Refugees Can Now be Sponsored by Australians Under New Resettlement Pilot Program

The Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP) is a new settlement program to support refugees referred to Australia by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. CRISP plans to help resettle 1,500 refugees up until 30 June 2025.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Andrew Giles, said, “We know that at this time, there are more people displaced globally than ever before.”

The Department of Home Affairs explains that under CRISP, refugee visa holders will receive settlement support directly from trained community groups (CSGs). The local groups will comprise of at least five adults who are Australian citizens or permanent residents and can demonstrate that they have secured sufficient funds to support CRISP participants. The CSGs will help CRISP participants settle in Australia by providing a range of support for 12 months from their arrival in Australia.

“There has been great interest from community groups to directly help those in need,” said Mr Giles. “And this pilot creates a great opportunity for those communities to welcome refugees into Australia and directly support their settlement journey. Through this program, refugees will be welcomed into communities across Australia such as Gosford in New South Wales and Wonthaggi in Victoria.”

Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (CRSA) CEO Lisa Button spent more than four years establishing CRISP with several charities and non-government organisations before the Government approved it in December 2021.

Ms Button said, “It is wonderful to see it come to fruition and to see Australians from all walks of life signing up to be trained in the process.”

CRSA states that community supporter groups will help refugees with their needs on arrival and for the first year. Support will include refugees getting help with initial income support and temporary accommodation, local orientation, securing long-term housing, enrolling children in school, registering with other government services and language classes, accessing social opportunities and emotional support, finding a job or starting a business, and more.

In a media release, CRSA stated, “CRISP is inspired by the successful Canadian refugee sponsorship program and will provide significant benefits to refugees and Australian communities.” They said, “As Australia starts to reopen its borders to migrants, we are looking forward to working with the Government and members of the Australian community in designing this new model of refugee settlement. Once established, it could be readily scaled-up and help to significantly supplement Australia’s current annual humanitarian intake.”

Before heading to see a community group in Gosford, Mr Giles said, “This is about everyday Australians looking at what is happening around the world and wanting to lend a hand.”

The Department of Home Affairs further explains that based on the 2020 Review of the Community Sponsorship Program, it was found that global community support models can improve economic, social and language learning outcomes for refugees, particularly through building social capital.

Mr Giles said, “This Government is committed to ensuring that in the future, sponsorship programs such as this will become additional to our existing refugee intake numbers.”



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