New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia

If you're a New Zealand citizen, you must meet certain criteria to be eligible for Centrelink payments in Australia.


To be eligible for most Centrelink payments in Australia you must:

  • be an Australian resident
  • meet the eligibility rules for the payment, and
  • serve any waiting period that applies to you

Permanent residence visa holder

A permanent residence visa allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely. The Department of Home Affairs issue and administer all Australian visas.

Special Category visa (SCV) holder

If you don’t hold a permanent residence visa Australia’s immigration authorities will generally issue New Zealand passport holders an SCV upon arrival in Australia. The type of SCV you get depends on when you arrived in Australia. This will also determine if you can get a payment from us.

Read more about SCV.

Payments you can claim

The payments you can claim depends on the visa you have.

Protected SCV holders

If you live in Australia and you have a protected SCV, you can generally access the full range of Centrelink payments.

Protected and non-protected SCV holders

If you live in Australia and you have a protected or non-protected SCV, you can claim:

You must also meet the other eligibility rules for the payment or card you’re claiming. For concession cards, this may include the newly arrived resident’s waiting period.

Non-protected SCV holders

If you live in Australia and you have a non-protected SCV, you may be able to get a one off period of payment. This is a single period of up to 6 consecutive months of:

At the time of making a claim, you must have been living in Australia continuously for at least 10 years. We can't count time you spent in Australia before 27 February 2001 towards these 10 years.

Other services

Use the jobactive employment services to help you look for work. You can access:

  • computers
  • newspapers, and
  • other facilities

Read more about jobactive on the Department of Jobs and Small Business website.

International Agreement

We have an agreement with New Zealand to allow New Zealand citizens, living in Australia to claim:

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

Read more about the International Social Security Agreement between Australia and New Zealand.

Page last updated: 6 February 2018