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Spouse and Family Support

The workplace is often a key source of support and advice for a newly arrived skilled migrant. Colleagues can answer questions about the local way of life, suggest where to find a product or service, provide access to social circles and help solve everyday challenges.

In the same way, children of skilled overseas workers can access similar support from their school community.

Spouses of skilled migrants, however, may find it more difficult to settle into their new homeland, especially if their English is at a low level. With limited access to a workplace or other community or social settings they may feel isolated and struggle to find support. Many employers find that understanding and addressing the needs of their new employee’s family can have a positive effect on the success of the placement.

Employers may wish to suggest some ways to help their new employee’s family, especially spouses, to settle into the community and find support. Employers may like to add this information into their new employee's welcome pack. See our Before a New Worker Arrives page, which has information about about preparing an employee welcome pack.

Finding local support organisations

A quick way to find relevant local services is with the Department of Social Services’s Settlement Services Locator tool. Users can type in a postcode for a list of local services, such as English language courses, Neighbourhood Houses, Migrant Resource Centres and community organisations providing settlement assistance.

Developing effective professional and social networks can also assist new employees to quickly fit into their new workplaces and communities. The Newcomers Network offers a number of events and activities for people who have recently settled in Victoria.

Local community groups can also help new employees and their families develop networks and friendships in areas of interest or need. The Victorian Multicultural Commission's community directory provides a comprehensive listing of community services and organisations.

Settlement Grants Program

In some circumstances spouses of skilled migrants may be eligible for assistance through the Department of Social Services’s Settlement Grants Program

Adult Migrant English Program

Dependents of skilled migrants whose English is at a low level may be eligible for up to 510 hours of English language classes through the Adult Migrant English Program. Learn more about the Adult Migrant English Program on the Department of Industry and Science website.

Help with translating and interpreting

Dependents of skilled migrants may be eligible to access translating and interpreting services if they cannot speak English. Find out more on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) or the Department of Social Services's Free Translating Service

Other family support resources

  • Our Living in Victoria section has detailed information about everyday life in Victoria including cost of living, housing, transport, education and childcare.
  • The Australian Government Department of Social Services has sections on their website about settlement services and settling in Australia