Budget 2017: Older migrants to face stricter welfare residency test


A change in the budget may make older migrants reconsider moving to Australia.

More than 2000 new migrants will be barred from the age pension or disability payments in 2018 under tighter eligibility requirements announced by the government as part of the 2017 Budget.

Pensioners and those claiming the disability support pension (DSP) will be required to have lived in Australia for up to 15 years continuously in order to continue receiving the payments.

The savings measure will save $119 million over five years by imposing stricter residency rules for those claiming the two welfare payments.

From July 2018, applicants will have had to have lived in Australia for at least 15 years continuously before being eligible for either the pension or DSP.

WATCH: Treasurer Scott Morrison talks to SBS


Applicants will still receive their payments if they have either 10 years of continuous residence with at least five years of that time being during their working life – ie before they’re of age pension age – or if they have lived in Australia for a decade and never received any welfare for five years in total.

The existing requirement is that an applicant must have lived in Australia for 10 years.

Treasurer Scott Morrison on welfare


The government estimates the measure will affect about 2390 people per year.

It follows the government’s announcement last week of a new 10-year, $20,000 temporary entry visa for parents of migrants.

The age pension costs the Budget approximately $42 billion.


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