Newly arrived resident’s waiting period
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Call our Multilingual Phone Service to speak with us in your language about your Centrelink payments and services.
If you've recently arrived as a resident in Australia, you may have to wait to get our payments or concession cards.
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.
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 jobactive website to search for jobs in your local area
- JobSearch facilities in our service centres
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s 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:
You may not have to wait if you're:
- an Australian citizen
- arriving as part of a refugee or humanitarian program, or
- a holder of a specific visa subclass and claiming certain payments, or
- a family member of a refugee or humanitarian migrant
- at the time that person arrived in Australia, and
- when you claim a payment or concession
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)
- 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.