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Australia’s community sponsorship program for refugees

Introduction

The Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP) is the current version of Australia’s community sponsorship program that makes it possible for people and businesses in Australia to support a person in humanitarian need to come to Australia and assist them in their settlement journey.

It replaces the Community Support Program (CSP), which itself replaced the Community Proposal Pilot, a national trial which ran from 2013-2017.

Key features of the new Program compared with CSP

The Refugee Council partnered with Amnesty International Australia, Save the Children Australia, Welcome to Australia (now Welcoming Australia), Rural Australians for Refugees and the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce in a coalition to support a refugee sponsorship program. This work is now being led by Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia, and you can find the most up-to-date information on their website.

Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia

Who can come under the Program?

The new Program is only available to people referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for people without family links in Australia for Refugee visas, In-Country Special Humanitarian Visas, and Woman at Risk visas.

In the first four years of the pilot (from 2022-2025), the program aims to welcome 1,500 people.

Who can sponsor refugees?

Unlike the previous program, under CRISP no one in Australia is required to ‘propose’ a person for resettlement. As well, instead of ‘Approved Proposing Organisations’, the new Program will use ‘Community Supporter Groups’ (CSGs) to provide settlement support, such as helping them apply for government support and linking them with employment services.

A Community Supporter is a group of five or more Australian adults who will provide settlement support to the refugees who are sponsored. Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia has been contracted to train and support these groups, including connecting them to a refugee household.

Help sponsor a refugee

What support will they get?

Under CRISP, refugees will receive access to most of the supports available under the Humanitarian Program, other than the Humanitarian Settlement Program services (provided by settlement services organisations), which will instead be provided by the Community Supporter Group. These supports include government assisted passage to Australia, income support, access to Specialised Intensive Services and Settlement Engagement and Transition Support Services.

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