Changes to waiting periods from 1 January 2019

1 January 2019

The Newly Arrived Resident’s and Assurance of Support waiting periods are increasing. These changes may affect you.

If you’re a newly arrived resident with a visa granted on or after 1 January 2019, these change affects you.

From 1 January 2019, you may now have to wait up to 4 years before you can get:

  • working age payments, like Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Youth Allowance
  • a concession card, like the Low Income Health Care Card.

We’ll also introduce a new Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period (NARWP) to the following payments:

  • Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay – 2 year waiting period
  • Carer Allowance – 1 year waiting period
  • Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A – 1 year waiting period.

There will be no waiting period for FTB Part B.

The NARWP for Carer Payment will remain as 2 years.

There will be a range of exemptions from the NARWP. This includes exemptions for all of the following people:

  • Australian citizens
  • refugees
  • family members of a refugee
  • those who have had an substantial change in circumstances since arriving in Australia as a resident.

Some exemptions will apply to all payments and some will only apply to certain payments.

New Zealand citizens who hold a Special Category Visa (SCV) subclass 444 will not have to serve the NARWP for:

  • Family Tax Benefit
  • Parental Leave Pay
  • Dad and Partner Pay.

SCV holders will continue to have a 2 year NARWP for Low Income Health Care Card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

The waiting period will remain at 2 years for:

  • Orphan Relative visas (subclass 117 and 837)
  • Remaining Relative visas (subclass 115 and 835).

There are also changes to the Assurance of Support waiting period. It will increase from 2 years to 4 years.

Page last updated: 1 January 2019