Assurance of Support processing arrangements
From 1 July 2004, Centrelink is legally responsible for assessing Assurance of Support (AoS) applications under Social Security law.
Obtaining an Assurance of Support assessment from Centrelink
In order to commence an AoS assessment, your assurer must provide Centrelink with the letter that we sent you and the letter from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or the Department of Home Affairs advising that an AoS is required.
Centrelink will assess the financial capacity of the proposed assurer(s) and explain to the assurer(s) what their financial and legal obligations would be if they are prepared to be an assurer.
Centrelink can provide you with information about who can be an assurer, how many assurances are required for your visa application, the social security payments that can be recovered under the AoS scheme and the forms and documents that are needed to support the AoS application.
Providing evidence of AoS lodgement with Centrelink
You must provide evidence to us that an AoS has been lodged with Centrelink, such as a receipt, lodgement number, or letter from Centrelink.
Advising us of the Assurance of Support outcome
Centrelink will provide advice of the outcome of the AoS assessment directly to your proposed assurer. You should remain in contact with your assurer and inform us of the outcome of the AoS assessment as soon as possible.
Review and appeals of Centrelink’s decisions
If your assurer is pursuing internal review of the AoS assessment with Centrelink or has lodged an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) (but not the Migration and Refugee Division); or the Social Security and Child Support Division, you will need to notify us and provide evidence of this as soon as possible.
In cases where there is non-judicially determined evidence, the tribunal can accept that the alleged victim has suffered relevant domestic/family violence. However, if we are not satisfied that the alleged victim has suffered the relevant domestic/family violence, we must invite the applicant to a hearing to give evidence on the issue. If we are still not satisfied that the alleged victim has suffered relevant domestic/family violence, we must then seek an opinion from an independent expert.
The independent expert (LSC Psychology) will provide an opinion to us on whether or not the alleged victim has suffered relevant domestic/family violence, basing this finding on the evidence provided by us and any other evidence that the independent expert obtains, including interviewing the alleged victim.
The independent expert’s opinion on whether or not the alleged victim has suffered relevant domestic/family violence must be taken as correct by us.
We will notify an applicant in writing if the claim of domestic/family violence is referred to an independent expert.
An applicant’s co-operation with the independent expert’s requests for documents or information is very important for the progress of their review application.