Newly arrived resident's waiting period

If you've recently arrived as a resident in Australia, you may have to wait to get our payments or concession cards.

From 1 January 2017, new arrivals to Australia may have to wait before getting a payment.
Read more about Removal of exemptions for the newly arrived resident’s waiting period.

Waiting period

New residents may have to wait 104 weeks before they can get most of our payments or use our services. This doesn’t apply to family assistance payments.

The waiting period is time spent in Australia as an Australian resident.

If you arrive on a New Zealand passport with a Special Category visa, you need to be granted a permanent resident visa before we can look at time you've spent in Australia. You don’t need a permanent visa to claim a:

Read more about New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia.

Access some of our services

We'll tell you if you can get our payments and services and if you have a waiting period. If you do, you can still use some of our services.

You can use:

The Community Development Programme may help you if you live in a remote area.

If you lived in a country that has an International social security agreement with Australia, you may be eligible for:

Exemptions to the waiting period

You may not have to wait if you're:

If things have changed and you're going through hardships beyond your control, you may be eligible for Special Benefit or a Low Income Health Care Card straight away.

Visas exempt from the waiting period

Check to see if your visa subclass allows you to get some payments and concession cards.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Low Income Health Care Card and all payments except Special Benefit

  • subclass 852 - referred stay (permanent)

Carer Payment

  • subclass 104 - preferential family, only if you're a carer or a special needs relative
  • subclass 116 - carer
  • subclass 806 - family, only if you're a carer or a special needs relative
  • subclass 836 - carer

Special Benefit and Low Income Health Care Card

  • subclass 060 - bridging visa F
  • subclass 070 - bridging (removal pending)
  • subclass 449 - humanitarian stay (temporary)
  • subclass 785 - temporary protection
  • subclass 786 - temporary (humanitarian concern)
  • subclass 790 - safe haven enterprise

If you hold a partner (provisional) visa - subclass 309 or 820, you may be eligible for Special Benefit and the Low Income Health Care Card. But, you may need to wait 104 weeks after you apply for your visa. 

Page last updated: 1 December 2016