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) except SpB.

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

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.

A person who has a QRE under SSAct section 7(6) or section 7(6AA) will be exempt from the relevant residence requirements for payments specified in these sections.

The term QRE is defined in SSAct section 7(6) and section 7(6AA).

Note: People who hold a QRE when they claim payment are exempt from the NARWP for all payments and concession cards (see 3.1.2.40, 3.1.2.43).

Note: From 1 January 2019, a NARWP applies to FTB, PLP, DAPP and CA. People who hold a QRE when they claim payment will be exempt from the NARWP for all payments and concession cards, this includes FTB, PLP, DAPP and CA.

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 and former refugees)

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

Section 7(6) provides that a person has a QRE for a social security pension (other than CP) or a social security benefit (other than YA, Austudy, NSA, SA, SpB or PA) if, and only if, the person:

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

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

Family member of refugees & former refugees

Section 7(6AA)(b) provides that a family member of a refugee or former refugee has a QRE for a social security benefit (other than SpB) or a social security pension; PPS, PPP, YA, Austudy, NSA, SA, PA, CP, CA, MOB, a HCC or a CSHC.

Note: From 1 January 2017, family members of a refugee or a former refugee no longer have a QRE for PPS, PPP, YA, Austudy, NSA, SA, PA, CP, MOB, a HCC or a CSHC. However, they can receive an exemption from the relevant qualifying or resident's waiting period if:

  • before the person made the claim for a social security benefit, the person was a family member of another person at the time the other person became a refugee,
  • the person is a family member of that other person at the time the person made the claim for social security benefit or, if that other person has died, the person was a family member of that other person immediately before that other person died.

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 resides in Australia and holds a visa of a subclass determined in writing by the Minister under SSAct section 7(6AA)(f).

A determination made under SSAct section 7(6AA)(f) applies to all holders of visas set out in the determination. The effect of this determination is that holders of the following visa subclasses 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. These provisional visas may or may not be evidenced in the person's passport. A person holding only a provisional visa without any one of the above mentioned permanent visas being evidenced on the passport 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 2019