What you need to be aware of when you move to Australia on an SCV

There are a number of exclusions to government help that you should be aware of when moving to Australia on a SCV (special category visa).

Australian Visa

As a New Zealander you have a unique opportunity if you’re considering moving to Australia. Australia and New Zealand have a Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement that allows their citizen’s to visit, study, live and work in either NZ or Australia for as long or little as they want. However, there are exclusions as below.

Read my Australia Visa post for more information on an SCV’s, entitlements, waiting periods for government support and more.

New Zealanders in Australia
(On non-protected Special Category Visas)

  • Are entitled to family payments, including Family Tax Benefit, Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement, Child Care Subsidy and Parental Leave Pay, and medical care under Medicare.
  • But are excluded from Newstart Allowance (unemployment) benefits, Parenting Payment and Youth Allowance.
  • Kiwis living in Australia continuously for 10 years since February 2001 might be eligible for once-only Newstart and Youth Allowances for up to six months.
  • Are not entitled to Austudy and HELP student loans, whether on protected or non-protected SCVs.
  • Are excluded from the new Disability Insurance Scheme, including children of NZ parentage born in Australia.
  • Cannot receive Disability Support Pension for non-work-related disabilities developed while living in Australia.
  • Excluded from new payments for Australian residents injured by terrorist attacks abroad.
  • Have no automatic path to permanent residency or citizenship and are required to compete with other migrants on the basis of required skills.
  • Excluded from disability support services in Queensland, which is now amending anti-discrimination laws to allow exclusion of New Zealanders.
  • Do not have access to public housing in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, which also now refuses Kiwis emergency accommodation.
  • Have been excluded from student concessionary travel in Victoria, including primary and secondary school pupils and extending to all New Zealanders regardless of date of arrival. This is now subject to an anti-discrimination case.

Australians in New Zealand

  • Can apply for all Winz payments including disability assistance and allowances, domestic purposes benefits, accommodation supplement, childcare assistance, health-related benefits, sickness benefit, temporary additional support, unemployment benefit, disaster relief recovery payments.
  • Unlike expat Kiwi victims of floods and Cyclone Yasi (initially refused emergency payments but after pressure granted one-off assistance), Australians in Christchurch qualified for the same earthquake assistance as New Zealanders.
  • After two years are eligible for tertiary student allowances and can apply for student loans.
  • After three years’ residence can apply for citizenship.

You might be interested in…

The below posts might interest you:

Still got unanswered questions?

Ask them below in the comment section and I will get back to you asap. You might also find the answers in the questions other visitors have asked.


  1. Alison Phillips

    August 2, 2021 at 6:59 am

    Firstly, What a great, informative site! Thank you :).
    My husband and I (both in our 50’s) are Uk citizens with permanent residency in NZ.
    We have two children living in Australia (Brisbane and Melbourne) One is now an Australian Citizen.
    Is there any way for us to move to Australia? We have moved our pensions over to here and would purchase a property (without needing a mortgage) and would have savings to cover anything else so would not be reliant on any sort of benefit. We would both also continue to work if possible. (IT and Teacher). Since Covid, we have found it very difficult being apart from the children, and just wondered if there was a way for us to join them in Australia.

    • JJ Smith

      August 9, 2021 at 1:31 am

      Hi Alison,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Because you are both NZ permanent residents not NZ citizens you will need to apply for visa to move to Australia or get NZ citizenship.
      I cannot advise which option is better for you. I recommend you contact IMMagine, who are licensed advisers living in New Zealand or Australia: http://www.immigration.co.nz/.
      They offer a free preliminary evaluation to establish which Visa category may suit you and whether it’s worth your while ordering a comprehensive full assessment or you can continue the process yourself: http://www.immigration.co.nz/assessments/free-evaluation/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  2. Anthony

    March 3, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    I am looking into moving to Australia from NZ but will retain rental properties in NZ.
    Am I correct in assuming that because I would be a temporary resident of Australia under the SCV that I do no need to include the rental income in my Australian tax return?
    If I then, in the future, became an Australian permanent resident the situation would then change with the properties being subject to CGT in Australia?
    Any comment would be gratefully received.

    • JJ Smith

      March 24, 2021 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Anthony,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      Yes from what I know, temporary residents are generally exempt from tax on their overseas income. Contrast this with permanent residents or Australian citizens. As long as they remain residents for tax purposes they have to pay tax on any source of income, foreign or domestic.
      Whereas a temporary resident living and working in Australia generally will only need to pay tax on Australian income, and employment income overseas. Any bank interest, share dividends, rent from property and capital gains are usually disregarded (that is, tax free).
      The above is from this post: https://www.beyondaccountancy.com.au/something-every-kiwi-in-australia-needs-to-know/.
      It’s really going to depend on your accountant.
      Please note, I am not an accountant or tax agent, so can only relay what info I’ve managed to find online.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  3. Mel

    February 9, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Hi JJ

    Please can you advise if NZ citizens moving to the Lucky Country are entitled to domestic fees for tech and uni study? I couldn’t find any confirmation on the TAFE website about this and wondered if we would be charged as international students instead. Appreciate your help with this matter, cheers 🙂

    • JJ Smith

      February 11, 2021 at 11:00 pm

      Hi Mel,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Yes New Zealanders get charged the same as other Australians.
      However, most New Zealand citizens will not be eligible for any kind of student loan to pay university fees, or be eligible for a student allowance to pay for living costs. You will need to get Australian citizenship to get a student loan.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  4. Jenny Pieper

    March 12, 2020 at 3:57 am

    My partner was in Australia prior to 26 Feb 2001. He and his then partner moved here. They got pregnant with their first child but due to having no family here for support they went back to NZ for their first son to be born. They brought their son back to Australia when he was 6 weeks old. They had 5 other boys all born here in Australia.
    The eldest one moved back to NZ when he was 13.5 years old to live with his grandparents. My partner has lived in Oz on and off since 1995. He has been working in this country for 20 years.
    He moved here with me since September 2017 although had to make lots of trips back home to sort out his boys who were all back there then.
    My question is as this boy entered Australia on 13/3/1995 and did not leave until 28/7/2008 he should have a Protected SCV shouldn’t he? Even though he was a child, he should have the same rights to the PSCV as his parents had.
    We have just applied for Citizenship by conferral (the other 5 boys have their Australian citizenship as we only had to provide evidence.) He received a reply that he has been declined. Reason given was the general residency requirement Section 22 where he was not in Australia for 4 years prior to application.

    IF he is a protected SCV does he still have to be here for 4 years prior to application?

    I am not sure how I find out if he is a protected SCV holder or not as he was a child?

    Any help you can give me would be very much appreciated. Also my partner has not been here for 4 years prior to applying – it is only 2.5 years but we want to get his application in before they change the rules again.
    Its quite scary….
    many thanks

    Kind regards


    • JJ Smith

      March 15, 2020 at 11:47 pm

      Hi Jenny,
      Thanks for your commend.
      However, unfortunately I cannot help at all.
      You are going to have to contact an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority (https://www.mara.gov.au/).
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  5. Mark ryding

    December 2, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Hi JJ
    We are 2 UK citizens who are permanent residence visa holders living in NZ, we have been living here for 7 years. My question is, is it better to get NZ citizenship then move to AUS or can we move over as NZ permanent residents. We have no children and in our 50’s

    Many thanks
    M and M

    • JJ Smith

      December 2, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your email.
      You are better off getting NZ citizenship and then moving over, as NZ permanent residents don’t get granted the SCV, so you would need to sort out another visa if you moved to Australia.
      This is why NZ is considered the back door to Australia.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  6. Veronica

    October 23, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Me and husband just arrived back in NZ from visiting family and friends in Sunshine coast, we are thinking of relocating I have two children one aged 1 year and the other is 8 years old.
    What type of support would we get for them regarding school or child care I hear childcare can be expensive also what about doctors and hospital what does it cost for them?
    What is the family payment you are entitled to and how long do you have to live in Australia before you are entitled to payment?
    I currently receive working for families and accommodation supplement form WINZ as well as day care subsidy.
    We are both self employed and own our own fitness gym however not sure what we will do for work yet.
    Appreciate any advice you have speaking to a few people they kept repeating lack of jobs available.

  7. Eileen Holliday

    July 8, 2019 at 8:20 am


    We have recently moved to Australia from NZ.

    I’m getting confused with all the information and wondered if you could perhaps explain to me in plain English what the requirements are as two NZ Citizens wanting to become Australian Residents and being eligible of benefits of being an Australian Resident/Citizen.

    Thanks – Eileen

  8. Sarah

    June 12, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Hi, I don’t know if you can help. I can’t seem to get hold of Centrelink, and you seem like a fountain of knowledge 🙂
    We are newly migrated Kiwis to AUS and the after school care place we use seems to think we would be eligible for childcare subsidy. But when I look through the Centrelink website I find this:
    “Non-protected SCV holder
    If you are a New Zealand citizen who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001, you’re generally a non-protected SCV holder. This means you are not an Australian resident for social security purposes.” And this means we are not eligible for child care subsidy.
    Is this how you understand it too?
    Thank you!!!

    • JJ Smith

      June 25, 2019 at 12:14 am

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      Good news for you is from my research you are definitely eligible for the Australia childcare benefit on a non-protected Special Category Visa. Call CenterLink on 136 150 and they will be able to help.
      Follow this link to find out more about the Australian Child Care Subsidy: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/child-care-subsidy.
      Hope the above helps.

  9. Jyoti Singh

    June 2, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Hi MTA Team
    Me and my husband along with our three daughters 13(disable cerebral palsy)… 12 and 2 years old are wanting to know if we will get the same benefits as nz… Regarding my elder ones disability. Like allowance….. Edical facilities.. Special needs school if she is on high ORRS…. Support workers from any organisation to help me. Look after her so.that i can get a break.?? Kindly advise thanks a lot. Regards

  10. Mo

    March 25, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Him JJ,
    I am a Nz citizen looking at moving to Oz with my wife and 2 kids aged 11 and 7.

    Do i qualify for family tax and other non protected SCV benefits straight away or is there a waiting period.

    Also are my children considered domestic students on SCV and pay domestic fees when they go to Uni in Oz or international fees.

    • JJ Smith

      April 11, 2019 at 12:30 am

      Hi Mo,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      You are entitled to family payments, including family tax benefit, baby bonus, childcare benefit and parental leave pay, and medical care under MediCare on a non-protected Special Category Visas.
      Your children will pay the same school and university fees as Australian kids. However, they won’t be able to get student loans unless you become a Permanent Resident and then Citizen.
      If you haven’t read this article I recommend it: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/become-an-australian-permanent-resident-and-australia-citizen/#PermanentResidentsorNewZealandCitizens.
      Please feel free to email me any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  11. Ben Jackson

    February 26, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Hi JJ ,

    Great site ! We are looking to move our little family (Mum ,Dad and Kids x4) over the Tasman for a job offer.The job itself isn’t tremendously well paid (70K) so was wondering in 2019 if we are eligible for Australia Family Tax benefit immediately or is there a 12 month stand down period. Cant seem to make sense of the Dept of Human affairs website on this fairly pivotal question !

    We would certainly really appreciate your comments and advice.

    Many Thanks ,

    Ben and Harriet

    • JJ Smith

      March 4, 2019 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Ben,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You are eligible for the Australia Family Tax benefit on a SCV.
      This is the main info page you should read, which covers the base rate, maximum and supplement of FTB Part A – https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/family-tax-benefit/how-much-you-can-get/ftb-part-payment-rates.
      You should receive the below for FTB Part A:
      – Base rate of $58.66 per child
      – Maximum rate for each child per fortnight is:
      – $182.84 for a child 0 to 12 years
      – $237.86 for a child 13 to 15 years
      – $237.86 for a child 16 to 19 years who meets the study requirements
      – $58.66 for a child 0 to 19 years in an approved care organisation
      – Supplement (yearly payment) up to $737.30 for each eligible child.
      FTB Part B depends on the age of your youngest child. The maximum rate per family each fortnight is (https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/family-tax-benefit/how-much-you-can-get/ftb-part-b-payment-rates):
      – $155.54 when the youngest child is 0 to 5 years of age
      – $108.64 when the youngest child is 5 to 18 years of age
      This is quite a hard one to understand, so I can’t say if you will receive this.
      I recommend you give them a call (0800 441 248) or ask for help on the above site in the little pop up. Then you can make a educated decision, because it will make such a big difference to your new life in Australia.
      Good luck with your move and please feel free to ask me anything else or let me know how you get on.
      JJ Smith

  12. Minerva

    January 29, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    hello, I would like to know if the Non protected SCV holder can leave in Australia with or without work?

    • JJ Smith

      January 29, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      Hi Minerva,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You will be allow into Australia on an SCV with or without work.
      However, you will not be entitled to unemployment benefits.
      Good luck with your move.

  13. Alia

    August 27, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Hi JJ,
    I’m thinking of making the big move across ditch from NZ but being a solo mum, I’m not sure if I can do it. My daughter is only 5 years old and I currently work as a nurse. Do you have any thoughts or probably something that can help me think things through?
    Thanks in advance

    • JJ Smith

      August 27, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Alia,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Great news for you is as a nurse you will get paid a lot better and get the benefits of a higher quality of life when your not at work.
      You would want to apply for Permanent Residence before your daughter gets old enough to go to University, as one of the major downfalls of being a New Zealander moving to Australia on a SCV is your not eligible for student loans.
      On a SCV you are entitled to family payments, including family tax benefit, baby bonus, childcare benefit and parental leave pay, and medical care under MediCare. But are excluded from Newstart (unemployment) benefits, parenting payments and youth allowance.
      Read more about SCV exclusions here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/scv-visa-exclusions/.
      In general you would have the same after school care components you have in NZ and Australians are very friendly and more than happy to help out.
      I have emailed a fiend of mine who moved to Byron Bay with her two girls to see if she had any advise. I will forward her response if I get one. However, I know her and the girls are doing great! The first year was tough getting set up, making new friends and getting used to the new life. But earning more has definitely helped and the girls are thriving with their new outdoor lifestyle.
      Please let me know if there are any areas of the move you are concerned about.
      Good luck with the decision.
      Thanks JJ

  14. Josie Nathan

    August 12, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Hi I’m bringing up 4 grandchildren receiving unsupported benefit for them, is it true I m not eligible to a benefit for them in Australia. Jo

    • JJ Smith

      August 17, 2015 at 5:44 am

      Hi Josie,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Sorry but I am unsure, but believe the answer is no. To be certain I recommend you contact the Australia Government Department of Immigration and ask them.
      You can submit an online enquiry by following the below link. I recommend you include as much information about your circumstances as possible, so that they can give you a correct answer, e.g. work situation, ages of children, etc:
      Good luck with your move. Sorry I could not be of more help.

  15. Netta

    May 15, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Just found out today that an Australian permanent resident can reside in New Zealand indefinitely. However, this is not the same for a New Zealand permanent resident trying to reside in Australia. Just another inconsistency between the agreements of our countries.

  16. Dave

    January 12, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Hi, I am a New Zealand citizen with a wife and two children if I was to move to Australia in the near future I understand we would not be eligible for certain things, but after so many years would we not be allowed to become citizens, and then be classed as Australians and get all the benefits ?
    I was under the impression that all I would have to do is live there a couple of years and then I would be allowed to become a citizen.
    Please help, this has been my plan for years.

    • JJ Smith

      January 12, 2015 at 3:29 am

      Hi Dave,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      You are correct in understanding that there are some exclusions to the SCV, which will apply to you throughout your stay in Australia. However, from my knowledge, you are still able to apply for permanent residence like all other visitors to Australia.
      Please also keep in mind that Australia is under pressure to amend the exclusions, from both the NZ government and other parties in Australia, so hopefully something will happen in the next few years.
      Good luck with your move.

  17. Adriana

    August 1, 2014 at 4:59 am

    Hi , My name is Adriana. I have to kids 1 year old and 9 years old. We want to move at the end of October in Perth and I was wondering if I can get some benefit . My partner will look for a job,but I want to spend a bit more time with my kids until are getting settle , especially for my boy 9 years old. I am just thinking that will be a bit a change for him moving from NZ to Australia. Both kids are in my care full time . The idea is not to stay home and get the money for free its more for their settling and for myself to put the thing in place . Like a said my partner will apply for jobs soon as we arrive an my self after a few months , early 2015. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards, Adriana

  18. Vic

    March 13, 2014 at 3:53 am

    I think it’s New Zealand governments fault not Australia…. NZ government must do a deal with Australian government like Australian government did with NZ for their people… Australia always looks after their people no matter what part of the world you live……it’s about time NZ government should do something for NZers…

  19. John

    May 27, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Just looking at the OZ Human Services site, and saw that for the Family Benefits for a non-protected SCV there is a 2 year wait for new arrivals, only AFTER having applied and received a Permanent Visa.
    In other words NZers will have the same process as any other non-Australian.

  20. Lara

    May 23, 2013 at 2:58 am

    Are kiwis entitled to claim for the childcare benefit straight away or do we have the 2 year stand down first?

  21. Pele

    May 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I reckon staying here in Australia for 5yrs
    not getting any assistance is really ridiculous. Government not seeing how too many new zealanders are homeless because of not getting enough support. Goverment not realising us new zealanders helping australians with all the support and access to all payments in new zealand

  22. Te Rina

    May 4, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Hi, i have just recently booked a one way ticket to sydney and am still deciding if i wana move there. Will i have any problems at the airport regarding my one way ticket?

  23. James

    April 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Hello. I am just curious if the information listed is up to date, or if there have been any recent changes. There were a few articles in the paper and on the news recently about NZ’ders moving to Aus and being treated like 2nd class citizens etc, so just trying to find out as much information as possible.

    • JJ Smith

      April 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Hi James,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I have am constantly reviewing the Australian Government websites looking for changes.
      Even with all the press regarding SCV Visas, there have still been no official changes made. Please click on the below link to view Fact Sheet 17 New Zealanders in Australia: http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/17nz.htm.
      There are still the exclusions to the SCV Visas stated here and the fact the New Zealanders will have to apply for citizenship if they want equal help from the Australian government as Australians.
      MTA Team


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