New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia

If you are a New Zealand citizen, you must meet certain criteria to be eligible for our 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. Usually, this means you must be an Australian resident.

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

Protected SCV holders qualify as Australian residents and can generally access the full range of Centrelink payments provided:

  • they are currently living in Australia, and
  • they satisfy certain rules, such as eligibility criteria and relevant waiting periods

Protected and non-protected SCV holders can claim these payments or cards as long as they are living in Australia:

You will have to meet all other eligibility requirements for these payments or cards. For concession cards, this may include the Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period.

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

Read more about jobactive on the Department of Employment website.

Non-protected holders, may be able to access a one-off period of payment of:

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

New Zealand citizens living in Australia, including non-protected SCV holders, may be able to claim the following payments under the International Social Security Agreement between Australia and New Zealand:

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

Norfolk Island

From 1 July 2016 Norfolk Island became part of Australia for social security and family assistance purposes. References to Australia include Norfolk Island.

In order to meet residence requirements or the newly arrived resident’s waiting period:

  • if you are a protected SCV holder, all past periods you lived on Norfolk Island are counted as periods as an Australian resident
  • if you are not a protected SCV holder, past periods you lived on Norfolk Island as an official Norfolk Island resident or an Australian permanent visa holder are counted as periods as an Australian resident

Page last updated: 1 July 2016