1.1.Q.35 Qualifying residence exemption (QRE)
This definition applies to all payments specified in SSAct section 7(6) and section 7(6AA).
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).
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) and 31AB(7) do not apply … (PLP), section 115CBA(7) Subsection 115CB(9) does not apply … (DAPP)
Policy reference: SS Guide 18.104.22.168 Exemptions for the NARWP
FA Guide 22.214.171.124 NARWP for FTB Part A
PPL Guide 126.96.36.199 NARWP for PLP & DAPP
Refugees & former refugees
- 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, SpB or PA instead of a QRE.
Act reference: SSAct section 7(6) A person has a qualifying residence exemption …
Family member of a refugee or former refugee
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 (188.8.131.52)
Act reference: SSAct section 7(6AA)(b) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption …, section 500(1)(d)(iv) Qualification for PP, section 500(3) A person satisfies this subsection if …
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 …