The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

2.2.1.10 NARWP for FTB Part A

Summary

Migrants do not have immediate access to FTB Part A when they permanently settle in Australia (1.1.A.120).

Migrants who were granted a permanent visa or a temporary partner visa on or after 1 January 2019 are required to serve a NARWP of 52 weeks before they can receive FTB Part A. A NARWP also applies to claimants of certain social security payments, PLP and farm household allowance.

Note: There is no NARWP for FTB Part B. Eligible visa holders will continue to have immediate access to FTB Part B, as long as they meet all other eligibility criteria.

There are a range of exemptions from the NARWP for FTB Part A. These are detailed in this topic.

For more information on the NARWP for other payments refer to SS Guide 1.1.N.70, SS Guide 3.1.2.40 and PPL Guide 2.4.3.

Act reference: FAAct section 61AA Part A rate of FTB is nil for a day in newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.2.1 FTB eligibility criteria for individuals

Application of the NARWP

A person is subject to a NARWP for FTB Part A if on or after 1 January 2019 they:

  • become the holder of a visa determined by the Minister for the purposes of subparagraph 729(2)(f)(v) of the SSAct, or
  • become the holder of a permanent visa (with some exceptions - see below).

The NARWP for FTB Part A does not apply to a person who:

  • becomes the holder of a specified Orphan Relative (subclass 117 and 837) or Remaining Relative (subclass 115 and 835) visa (or a kind of visa determined by the Minister), or
  • was the holder of a temporary Partner (Provisional) or Partner visa (subclass 309 and 820) at any time before 1 January 2019 before being granted a permanent visa.

A person's Part A rate of FTB is nil in respect of a day on which the NARWP applies. This means that a person is not able to receive FTB Part A in respect of a child until they have completed the NARWP. If a person is part-way through the NARWP and has a child in Australia, the remaining NARWP must be served before the person can be paid FTB Part A.

If one parent is an Australian citizen, is a migrant who has completed the NARWP, or has an exemption from the NARWP, that parent can receive FTB Part A (subject to meeting all other requirements), even if the other parent is still serving the NARWP.

For information on the visa subclasses specified under SSAct subsection 729(2)(f)(v) refer to SS Guide 3.7.1.10.

Note: The NARWP does not apply to FTB Part B, SBP or DOP.

Act reference: FAAct section 3(1)-'permanent visa', section 61AA Part A rate of FTB is nil for a day in newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.2.1 FTB eligibility criteria for individuals, 1.1.A.130 Australian resident, 1.1.V.10 Visa, 2.1.2.20 Verifying residence/citizenship

Exemptions from the NARWP

A person is exempt from the effect of the NARWP for FTB Part A in respect of a day if they meet one of the following criteria - this means that they can still receive FTB Part A, despite a NARWP applying:

  • the person holds or was a former holder of a visa of a subclass included in a determination made by the Minister under SSAct subsection 739A(6) on that day
  • the person is receiving a social security pension or social security benefit (within the meaning of the SSAct) (see Example 1 and 2), or farm household allowance (under the Farm Household Support Act 2014) on that day
  • PLP (under the PPLAct) is payable to the person on that day
  • if the person is receiving PLP on at least 10 consecutive weekdays for a period, on any day in that period (including weekends)
  • the person is a refugee, or a former refugee (within the meaning of SSAct subsection 7(6B)), on the 'assessment day' (defined below) (see Example 3)
  • the following apply:
    • the person was a family member of another person at the time the other person became a refugee before the assessment day, or
    • the person is a family member of that other person on the assessment day or, if that other person has died, the person was a family member of that other person immediately before that other person died
  • the person is an Australian citizen on the assessment day, or
  • the person is residing in Australia on the assessment day and has held an SCV on any day before the assessment day.

The assessment day has flexible application, and can apply to any day on which entitlement to FTB Part A is being established. This means that a person would be able to receive FTB Part A at a rate greater than nil on any day on which an exemption applies but would be on a nil rate of FTB Part A for any days where an exemption does not apply. Similarly, for a past period claim, the claimant would be exempt from the NARWP for any day in that past period on which they met one of the above conditions but would not be exempt for (and could not make a claim in respect of) any days on which an exemption did not apply (see Example 3 and 4).

Note: A person who is exempt from the NARWP must still meet other eligibility and payability criteria in order to receive FTB Part A. There is no NARWP for FTB Part B.

Example 1: Abdul, Shireen and their child, Mina, are granted permanent visas under the Skilled stream in January 2019 and are subject to a 52 week NARWP for FTB Part A. As Shireen is not working, Shireen claims and is granted FTB Part B which is not subject to a NARWP. Six months later, Abdul and Shireen separate and Shireen retains full-time care of Mina who is 4 years old. Shireen claims PPS as they are the principal carer of Mina. Shireen is granted an exemption from the NARWP for PPS because they became a lone parent after becoming an Australian resident. As PPS is a social security pension within the meaning of the SSAct, Shireen is exempt from the effect of the NARWP for FTB Part A for any day on which they are receiving PPS. This means Shireen can receive FTB Part A for the remainder of the NARWP, provided they are still receiving PPS.

Example 2: Jessica is a single parent from the UK and is granted a permanent skilled visa in January 2019 along with their 10 year old child, Ruben. Jessica claims and is granted FTB Part B once Jessica arrives as FTB Part B is not subject to a NARWP; however, Jessica is subject to the 52 week NARWP for FTB Part A. After they have been in Australia for 6 months, Ruben is diagnosed with leukaemia and Jessica has to stop work to take care of Ruben while they are undergoing treatment. Jessica depletes all their savings and finds themselves in financial hardship. Jessica is unable to earn a sufficient livelihood for themselves and Ruben or to cover Ruben's medical costs. Jessica claims SpB and is granted an exemption from the NARWP for SpB as their dependent child has developed a serious medical condition since their arrival in Australia and this constitutes a substantial change in circumstances. As SpB is a social security benefit within the meaning of the SS Act, Jessica is exempt from the effect of the NARWP for FTB Part A. Jessica will continue to be eligible for the exemption for FTB Part A for so long as they are receiving SpB.

Example 3: Tamir was granted refugee status and arrived in Australia on 6 November 2019. On 17 July 2020, Tamir lodges a lump sum claim for FTB for the 2019-20 income year. Tamir has had refugee status since their date of arrival on 6 November 2019. As such, Tamir is exempt from the effect of the NARWP for FTB Part A from this date. Tamir's lump sum FTB claim is paid for the period 6 November 2019 to 30 June 2020.

Example 4: Marcus arrived in Australia on 28 April 2019 on a permanent skilled visa with their 8 year old child Maria. On 4 January 2020, Marcus became injured and was unable to work. Marcus soon depleted their savings and was granted SpB on 27 February 2020 as they had experienced a substantial change in circumstances. Marcus subsequently started to recover from their injury and started a part time job on 1 April 2020. As Marcus' income exceeded the limit, they were no longer eligible for SpB. Marcus lodged a lump sum claim for FTB in August 2020. Marcus was exempt from the effect of the NARWP for FTB Part A while they were receiving a social security benefit (SpB); however, once Marcus stopped receiving SpB, they were no longer exempt from the NARWP for FTB Part A. Marcus' lump sum FTB Part A claim can be paid only for the period during which they were exempt from the NARWP for FTB Part A from 27 February 2020 to 1 April 2020.

More information on individual exemption types is available in the SS Guide 3.1.2.43.

Act reference: FAAct section 61AA(6) to section 61AA(8) Exemptions

Low income health care card (LIC) - FTB child exemption

Under the SSAct, a LIC is available on application to people with income below certain thresholds. While the LIC is subject to a NARWP, from 1 January 2019, people who have an FTB eligible child are exempt from the NARWP for the LIC.

Example 5: Eleni is the primary carer of George, who is 4 years old. As George meets the criteria to be an FTB child, Eleni is exempt from the NARWP for the LIC. Eleni is able to claim the LIC provided Eleni meets all other eligibility criteria including the income test.
Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.70 Exemptions from waiting periods, 3.9.1.20 Qualification for LIC

Application provisions/transitional arrangements

The NARWP for FTB Part A applies to people granted a permanent visa, or a relevant temporary visa, on or after 1 January 2019. People who were granted a permanent visa or relevant temporary visa (under SSAct section 729(2)(f)(v)) before 1 January 2019 are not required to serve a NARWP for FTB Part A. This applies even if they are granted a visa before 1 January 2019 but do not arrive in Australia until after 1 January 2019.

Holders of certain temporary visas continue to be exempt from the NARWP for FTB Part A, even if they are subsequently granted a permanent visa on or after 1 January 2019. Any break in payment will not affect this exemption.

This includes people who are:

  • former holders of an SCV, or
  • former holders of a visa of a subclass included in a determination made by the Minister under SSAct subsection 739A(6).

For more information on application provisions for other social security payments refer to SS Guide 3.1.2.40. For information on the visa subclasses specified under SSAct section 739A(6), please refer to SS Guide 3.7.1.20.

Act reference: FAAct section 61AA(2) to section 61AA(2B) When individual subject to newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 61AA(6) to section 61AA(8) Exemptions

Duration of NARWP

The NARWP for FTB Part A is usually 52 weeks in duration. The length of a NARWP, how it is calculated and who it applies to depends on the date of a person's arrival in Australia and the benefit they apply for. Only time that a visa holder is physically present in Australia will count towards the NARWP.

Example 6: Alison, who resides in Australia, was granted a permanent visa on 10 August 2019. Alison visited England to visit their parents for 4 weeks in December 2019. The time Alison is not physically in Australia will not be counted towards their 52 week NARWP for FTB Part A. Alison will have to wait an additional 4 weeks (28 days) before they will have served their NARWP.

Act reference: FAAct section 61AA(3) to section 61AA(5) Length of waiting period

Date of commencement of the NARWP

Commencement of a NARWP from 1 January 2019:

Item If the applicant … then ...
1 holds a visa that is in a class of visas determined by the Minister for the purposes of the NARWP for SpB (under SSAct paragraph 739A(3)(b)) their NARWP starts on the day on which the person applied for that visa and ends when the person has been in Australia for a period of, or periods totalling, 52 weeks after that day.
See Example 7.
2 previously held 1 or more visas in a class of visas determined by the Minister for the purposes of the NARWP for SpB (under SSAct paragraph 739A(4)(b)) their NARWP starts on the day on which the person applied for the last of those visas and ends when the person has been in Australia for a period of, or periods totalling, 52 weeks after that day.
See Example 7.
3 is subject to the NARWP in any other circumstance (and neither of the above points apply) their NARWP begins on the later of the date the person arrived in Australia or the date their permanent visa was granted and ends when the person has been in Australia for a period of, or periods totalling, 52 weeks after that day.
See Example 8.

Note: The specified visas in items 1 and 2 of the above table are temporary partner visas: subclasses 309 and 820. From 1 January 2019, people who are granted one of these temporary partner visas are subject to a 52 week NARWP for FTB Part A; however, the period on the temporary visa contributes to serving the NARWP if they are subsequently granted a permanent visa. People granted a temporary partner visa before 1 January 2019 are not subject to a NARWP for FTB Part A while they hold the temporary partner visa or if they are subsequently granted the permanent visa. There is no waiting period for FTB Part B.

Example 7: On 6 March 2019, Andrew applies for temporary and permanent Partner visas (subclasses 820 and 801). On 14 June 2020, Andrew is granted the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) so Andrew can continue to live with their partner Alice in Australia. Andrew will remain on the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) while Andrew's application for the permanent Partner visa (subclass 801) is processed. While on the temporary visa, Andrew is not residentially qualified for most welfare payments, except SpB and family payments (including FTB and PLP); however, Andrew must serve a NARWP before Andrew can access these payments, except for FTB Part B, which has no waiting period. The temporary Partner visa subclass 820 is a specified visa under paragraph 739A(3)(b) and 739A(4)(b)of the SSAct. This means the NARWP for SpB, FTB Part A and PLP begins from the date Andrew applied for the temporary Partner visa. The period Andrew spends in Australia following Andrew's application counts towards the NARWP for these payments, which will end on 6 March 2020 for FTB Part A, 6 March 2021 for PLP and 6 March 2023 for SpB, provided Andrew remains in Australia throughout this period. On 24 March 2022 Andrew is granted a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801). A 208 week NARWP will apply for most other welfare payments (for example, JobSeeker payment) from the day Andrew is granted the permanent visa. However, for SpB and family payments, the time Andrew has spent on the temporary Partner visa (subclass 820) counts towards the NARWP for Andrew's permanent Partner visa. Therefore, on the date Andrew is granted their permanent visa, Andrew will have completed the NARWP for FTB Part A and PLP and have less than a year left to serve of the NARWP for SpB, and can access these payments if eligible during the NARWP for other payments.

Example 8: Andie lives in Canada and is granted a permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) on 24 July 2019 after being nominated by an Australian employer for a job in regional Australia. Andie moves to Australia on 2 November 2019. Andie is subject to the NARWP. As Andie's visa was granted offshore, the NARWP starts once they come to Australia. Andie must wait, from 2 November 2019, 52 weeks before they can receive FTB Part A, 104 weeks for PLP and 208 weeks for most other income support payments (unless Andie meets the qualification for an exemption to the NARWP).

Act reference: FAAct section 61AA(3) to section 61AA(5) Length of waiting period, section 36 When an individual is eligible for SBP in normal circumstances

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.1.A.130 Australian resident, 1.1.V.10 Visa, 2.1.2.20 Verifying residence/citizenship

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