Who is an Australian resident?

To be eligible to receive a payment, you must be an Australian Resident.

An Australian resident (as defined by the Social Security Act 1991) is a person who lives in Australia on a permanent basis and is one of the following:

For further information go to residence requirements for:

Protected Special Category Visa Holder

All New Zealand citizens travelling on a New Zealand passport are automatically granted a Special Category Visa (SCV) on arrival in Australia.

Since February 2001, people with SCVs who are not 'Protected SCV holders' will no longer qualify as an Australian resident and you will generally need to get a permanent resident visa or become an Australian citizen to qualify for Centrelink payments. These rules already apply to people who arrive in Australia from any other country.

A 'protected SCV holder' is a person who was in Australia as a SCV holder on 26 February 2001 or is covered by a limited number of other special circumstances

For further information go to Changes which affect New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia.

If you are not a 'protected SCV holder' but have lived in Australia continuously for at least 10 years since 26/2/2001 you may be entitled to a once only payment of either Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Sickness Allowance for a continuous period of up to 6 months.

Country of birth

From the drop down box, select the country that you were born in.

If you are claiming an Income Support Payment, concession card or Low Income Supplement or Low Income Family Supplement and you select Australia as your country of birth, you will be required to provide an original document that proves your date of birth in Australia. For example:

If you are claiming an Income Support Payment, concession card or Low Income Supplement or Low Income Family Supplement and you select a country other than Australia, you will be required to provide proof of your arrival in Australia. For example:

For further information on these documents please see Proving Your Identity to Centrelink Factsheet.

Country of Citizenship

From the drop down box, select your country of citizenship. If you are a citizen of more than one country and one of those countries is Australia, you should record Australia in this field. If you are a citizen of more than one country not including Australia but including New Zealand, you should record the country of the passport you used to enter Australia in this field.

If you select Australia as your country of citizenship, you will need to provide documentary evidence as proof.

Australian citizen

People usually acquire Australian citizenship if they are born in Australia or are born or adopted outside Australia to Australian parents who register the child as an Australian citizen 'by descent' at an Embassy.

Become an Australian citizen

The date you acquired Australian Citizenship depends on the way in which you have gained Australian Citizenship. The main ways of becoming an Australian citizen are by birth, by grant (formerly called naturalisation), by descent, or by being adopted by an Australian citizen.

Birth

Enter your date of birth in this field, for example, 12/10/1983.

Note: If you are claiming an Income Support Payment you will need to provide one or more of the following documentation to Centrelink as Proof of your Australian citizenship:

For further information on these documents please see Proving Your Identity to Centrelink Factsheet.

Descent

A person born outside Australia who is the natural child of an Australian citizen may acquire citizenship by descent.

Enter the date that you were registered with either the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) or Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), for example, 12/10/1998.

Grant (formally called naturalisation)

Enter the date you were presented with your Australian Citizenship documentation, for example, 12/10/1983.

Adoption

Enter either the date that you arrived in Australia or the date that your adoption was formally finalised, for example, 12/10/1983.

If you are claiming an Income Support Payment and you do not have any proof of birth or proof of Australian citizenship documentation verifying any of the above circumstances that may relate to you, Centrelink may be able to assist you to verify both the citizenship and/or permanent residence status.

Living in Australia permanently

Permanently means you normally live in Australia on a long-term basis. Holidays or short trips outside Australia would not affect this.

If you are living in Australia permanently, you are a person who 'resides' in Australia. This means that your usual home is in Australia. This is established by looking at your ties to Australia, and any other country, to determine on balance to which country you have greater ties. In order to do this many factors can be used while no single factor should be taken as conclusive evidence. These factors are:

Ever lived outside Australia

If you have ever lived outside Australia on a permanent basis, select the 'Yes' option. For example, if you were born outside Australia and migrated to Australia with your parents as a child. If you select the Yes option you will need to provide further details about where you have lived outside Australia. You should not include any holidays or temporary absences outside Australia.

From the drop down box, select the country where you have lived on a long-term basis.

Date from and Date to

Enter or correct the Date of your arrival next to the Country that you have selected from the drop down box. For example, 10/04/1987, being the date you were born on, or commenced to reside in that country.

Enter or correct the Date of your departure from the country that you have selected from the drop down box. For example, 10/04/1999.

Example:

CountryArrivalDeparture
Australia20/05/2000 
England10/04/198018/05/2000
Ireland03/03/197609/04/1980

In this example, the person's date of birth is 03/03/1976 and the list includes the country they lived in from this date.

Leave the 'Date to' blank for the country you are currently living in on a long-term basis.

If you cannot recall the exact date you arrived or departed, please enter an approximate date.

Date that you started living in Australia

Enter the date that you first started residing in Australia on a permanent basis, for example, 10/04/1999.

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

You can obtain this date from your travel documents. If these are no longer available, you can estimate the day, month and year you started living in Australia.

Date from and Date to

Enter or correct the Date of your partner's arrival next to the Country that you have selected from the drop down box. For example, 10/04/1987, being the date your partner was born on, or commenced to reside in that country.

Enter or correct the Date of your partner's departure from the country that you have selected from the drop down box. For example, 10/04/1999.

Example:

CountryArrivalDeparture
Australia20/05/2000 
England10/04/198018/05/2000
Ireland03/03/197609/04/1980

In this example, the person's date of birth is 03/03/1976 and the list includes the country they lived in from this date.

Leave the 'Date to' blank for the country your partner is currently living in on a long-term basis.

If you cannot recall the exact date your partner arrived or departed, please enter an approximate date.

Date from

Enter or correct the date of your arrival next to the Country that you have selected from the drop down box. For example, 10/4/2011, being the date you started to live in that country.

If the date you most recently started living in Australia was 10/4/2011, also provide the country you lived in prior to Australia and the date you started living in that country.

Lived or travelled outside Australia since 1 September 1994

The answer to this question may enable Centrelink to access electronic records held by Australia's immigration department since 1 September 1994. These records will help us to verify your Australian residence on your behalf to assist with your claim.

Passport/travel document number

Enter your passport/travel document number in this field. This is the number that identifies your passport/travel document.

Enter the passport/travel document number without spaces using alphanumeric characters. If your passport/travel document number includes dashes or other special characters do not enter these characters.

Example:
If your passport/travel document number is A123-4567, then enter A1234567

This number can be from an expired passport or travel document.

Expiry date

You must enter the passport expiry date in this field. This date advises when the passport has or is due to expire.

Permanent

If your past absence was for a significant period of time and you did not retain ongoing family or financial connections to Australia during the absence, it may be considered permanent. If you are currently outside Australia and do not intend to return to Australia to live in the foreseeable future (your intention is to commence residing overseas), your absence may be considered permanent. We may need to obtain further information from you regarding this.

Country that issued passport/travel document

Select the country that issued your passport.

The country of issue for a passport is always the country that is issuing the passport, not necessarily the country in which the passport is physically issued. For example, a Chinese passport issued from the Chinese embassy in France is considered to be issued by China.

If the country that issued your passport is not listed in the drop down box, please select 'unspecified'.

Name of the ship or airline

The name of the ship or airline that brought you to Australia

Name of place

The place in Australia where the ship or airline landed and you disembarked

Your name

The name you used when you entered Australia

Date that you most recently commenced residing in Australia

Enter the date that you most recently commenced legally residing in Australia on a permanent basis, for example, 10/04/1999.

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

If you have returned to Australia after permanently residing in another country, enter the date that you most recently started living in Australia on a permanent basis.

You can obtain this date from your travel documents. If these are no longer available, you can estimate the day, month and year you started living in Australia.

Residing

Residing in Australia means you are living in Australia on a permanent basis.

Qualification for Special Benefit

Certain visa subclasses may qualify you for Special Benefit. These subclasses include temporary protection, humanitarian, or safe haven purposes. For more information, please Contact Us.

Visas

Type of visa

A visa is an authority to travel to, and remain in, a country. Australian visas may allow a person to remain in Australia permanently or temporarily. Select the type of Australian visa you arrived on.

Since 1/9/94 New Zealand passport holders are generally issued a 'special category visa' (SCV) on arrival in Australia. There is no formal application process for this visa; an application is taken to have been made when going through immigration clearance. An SCV allows a person to stay in Australia indefinitely, however it is NOT a permanent resident visa.

Permanent visa

A permanent visa gives the holder permission to remain in Australia indefinitely.

If you have been granted a permanent visa but are unable to obtain or provide evidence, you should contact Centrelink as soon as possible.

Temporary or Provisional visas are temporary visas that may lead to the grant of a permanent visa if you meet certain conditions. Temporary visas have a time limit on the period of stay in Australia.

Temporary visa

Temporary or Provisional visas are temporary visas that may lead to the grant of a permanent visa if you meet certain conditions. Temporary visas have a time limit on the period of stay in Australia.

New Zealand passport (Special Category Visa)

Since 1/9/94 New Zealand passport holders are generally issued a 'Special Category Visa' (SCV) on arrival in Australia. There is no formal application process for this visa; an application is taken to have been made when going through immigration clearance. An SCV allows a person to stay in Australia indefinitely, however it is NOT a permanent resident visa.

Do not select this option if you arrived on a New Zealand passport and have since applied for and been granted a permanent visa.

Unsure/Unknown

Select this option if you are unsure what your current type of visa is. For example you may not know if you arrived in Australia on your mother's or father's passport.

Visa subclass

Enter your visa subclass code which relates to the current type of visa you have been granted. This is a three digit number. You can obtain your visa subclass code from your passport, for example, 010.

Visa granted

Enter the date that your current visa was granted to you, for example, 10/04/1999.

Assurance of Support

An Assurance of Support is a legally binding agreement between an Australian Resident (the assurer) and the Australian Government. The assurer agrees to provide support to the migrant (the assuree) for a period after they arrive in Australia. If the migrant or their dependants claim certain social security payments while covered by an Assurance of Support agreement, the assurer must repay the full amount back to the Government.

For further information go to Assurance Of Support.

Refugee or former refugee

A Refugee category visa is used if you are subject to persecution in your home country and are in need of resettlement. The majority of applicants who are considered under this category are identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and referred by UNHCR to Australia.

A Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) category visa is for people outside their home country who are subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of human rights in their home country.

For the purpose of qualifying for a social security payment or concession card, or to be exempted from any minimum residence period, a refugee is a person who has been or was previously granted a permanent visa under the Refugee and Humanitarian Program of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

s

For further information go to Payments if you have a humanitarian or refugee Visa.

Refugee or humanitarian visa

A Refugee category visa is used if you are subject to persecution in your home country and are in need of resettlement. The majority of applicants who are considered under this category are identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and referred by UNHCR to Australia.

A Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) category visa is for people outside their home country who are subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of human rights in their home country.

For the purpose of qualifying for a social security payment or concession card, or to be exempted from any minimum residence period, a refugee is a person who has been or was previously granted a permanent visa under the Refugee and Humanitarian Program of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

For further information go to Payments if you have a humanitarian or refugee Visa.

Foreign pension

A pension paid by a country other than Australia.

Income Support Payment

An income support payment is a payment that you receive from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

For example

Partner's country of birth

From the drop down box, select the country that your partner was born in.

Partner's country of citizenship

From the drop down box, select your partner's country of citizenship. If your partner is a citizen of more than one country, and one of those countries is Australia, you should record Australia in this field. If your partner is a citizen of more than one country not including Australia but including New Zealand, you should record the country of the passport you used to enter Australia in this field.

Australian Citizen

People usually acquire Australian citizenship if they are born in Australia or are born or adopted outside Australia to Australian parents who register the child as an Australian citizen 'by descent' at an Embassy.

Partner granted Australian citizenship

The date your partner acquired Australian Citizenship depends on the way in which or your partner gained Australian Citizenship. The main ways of becoming an Australian citizen are by birth, by grant (formerly called naturalisation), by descent, or by being adopted by an Australian citizen.

Birth

Enter your partner's date of birth in this field, for example, 12/10/1983.

Descent

A person born outside Australia who is the natural child of an Australian citizen may acquire citizenship by descent.

Enter the date that your partner were registered with either the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) or Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), for example, 12/10/1998.

Grant (formally called naturalisation)

Enter the date your partner were presented with your Australian Citizenship documentation, for example, 12/10/1983.

Adoption

Enter either the date that your partner arrived in Australia, or the date that your partner's adoption was formally finalised, for example, 12/10/1983.

Partner living in Australia permanently

Permanently means your partner normally lives in Australia on a long-term basis. Holidays or short trips outside Australia would not affect this.

If your partner is living in Australia permanently, your partner is a person who 'resides' in Australia. This means that your partner's usual home is in Australia. This is established by looking at your partner ties to Australia, and any other country, to determine on balance to which country your partner has greater ties. In order to do this many factors can be used while no single factor should be taken as conclusive evidence. These factors are:

Partner lived or travelled outside Australia since 1 September 1994

The answer to this question may enable Centrelink to access electronic records held by Australia's immigration department since 1 September 1994. These records will help us to verify your partner's Australian residence on your behalf to assist with your claim.

Partner ever lived outside Australia

If your partner has ever lived outside Australia on a permanent basis, select the 'Yes' option. For example, if your partner was born outside Australia and migrated to Australia as a child. If you select the Yes option you will need to provide further details about where your partner has lived outside Australia. You should not include any holidays or temporary absences outside Australia.

Date that your partner most recently commenced residing in Australia

Enter the date that your partner most recently commenced legally residing in Australia on a permanent basis, for example, 10/04/199.

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

If your partner have returned to Australia after permanently residing in another country, enter the date that your partner most recently started living in Australia on a permanent basis.

You can obtain this date from your partner's travel documents. If these are no longer available, you can estimate the day, month and year your partner started living in Australia.

Date that your partner started living in Australia

Enter the date that your partner first started residing in Australia on a permanent basis, for example, 10/04/1999. You can obtain this date from your travel documents. If these are no longer available, you can estimate the day, month and year you started living in Australia.

Partner visa

Partner's permanent visa

A permanent visa gives the holder permission to remain in Australia indefinitely.

If your partner has been granted a permanent visa but are unable to obtain or provide evidence, you should contact Centrelink as soon as possible.

Partner's temporary visa

Temporary or Provisional visas are temporary visas which may lead to the grant of a permanent visa if your partner meet certain conditions. Temporary visas have a time limit on the period of stay in Australia.

New Zealand passport (Special Category Visa)

Since 1/9/94 New Zealand passport holders are generally issued a 'Special Category Visa' (SCV) on arrival in Australia. There is no formal application process for this visa; an application is taken to have been made when going through immigration clearance. An SCV allows a person to stay in Australia indefinitely, however it is NOT a permanent resident visa.

Do not select this option if your partner arrived on a New Zealand passport and has since applied for and been granted a permanent visa.

Unsure

Select this option if your partner is not sure what their current type of visa is. For example they may not know if they arrived in Australia on their mother's or father's passport.

Partner's visa granted

Enter the date that your partner's current visa was granted to your partner, for example, 10/04/1999.

Partner's visa subclass

Enter your partner's visa subclass code which relates to the current type of your partner has been granted. This is a three digit number. You can obtain your partner's visa subclass code from your passport, for example, 010.

Last Updated March 2011