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New Migrant Residency Waiting Period extended

From 1 July 2018 the Government will extend the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period (NARWP) for a number of welfare payments.

The NARWP is the time that someone has to wait, once they become a permanent resident, before they are eligible for certain welfare payments and government transfers. Currently the waiting time before making application for NewStart, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payments, Carer Payment and Austudy is two years. This will now be extended to three years.

Other payments including Carer Allowance, Family Tax Benefit and Paid Parental Leave Scheme will also now have a three year waiting period introduced for the first time.

The vast majority of people impacted by this change are people who will come to Australia on skilled visas to work in a specific field.  These changes will ensure that people coming to Australia do so for the right reasons – to work and contribute to Australian society, not to gain immediate access our generous social safety net.

Humanitarian entrants and their families are currently exempt from waiting periods and will continue to be.

These changes will raise around $1.3 billion over the forward estimates which will help return the Government to surplus and fund other important policy priorities.

If someone serving a residency waiting period does become financially disadvantaged they will still have access to Special Benefit; a payment of last resort which is generally paid at the Newstart Allowance rate.

A range of exemptions will also apply to ensure vulnerable people are provided with assistance.