Immigration to Australia – Centrelink Registration


When moving to another country as an immigrant, you will be able to access certain benefits. One of the first things you need to do as part of your immigration to Australia is to register to Centrelink.

Centrelink is an Australian Government Statutory agency that delivers Commonwealth services to the community. As an immigrant, it can help you becoming self-sufficient. It can help you look for a job, arrange for recognition of your skills and qualifications and access certain courses. Centrelink can also help immigrants with Family Assistance payments to help with the cost of raising children.

It is important to note, however, that access to social security benefits is not immediate. There is a waiting period for it for new migrants (unless you immigrate to Australia as a refugee). Once you become a permanent resident, you may be able to expand your access to these government services.

If you hold a permanent residency visa for Australia, there are two types of benefits you can acquire via Centrelink. The first one is the Special Benefit. This is for people in severe financial constraint beyond their control. This is a discretionary payment and is only released to recipients under special circumstances as decided by the Department of Family, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The second one is the Disability Support Pension which is for people who are unable to work for two years due to illness, injury or disability. Impairments can be physical, intellectual or psychiatric in nature. It is also for people who become permanently blind.

In general, benefits from the Centrelink have residency requirements before you can claim and qualify for support. For instance, you need to be in Australia at the time of lodging as a resident on permanent basis. This means you could either be an Australian citizen, a permanent visa holder or you are a holder of a Special Category Visa. You must also have satisfied the two-year waiting period for newly arrived residents.