Extended Waiting Periods For Newly Arrived Migrants

The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) Bill 2018, extends the waiting periods for newly arrived migrants, before they can claim specific social security benefits.

The Bill  increases or introduces the following newly arrived resident waiting periods:

  • increases various working age social security payments and concession cards waiting periods from 104 weeks to 208 weeks
  • introduces a 208 week waiting period for bereavement allowance and parenting payment
  • introduces a 52 week waiting period for carer allowance
  • increases the waiting period from 104 weeks to 208 weeks for farm household allowance
  • introduces a waiting period of 52 weeks for family tax benefit Part A
  • introduces a waiting period of 104 weeks for parental leave pay and dad and partner pay


The amendments will apply to all newly arrived residents who first become the holder of a permanent visa (or in some cases, the holder of certain temporary visas) on or after 1 January 2019.

Existing exemption provisions from newly arrived resident waiting periods will continue to apply for bereavement allowance, parenting payment and carer allowance.

These exemptions apply for classes of people who currently have a qualifying residence exemption, including people who are a refugee or former refugee at the time of claim and people who are an Australian citizen at the time of claim.

These amendments will not apply to people granted an Orphan Relative or Remaining Relative visa on or after commencement. These visa holders will continue to be subject to the current rules.

These amendments will not apply to protected Special Category Visa holders.  These are generally those residents who were the holder of a SCV on or prior to 26 February 2001 and who were excluded from changes to access to social security payments that occurred from 26 February 2001.

The Schedules of this Bill relevant to newly arrived residents will commence on 1 January 2019.