The Eastern Christian Works Agency (ECWA) is pleased to announce that it has now been recognised as an Approved Proposing Organisation (APO) by the Department of Home Affairs.

ECWA will now be able to propose visa applicants to the Department of Home Affairs for a Subclass 202 Global Special Humanitarian Visa for priority processing of their Australian Visa.

ECWA works with the Australian supporters, settlement service providers and employers during the visa application stage and post-arrival stage to aid the visa applicants resettle in Australia.

ECWA hopes that it will be able to assist families to be reunited, and to escape persecution in their home countries.



To apply as a visa applicant through ECWA, you must be living outside your country of origin and be subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of human rights.

ECWA will screen potential visa applicants to ensure that the main applicant fits within the following criteria

  1. be aged between 18 and 50;
  2. have functional English;
  3. have an offer of employment (or a pathway that leads to employment) or have personal attributes that would enable them to become financially self-sufficient within 12 months of arrival in Australia;
  4. be from a class of individuals that the Australian Government considers to be a priority for refugee resettlement.


The role of ECWA as an Approved Proposing Organisation will be to:

  1. link Australian employers with prospective humanitarian applicants;
  2. lodging visa applications;
  3. ensuring the provision and management of resettlement services following arrival in Australia; and
  4. assist the visa entrants to become financially independent within the first 12 months of their arrival in Australia.


Australian supporters are community members (including individuals and families), businesses and community organisations which work with ECWA to support the visa entrants both financially and socially.

Australian supporters provide support in following ways:

  1. introducing clients to ECWA;
  2. setting up employment pathways for the visa applicant;
  3. paying costs relating to the services provided to the visa applicant;
  4. providing an Assurance of Support (AoS).


The Australian Supporter must demonstrate their ability to provide adequate assistance to enable the visa applicants achieve financial self-sufficiency within the first year of arrival in Australia.

The Australian supporters will fund the following costs:

  1. visa application charges of $2,740 per application at the time of application and an extra $16,444 for the main applicant and $2,680 for each family member before a visa is granted;
  2. medical screening as required by the Department of Home Affairs;
  3. airfares for the visa applicants to arrive to Australia;
  4. on-arrival support such as initial accommodation;
  5. general resettlement services in Australia.
  6. ECWA costs of $12,500.

Based on the above, an estimation of the cost to an individual or business to sponsor a family of 5 people (2 adults entering Australia to work + 2 children under ‘working age’) up to their arrival would be:


Under this visa programme, the Department of Home Affairs requires each visa application to have an Assurer of Support.  An Assurance of Support is a legal commitment by the Australian Supporter to repay to the Australian Government certain welfare payments paid to the visa applicant during the first twelve months in Australia.

The Australian Supporter will be required to sign a form making a legal commitment to repay to the Australian Government any recoverable Centrelink payments made to the visa applicants covered by the Assurance of Support.  Recoverable payments include the following Centrelink payments (1) Austudy Payment (2) Crisis Payment (3) Newstart Allowance (4) Parenting Payment (5) Sickness Allowance (6) Special Benefit (7) Widow Allowance (8) Youth Allowance.

An Australian Supporter may assure a maximum of 2 adults at any one time under the Community Support Programme.


Settlement Services International (SSI) delivers settlement services to refugees and humanitarian entrants in NSW since 2011.  In a typical year, SSI supports more than 3,000 people to start new lives in Australia.  SSI is contracted by ECWA to provide humanitarian settlement services to support the development of skills and knowledge that build the social and economic wellbeing of refugees and humanitarian entrants.

Refugees receive support on arrival to Australia that includes airport pickup, short-term accommodation, community orientation and health assessments.  They are also assisted with making links to their community, a basic household goods package and finding affordable long-term accommodation.

For six to 18 months, individuals receive tailored support from a case manager, who enhances self-reliance with a focus on English language skills, education and employment. This assistance improves refugees’ social and economic participation and, ultimately, sets them up to live independent lives in Australia.


For more information, contact the Community Support Programme officer at ECWA today:


Phone: (02) 9649 3380 

All consultations are by appointment only.

Press here for further information relating to the  Dispute Resolution Policy.