How agreements help you

Agreements may help you to claim payments in Australia or the other country. They can also help you meet the minimum periods you need to qualify for a payment.

Claiming payments

You usually need to be living in Australia to claim an Australian payment.

Agreements may let you claim Australian payments when you’re living in the other country. They may also help you claim payments from the other country when you live in Australia.

Minimum periods of residence

Most payments have a minimum period of residence to qualify. For example, to qualify for Australian Age Pension you generally need to be an Australian resident for 10 years.

If you don’t meet the minimum periods, agreements may let you use periods of coverage to qualify.


John has lived in Australia for 7 years and has a period of coverage for 3 years in Latvia. Under the agreement with Latvia, John may be able to add these periods together to qualify for Age Pension.

Periods of coverage

Periods of coverage vary between agreement countries. A period of coverage may include:

  • time spent paying contributions into a social insurance system
  • time spent as a resident of a country
  • a deemed period, such as military service or time spent raising children.

We may be able to add together periods of coverage to help you meet minimum qualifying periods for a payment. We can do this if the periods do not overlap.

Next: What payments are covered

Agreements cover some payments from Australia and the other country.

Page last updated: 3 September 2020