$2,000), plus
- Assurer's other child (A$624), plus
- 2 adults in the migrating family (A$4,000), plus
- 2 children in the migrating family (A$1,248)

- Total - A$38,678, to be confirmed by tax assessments for the last 2 tax years immediately before giving the AoS.

If the visa applicant is unable to find one person who satisfies the income test it is now possible for more than one person to provide the required AoS so long as their combined incomes satisfy the modified income test explained by way of this example:

Assume the assurer above cannot meet the income requirement and so combines his/her income with another assurer who has a dependent spouse and 2 children. The minimum combined income that must be proven is computed as follows:

- Assurer 1 and 1 child (A$30,806), plus
- Assurer 1's dependent spouse (A$2,000), plus
- Assurer 1's other child (A$624), plus
- Assurer 2's dependent spouse (A$2,000), plus
- Assurer 2's second child (A$624), plus
- 2 adults in the migrating family (A$4,000), plus
- 2 children in the migrating family (A$1,248)

- Total - A$41,302, again to be confirmed by tax assessments for the last 2 tax years immediately before giving the AoS.

In other words, the base amount of the second assurer (covering the assurer and his/her first child) is not included in the required income.

It should also be noted that an assurer cannot assure more than 2 adults at any one time, and that if the assurance is provided by more than one person it is provided on a jointly and severally liable basis.

In the event that the AoS is lodged with the visa application it should be noted that an AoS has a validity of 1 year from the date the form 28 is signed (save for visa subclasses where numbers are capped, where the validity of the AoS is 2 years).

The assurer(s) will also be required to lodge a refundable bond with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for 2 years (save for in the case of carer visa applicants and unmarried orphaned relatives under 18 at the time of the visa application).

The bond is usually requested once the visa is ready to be granted and amounts to:

- A$3,500 for the first adult in the application, plus
- A$1,500 for each subsequent adult at the time of the visa decision.

Evidence of the lodgment of the bond must be provided to the Department of Immigration before the AoS is approved.

Read an update and further information by clicking here.

 

 

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