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Community Assistance Support program

Awaiting an outcome on a visa application can be a complex and lengthy process. This time can be particularly difficult for people who may have mental health issues, serious physical health issues, be dealing with experiences of torture or trauma or family issues such as domestic violence.

Red Cross supports their health and wellbeing while they await an outcome on their visa application to ensure their basic needs are met.


  • Ongoing and intensive case work support.
  • Arranging healthcare appointments.
  • Financial allowance to help cover basic living expenses (equivalent to 89% of Centrelink Special Benefit) and where applicable, rent assistance (89% of Centrelink Rent Assistance).
  • Financial assistance for general and emergency health care as well as pharmaceuticals.
  • Referrals to counselling,
  • Material aid such as clothing and furniture, education, social activities and legal services.


In addition, up to six weeks of transitional support is provided to asylum seekers who are released from immigration detention facilities to help them transition in to their new community. Red Cross meets people at the airport, provides emergency accommodation for people who need it while they find longer term accommodation and provides an orientation to their new community

Red Cross is fully funded by the Department of Immigration to run the Community Assistance Support program. The level of support Red Cross provides is based on an assessment of the needs of the individual or family.

The Department of Immigration manages visa applications, and Red Cross cannot assist or influence this process in any way or provide legal advice.


To receive support people need to hold a current bridging visa and have particularly high needs.

The Department of Immigration sets the eligibility criteria for the program and all referrals for Community Assistance Support must come to Red Cross from the immigration department .

Concerned people, community agencies, Red Cross staff and individuals can lodge a request with the Department of Immigration for an assessment of a person's eligibility to receive support through the program.

More information

For more information, please read the Community Assistance Support information sheet.

If you have any questions about the program or to request an assessment of a person's eligibility contact your local Red Cross office

You can also visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.


Photo credit: iStockphoto/ranplett. Stock image used to protect the identity of the individual.