Refugees (& others) to have ‘immediate access to social security’

New instrument enables some visa holders regarded as refugees under the Social Security Act to have ‘immediate access to social security payments without having to meet prior residence requirements’.

According to the Federal Register of Legislation, the new Social Security (Class of Visas – Qualifying Residence Exemption – Refugee) Declaration 2018 ‘enables holders of the specified visas to have immediate access to social security payments without having to meet prior residence requirements’.

Section 7 of the Social Security Act 1991 includes the following:

(6)  A person has a qualifying residence exemption for a social security pension (other than carer payment) or a social security benefit (other than youth allowance, austudy payment, newstart allowance, sickness allowance, special benefit or partner allowance) if… the person:

(a)  resides in Australia; and

(b)  is either:

(i)  a refugee…

(6B)  A person is a refugee for the purposes of this section if the person:

(c)  is the holder of:

(iii)  a permanent visa of a class referred to in a declaration of the Minister under section 25 that is in force.

The new instrument commences on 29 September 2018 and includes the following passage:

For the purposes of subparagraph 7(6B)(c)(iii) of the [Social Security Act 1991], the classes of visas are:

Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB)

(a)  Subclass 200 (Refugee);

(b)  Subclass 201 (In-country Special Humanitarian);

(c)  Subclass 202 (Global Special Humanitarian);

(d)  Subclass 203 (Emergency Rescue); and

(e)  Subclass 204 (Woman at Risk);

Resolution of Status (Class CD)

(f)  Subclass 851 (Resolution of Status).


Disclaimer: the above is a mere reproduction of some passages of some pieces of legislation and of an email sent by the Federal Register of Legislation. The views expressed in those documents might not reflect the view of the Department, the AAT or the courts. The law or policies might have changed between the writing and reading of this article. The author of this article and Migration Law Updates disclaim any liability for any action (or omission) on their part based on any information provided (or not provided) in this article and are under no obligation to keep the general public nor practitioners informed about the matters discussed in this article or any other matters, or any future changes to any of those matters. It is the responsibility of each practitioner to obtain access to primary sources of law and policy by themselves and to carry out their own research and come to their own conclusions on legislation, case law, policies and more. This article is not intended for the general public.


Sergio Zanotti Stagliorio is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1461003). He is the owner of Target Migration in Sydney. He can be reached at sergio@targetmigration.com.au