Payments while outside Australia

To get your payment or concession card while outside Australia, you must continue to meet the qualification rules at all times.

How leaving Australia may affect your payment

There are rules covering how travelling outside Australia may affect your payment or concession card. These depend on the payment or concession card you get. When you leave Australia we may adjust or stop your payment or concession card based on these rules.

What to do before you leave

Register for a Centrelink online account through myGov before you leave Australia. Then you can access your letters and other services online while you're away.

Report your income on the business day before you leave. This includes if your or your partner's reporting date falls on or after you leave Australia. Otherwise we may delay your payment.

If you’re going overseas to visit your partner, and we’re paying you as a single person because your partner is overseas, contact us before you leave. We need to review your payment before you leave, otherwise we may pay you too much.

How to tell us about your travel

Tell us about your travel plans either:

Australia’s immigration department will tell us when you leave Australia. They will also tell us when you return.

While you’re overseas

While overseas, it's important to tell us if your circumstances change just like if you were in Australia. This is because some changes can affect your payment or concession card.

If you get employment income you need to call us to report your income.

If we can’t get in touch with you while you’re outside Australia, we may stop your payment or concession card.

Payments while overseas

If your payments can continue while you’re outside Australia and you intend to be away for:

  • less than 12 months, we'll continue to pay you every 2 weeks into your Australian bank account
  • more than 12 months, we'll pay you every 4 weeks into your Australian or overseas bank account.

We’ll discuss these options with you when you contact us.

Overseas account

If your payment goes into an overseas account, we’ll pay you in the local currency or US dollars. This depends on the country you’re in.

The Reserve Bank of Australia organises the payment conversion using the exchange rate at the time of payment. Usually the money will reach your account in 2 to 6 days.

You must pay any fees or bank charges to use your funds while you’re outside Australia.

Use our international bank account forms to tell us your overseas account.

If you can't return to Australia as planned and your payment has stopped

If your payment stops while you’re overseas, we usually can't restore your payment until you return to Australia.

It may be possible to have your payment extended if you can't return to Australia because of unexpected issues. These issues may include a serious illness or natural disaster.

We may also be able to extend your payment if you’re both:

  • in a country with which Australia has an international social security agreement
  • getting Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment single if widowed, or Carer Payment if caring for a pensioner partner.

To find out if your payment can continue, contact Centrelink International Services.

When you return to Australia

Generally you don't need to tell us that you've returned to Australia.

You need to contact us if any of the following applies to you:

  • your payment or concession card stopped while you were away and didn’t restore automatically when you returned
  • you're returning to live in Australia after having lived outside Australia
  • we’ve asked you to provide evidence for your reason for travel, and you have not yet provided it to us.

Affected payments

Payment affected by travelling or living outside Australia, include:

Page last updated: 6 April 2022