New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia

If you are a New Zealand citizen you must meet certain criteria to be eligible to claim payments in Australia.

Residence requirements

If you arrive in Australia on a New Zealand passport you will generally be issued a Special Category Visa (SCV) on arrival.

To qualify for most Centrelink payments, you must satisfy residence requirements. Generally, this means that you must be an Australian resident.

Protected SCV holders qualify as Australian residents and can access the full range of Centrelink payments, provided they are currently living in Australia and satisfy certain rules such as qualification criteria and relevant waiting periods.

Payments that can be claimed if you are a New Zealand citizen

No matter whether you are a protected or non-protected SCV holder, you will still be able to claim these payments or cards as long as you are living in Australia:

You will have to meet all other eligibility requirements of the payments or cards to receive them. For concession cards this may include waiting periods for newly arrived migrants.

You will also have access to employment services provided through Job Services Australia which includes reasonable access to computers, newspapers and other facilities to help you look for work.

If you are a non-protected SCV holder, you may be able to access a once-only payment of:

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance or
  • Youth Allowance

At the time of making a claim you must have been living in Australia continuously for at least 10 years. Time spent in Australia prior to 27 February 2001 cannot count towards these 10 years. If you are eligible, payment can be made for a maximum continuous period of up to 6 months.

You may be able to claim the following payments under the International Social Security Agreement between Australia and New Zealand:

Under this agreement, you may need to satisfy special conditions.