Going to Australia
Getting a benefit and going to Australia to live: what you need to know.
If you go to Australia to live, or for a short visit (eg. for a job interview), you need to tell us.
Getting NZ benefits and payments and moving to Australia
The following payments have to stop before you go to Australia to live.
- Jobseeker Support or Emergency Benefit
- Youth Payment or Young Parent Payment
- Sole Parent Support
- Family tax credit*
*You may be able to claim Australian family assistance when you arrive in Australia if you intend to live there permanently.
Any time spent out of New Zealand can affect your payments.
Getting Supported Living Payment
If you get the Supported Living Payment and you're going to Australia to live you need to call International Services before you go.
- The Australian rules are complex and you may not qualify for any payments there. International Services can also explain the application process to you.
- When you get to Australia you may be able to keep getting your Supported Living Payment Overseas for up to 26 weeks if you apply to Centrelink for the Australian Disability Support Pension within 4 weeks of arriving in Australia. Generally you must intend to stay in Australia for at least 12 months.
- To qualify for the Australian Disability Support Pension and New Zealand Supported Living Payment Overseas in Australia you need to be severely disabled and have lived in Australia and/or New Zealand for at least 10 years at any time. You also need to have lived in New Zealand for at least one year since age 20.
- Centrelink will assess whether you are severely disabled. The criteria for this are stricter than for a standard Supported Living Payment in New Zealand. Centrelink will decide whether you qualify for the pension and what rate you should be paid.
- If you meet the severely disabled medical test for the Disability Support Pension, you'll be asked to apply for the New Zealand Supported Living Payment Overseas (for the severely disabled) as well. Then we can work out how much Supported Living Payment Overseas to pay you. Any changes to your New Zealand payments will take effect from the date that you first apply for the Australian Disability Support Pension.
- How much you can get in Australia depends on a number of things like your income and assets, and how long you've lived in New Zealand and/or Australia since age 20.
- Note that if your application for the Disability Support Pension is turned down your Supported Living Payment Overseas may stop.
Accessing Australian benefits
- New Zealand citizens arriving in Australia have limited access to Australian payments. If you qualify for the Australian Disability Support Pension, you may be able to get this payment without being an Australian permanent resident.
- For other Australian benefits, you need to be granted Australian permanent residence status. You then need to complete a waiting period of two years before most payments can start.
- Permanent residence in Australia is not automatically granted to New Zealand citizens. Even if you apply and pay the applicable fee, you need to be aware that your application for Australian permanent residence may not be successful.
For more information about Australia's requirements go to: