1.1.Q.35 Qualifying residence exemption (QRE)

Usage

This definition applies to all payments specified in SSAct section 7(6) and section 7(6AA).

Definition

A QRE is a provision in the SSAct that exempts a person from having to meet the qualifying residence requirements or NARWP for a payment. The term QRE is defined in SSAct section 7(6) and section 7(6AA).

The categories of people who have a QRE vary from payment to payment.

Depending on the payment type (see below for details), a person has a QRE if they:

  • reside in Australia and are a refugee or a former refugee, or
  • are a family member of a refugee at time of claim and were a family member of the refugee at the time they became a refugee, or
  • hold a visa specified by the Ministerial Determination under section 7(6AA) of the SSAct (the specified visa subclass 852).

Note: People who are a refugee, former refugee or family member of a refugee are also exempt from the NARWP for certain payments and concession cards under separate provisions (see 3.1.2.40, 3.1.2.43).

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6) A person has a qualifying residence exemption … (refugees and former refugees), section 7(6AA)(b) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption … (family member of refugee, or former refugee)

FAAct section 61AA(8) Subsection (1) does not apply … (refugee or former refugee or family member)

PPLAct section 31A(7A) Subsection 31(6) does not apply … (PLP), section 115CBA(7) Subsection 115CB(9) does not apply … (DAPP)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.43 Exemptions for the NARWP

FA Guide 2.2.1.10 NARWP for FTB Part A

PPL Guide 2.2.4.30 NARWP for PLP & DAPP

Refugees & former refugees

A person has a QRE for a social security pension (other than CP) or a social security benefit (other than YA, Austudy, JSP, SA, SpB or PA) if, and only if, the person:

  • resides in Australia, and
  • is either
    • a refugee, or
    • a former refugee.

A person is a refugee or former refugee if they are the holder or former holder of a permanent protection visa or visa specified under section 25 of the SSAct.

Note: Since 1 January 2017, refugees and former refugees have a separate NARWP exemption for CP, YA, Austudy, JSP, SA, SpB or PA instead of a QRE.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6) A person has a qualifying residence exemption …

Social Security (Class of Visas - Qualifying Residence Exemption - Refugee) Declaration 2018

Family member of a refugee or former refugee

From 1 January 2017, family members of a refugee or a former refugee only have a QRE for WA. They no longer have a QRE for PPS, PPP, YA, Austudy, JSP, SA, PA, CP, CA, MOB, a HCC or a CSHC.

However, they may have an exemption from the NARWP for these other payments and concession cards (see 3.1.2.43, 3.1.2.70).

Note: Family members of a refugee or former refugee do not have a QRE for social security pensions. However, from 1 January 2017 they may still qualify for PPS and PPP under subsection 500(3), rather than through a QRE (see 3.5.1.70)

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6AA)(b) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption …, section 500(1)(d)(iv) A person qualifies for parenting payment if … the person satisfies subsection (3), section 500(3) A person satisfies this subsection if …

Budget Savings (Omnibus) Act 2016

QRE determined visas

Section 7(6AA)(f) provides that a person has a QRE for a social security benefit (other than SpB), PPS, CP, MOB, a HCC or a CSHC if the person is the holder or former holder of a visa determined in writing by the Minister under SSAct section 7(6AA)(f). The following visa subclasses are specified in this determination and have a QRE for the purposes of the SSAct:

  • subclass 852 - Referred Stay (Permanent)

Note: From 1 January 2017, the holders of the following visas no longer have a QRE unless a person was assessed as eligible for QRE prior to 1 January 2017 and continues to receive a payment post 1 January 2017:

  • subclass 100 - Spouse
  • subclass 100 - Partner
  • subclass 110 - Interdependency
  • subclass 801 - Spouse
  • subclass 801 - Partner
  • subclass 814 - Interdependency.

Note: The Department of Home Affairs may in some situations issue provisional visas prior to issuing the above mentioned permanent visas. A person holding only a provisional visa is NOT a permanent resident of Australia and therefore cannot be paid any social security payments (other than SpB in some circumstances) until they are granted the relevant permanent visa.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6) A person has a qualifying residence exemption …, section 7(6AA) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption …, section 7(2) An Australian resident …

Social Security (Class of Visas - Qualifying Residence Exemption) Determination 2016

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.1 Residence Requirements, 9.2 Visa subclasses & payment eligibility for visas issued after 1/9/94

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020