Author: Michael Klapdor, Social Policy
This Quick Guide provides information on residency requirements for social security payments in Australia, particularly how they apply to temporary visa holders. It sets out the basic residency qualification requirements; exemptions from these requirements; eligibility for Special Benefit; and residency and waiting period criteria that apply to certain payments. The residency requirements and waiting periods that apply specifically to New Zealand citizens who hold a Special Category Visa (SCV) are set out in the separate publication, New Zealanders in Australia: a quick guide.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic—particularly in terms of travel restrictions, lost income and employment—have led to community sector groups raising concerns over the limited eligibility people on temporary visas have to social security. The Australian Government’s temporary wage subsidy scheme, the JobKeeper Payment, also has residency requirements and,
with an exception for some SCV holders, makes use of the definition of ‘Australian resident’ used in the Social Security Act 1991.
As at 31 March 2020, there were 2.17 million temporary visa holders in Australia. Of these, around 672,000 were New Zealand citizens on SCVs. The other major categories of temporary visas include Visitor (206,025), Student (567,924), Temporary Skilled (139,331), Temporary Graduate (96,819) and Working Holiday Maker (119,266). There were 17,223 holders of Temporary Protection visas, and 281,179 Bridging visa holders. The remainder is made up of other visas for specific employment or other purposes. This does not include provisional visas, which form part of the Family or Skill streams of the Migration Program.
SOURCE: Klapdor, Michael. “Temporary visa holders and social security: a quick guide.” Prliamentary Library. Research paper series,2019-20 15 May 2020.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia