Refugee FAQs

What services do people receive when they arrive as refugees or humanitarian entrants?

Newly arrived humanitarian entrants have overcome incredible challenges to call Australia home. Many have undertaken dangerous journeys in search of safety and most arrive on our shores with just a suitcase to their name.

Humanitarian entrants receive services that aim to help them overcome these challenges and reach their full potential in Australia. These services fall under a number of different categories outlined below.

Government assistance

Government assistance to help new arrivals to settle takes account of their essential needs and circumstances. Basic settlement information is provided to all migrants and humanitarian entrants before they migrate to Australia. It is expected that skilled migrants, and sponsors of family migrants, will undertake their own more detailed research into settlement issues and that these migrants will generally be able to settle into the community and into work without needing a high level of government support. In recognition of their special needs and circumstances, humanitarian entrants are the highest priority for government-funded settlement services.

Mainstream services

Migrants will generally use mainstream services provided by governments, community organisations and the private sector to address a number of their settlement needs. Many mainstream agencies, such as health and employment services, provide services to eligible migrants as they do to all eligible Australians, past the immediate settlement period.

Specialised settlement services

Specialised settlement services are designed specifically to assist migrants and refugees with their critical early settlement needs. Services are provided by governments, the private sector and community organisations like SSI. Some specialist services, such as torture and trauma counselling services, are directed towards the special needs of humanitarian entrants.

Some of the specialised settlement services include:

  • Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)
  • Complex Case Support (CCS)
  • Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP)
  • Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) Program
  • Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)

SSI is one of the leading providers under the HSP program, which provides initial settlement support to families and individuals who have been granted a permanent visa under Australia’s humanitarian program. For more information on all of the above services click here.