Residence descriptions

Information about how we define an Australian resident.

Australian resident

An Australian resident is a person who is living in Australia and is either:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a permanent visa holder, or
  • a protected Special Category visa (SCV) holder

Australia includes the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Territory of Christmas Island, Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.

Special Category visa (SCV) holder

People who arrive in Australia on a New Zealand passport are generally issued an SCV on arrival.

New Zealand citizens who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001 are generally non-protected SCV holders. Therefore, they do not meet the above definition of Australian resident. Read more about New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia.

Protected Special Category visa (SCV) holder

Protected SCV holders are those who arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport and were:

  • in Australia on 26 February 2001
  • in Australia for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before this date, or
  • assessed as protected SCV holders before 26 February 2004

Protected SCV holders who are living in Australia meet the definition of an Australian resident.

From 1 July 2016, protected SCV holder rules apply to Norfolk Island. New Zealand citizens who were present on Norfolk Island on 26 February 2001 or in Australia including Norfolk Island, for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before this date are protected SCV holders.

Living in Australia

Living in Australia means Australia is your usual place of residence. 

When we are deciding whether you are living in Australia, we will look at:

  • the nature of your accommodation
  • the nature and extent of your family relationships in Australia
  • the nature and extent of your employment, business or financial ties with Australia
  • the nature and extent of your assets
  • the frequency and duration of your travel outside Australia, and
  • any other matter we think is relevant

Australia includes the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Territory of Christmas Island, Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.

Family member

Generally a person is considered a family member:

  • for a newly arrived resident’s waiting period exemption only if they are your partner or dependent child
  • for an approved reason for payment overseas only if they are your partner, sibling, parent or dependent child or can be considered equivalent to one of these roles

Temporary protection type visas

Temporary protection type visas include:

  • subclass 060 - Bridging visa F
  • subclass 070 - Bridging (Removal Pending)
  • subclass 449 - Humanitarian Stay
  • subclass 785 - Temporary Protection
  • subclass 786 - Temporary (Humanitarian Concern)
  • subclass 790 - Safe Haven Enterprise

Most temporary protection type visa holders cannot be paid their payments outside Australia for any reason.

If you hold a visa subclass 785 or 790, you may be paid outside Australia if you have an approved reason. Read more about payments while outside Australia.

Partner provisional visas

Partner provisional visas include:

  • subclass 820 - Partner visa (temporary)
  • subclass 309 - Partner visa (provisional)

If you hold one of the above partner provisional visas, you may be paid outside Australia if you have an approved reason. Read more about payments while outside Australia.

Page last updated: 12 August 2016