The immigration status of New Zealanders determines whether they can get financial help from Australian social security (Centrelink).

For example, whether they are an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen, or on a visa affects what financial help they can receive while living in Australia.

Financial help

If you arrived in Australia ...

after 26 February 2001

New Zealanders on a non-protected Special Category Visa (SCV) who arrived after 26 February 2001 are not entitled to the full range of Centrelink social security payments, including unemployment and sickness allowances. 

But after 10 years living in Australia, it may be possible to claim some help. 

Find more information about Centrelink Social Security payments (external link).

between 26 February 2001 and 19 February 2016

New Zealanders on a non-protected Special Category Visa (SCV) who arrived in Australia between 26 February 2001 and 19 February 2016 may be able to apply for Australian permanent residency and then citizenship under the dedicated pathway for New Zealanders (external link). They can then get a range of allowances if they need financial help. 

before 26 February 2001

New Zealanders who arrived before 26th February 2001, and meet certain criteria, were issued with a protected Special Category Visa (SCV), which means they are classed as a permanent resident and can get more allowances.  

Find more information about how permanent residents are defined (external link).

The New Zealand Government cannot help financially

The New Zealand Government, New Zealand High Commission, and consulates cannot pay social security benefits to New Zealanders who are living in another country, including Australia.


In Australia, employers pay superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees.

Find out:

Age pension

New Zealanders who are 65 or older and live in Australia may be able to get both an Australian age pension and New Zealand superannuation. This depends on the amount of their working life they spent in each country. 

Find out about:

International services department - Centrelink

Centrelink in Australia has an international services department (external link) to help non-Australian citizens.