Newly arrived resident's waiting period

If you've recently arrived as a resident in Australia, you may have to wait to get payments or concession cards.

Temporary removal of the waiting period

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we've removed the newly arrived resident’s waiting period until 31 December 2020 for:

Your payment will stop on 1 January 2021 if you either:

  • haven’t served the newly arrived resident’s waiting period
  • don’t have an exemption.

The time you’ve spent in Australia as a resident or eligible visa holder will count towards serving the waiting period. This includes the time you’re getting a payment during the removal of the waiting period.

Read more about changes to the newly arrived resident’s waiting period.

Waiting period

The waiting period consists of time spent in Australia as an Australian resident. This means, if you travel overseas, the time you’re away from Australia won’t count towards the waiting period.

New residents may have to wait up to 4 years before they can:

  • get most of our payments
  • use most of our services.

A maximum 2 year waiting period applies if you’re the holder of either:

  • an Orphan Relative visa (subclass 117 or 837)
  • a Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115 and 835).

Holders of permanent residence visa or specified visa subclass granted after 1 January 2019

If your permanent residence visa or specified visa subclass is granted on or after 1 January 2019, the following waiting periods apply.

4 year waiting period

There’s a 4 year waiting period for the following payments and concessions:

2 year waiting period

There’s a 2 year waiting period for the following payments:

You may be an Australian citizen and started living in Australia for the first time. In this there’s a 2 year waiting period for Parenting Payment single and partnered.

1 year waiting period

There’s a 1 year waiting period for:

There’s no waiting period for Family Tax Benefit Part B.

Holders of visas granted before 1 January 2019 and Orphan Relative / Remaining Relative visas

If your permanent residence visa or specified visa subclass was granted before 1 January 2019, there’s a 2 year waiting period. It applies to the following payments and concessions:

You won’t have to wait the Newly Arrived Resident waiting period for any of these:

New Zealand visa waiting periods

You may need to be granted a permanent residence visa before we can look at time you've spent in Australia. This will happen if you arrive on a New Zealand passport with a Special Category visa.

You don’t need a permanent residence visa to claim any of these:

Read more about New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia.

Access to some of our services and payments

If you have a waiting period, you can still use some of our services.

You can use the:

The Community Development Program may help you if you live in a remote area. It’s run by the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

You may have lived in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia. In this case you may be eligible for 1 of these payments:

Exemptions to the waiting period

There may be exemptions to the waiting period.

Page last updated: 7 August 2020