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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.
Before you leave Australia, you need a Centrelink account linked to myGov. Then you can access your letters and other services online while you’re away. If you don’t have these, you’ll need to create them.
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
If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, sign in now to tell us about your travel plans.
Read more about how to add, view, update and remove overseas travel details.
If you can’t tell us online, you can tell us by calling us on the phone number that relates to your affected payment.
Australia’s immigration department will tell us when you leave Australia. They will also tell us when you return.
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.
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.
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.
Read more about the rules for payments affected by travelling or living outside Australia, include:
- ABSTUDY Fares Allowance
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance
- ABSTUDY School Term Allowance
- Age Pension
- Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme
- Carer Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Child Care Subsidy
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
- Dad and Partner Pay
- Disability Support Pension
- Double Orphan Pension
- Essential Medical Equipment Payment
- Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card
- Family Tax Benefit
- Farm Household Allowance
- Foster Child Health Care Card
- Health Care Card
- JobSeeker Payment
- Low Income Health Care Card
- Mobility Allowance
- Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement
- Parental Leave Pay for a child born or adopted before 1 July 2023
- Parental Leave Pay for a child born or adopted from 1 July 2023
- Parenting Payment
- Pension Supplement
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Pensioner Education Supplement
- Pharmaceutical Allowance
- Remote Area Allowance
- Rent Assistance
- Special Benefit
- Telephone Allowance
- Utilities Allowance
- Youth Allowance for job seekers
- Youth Allowance for students and apprentices.