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New Zealanders

There are special rules about Centrelink payments for New Zealanders. While it is easy for New Zealanders to come to Australia, it is not so easy for them to qualify for Centrelink payments.

To qualify for a Centrelink payment you have to:

  • be an “Australian resident”
  • “reside” in Australia

Residence issues are very complicated. Even if you qualify for a Centrelink payment, you may find that the payment is still not payable, due to a “waiting period”.

News Flash: Change in eligibility requirements for New Zealanders

From 26 February 2011, New Zealand citizens who hold a Special Category Visa and who have lived continuously in Australia for at least 10 years will be able to access a once only payment of Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Sickness Allowance.

To be eligible, a person needs to have lived continuously in Australia for at least 10 years.

A temporary absence such as a holiday can be included in the 10 years, but any break during which the person ceases to reside in Australia will restart the 10 year clock.

If eligible, payment of Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Sickness Allowance can be made for up to six months.

Where a person loses qualification within the six month period, their payments will be stopped and cannot be restarted. It is not possible to transfer between payments in the six month period.

But I live here - I must be a "permanent resident"...
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But I don't have a visa...
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How do I know if I am a "protected" Special Category Visa holder?
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What about the International Social Security Agreement?
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What about my kids?
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My child is an Australian citizen...
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Why do they want to know if I plan to stay?
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I've got a "waiting period"...
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They've rejected my claim...
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