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Humanitarian Settlement Program


The Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) provides support to humanitarian entrants to build the skills and knowledge they need to become self-reliant and active members of the Australian community.

The HSP is delivered on behalf of the Australian Government by five Service Providers in 11 contract regions across Australia. Participation is voluntary and services are delivered to clients through a needs-based case management approach.

HSP Service Providers support clients to achieve outcomes in the following areas as a foundation for successful settlement:

  • Employment
  • Education and training
  • Housing
  • Physical and mental health and well-being
  • Managing money
  • Community participation and networking
  • Family functioning and social support
  • Justice
  • Language services

The HSP is designed to work in combination with other settlement and mainstream services. It has a strong focus on assisting clients to learn English and gain necessary education and employment skills in recognition that positive outcomes in these areas help humanitarian entrants integrate into Australian life.

For more information on the HSP, please refer to the HSP factsheet. The HSP factsheet is also available in the following languages:

Support provided under the HSP

HSP case managers work collaboratively with clients to develop an individualised case management plan and deliver a package of services tailored to their identified needs.

Services may include early practical support such as:

  • airport reception
  • on-arrival accommodation and property induction
  • provision of an initial food and essential items package
  • assistance to register with Centrelink, Medicare and a bank
  • addressing immediate health needs
  • instructions on what to do in an emergency situation and how to access interpreting services
  • orientation to local services.

Other services that are available to assist clients achieve their settlement outcomes include:

  • delivery of an onshore Orientation program to build knowledge of Australian values and way of life 
  • assistance to source long-term accommodation
  • support to access mainstream services, including health and family support services
  • connections to local community groups and activities 
  • support to register with the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and attend lessons 
  • help to enrol in relevant education and training and recognise pre-arrival skills and qualifications
  • assistance to engage with employment services, implement employment strategies and access support services for establishing a business. 

Clients with complex needs receive Specialised and Intensive Services (SIS); a component of the HSP that offer short-term support (generally, up to six months) to assist clients to access appropriate mainstream services and develop the necessary skills to manage their complex needs independently.

HSP service providers can also facilitate the lodgment of applications for the Free Translating Service (FTS) for eligible FTS clients who are unable to lodge online.

Exit from the HSP is based on clients achieving the settlement outcomes identified in their case management plan. For most clients, these outcomes will be reached within six to 18 months of arrival in Australia.


People granted one of the following visas are eligible to access the HSP on their arrival in Australia:

  • Refugee (subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204) visa
  • Global Special Humanitarian (subclass 202) visa*

Other visa holders are also eligible to access the HSP, but only to receive SIS.

Individuals granted a subclass 202 visa under the Community Support Program (CSP) are not eligible to access support under the HSP on their arrival in Australia as they receive settlement services from their Approved Proposing Organisation. Information on the CSP is available from the Community Support Program (CSP) page. Subject to the approval of the Department, CSP entrants may be eligible to receive SIS.

How to refer a person for Specialised and Intensive Services (SIS)

Any organisation or individual can refer a person for SIS. For more information see Specialised and Intensive Services.

APP 5 Privacy Notice

The Privacy Act 1988 requires the Department to notify an individual of certain matters when it collects and discloses personal information about them.

The HSP Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 5 Notice is provided to all HSP clients to explain how their personal information will be collected, used and disclosed  to support their settlement in Australia.

Related programs

The HSP works in combination with a number of other settlement programs to support eligible migrants. These include:

  • The Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) program - is offered to Refugee and Special Humanitarian Program entrants over the age of five years prior to their departure for Australia. AUSCO gives practical advice about the journey to Australia, including quarantine laws and information about what to expect post-arrival and assists in ensuring a successful start to the clients' settlement journey (administered by the Department).
  • Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) – equips and empowers humanitarian entrants and other eligible permanent migrants and their communities to address their settlement needs, in order to improve social participation, economic well-being, independence, personal well-being and community connectedness (administered by the Department).
  • Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) – provides up to 510 hours of English language tuition to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants to help them learn foundation English language (administered by the Department).
  • Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) – provides language, literacy and numeracy training to eligible job seekers, to help them to participate more effectively in training or in the labour force (administered by the Department Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business).
  • jobactive – connects job seekers with employers and assists job seekers to develop a Job Plan and search for a job (administered by the Department Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business).
  • Disability Employment Services – assists people with disability, injury or health condition to prepare for, find and keep a job (administered by the Department of Social Services).
  • Programme of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma – provides specialised support services to eligible migrants who are experiencing psychological difficulties associated with surviving torture and trauma before coming to Australia (administered by the Department of Health).
  • Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) – provides interpreting services 24 hours a day, seven days a week (administered by the Department).

More information and other useful links

Advisory bodies

Peak bodies