Absences from Australia for PLP


This topic explains how a temporary absence (1.1.A.10) from Australia affects eligibility for PLP.

When a person who has left Australia continues to meet residency conditions

A person who meets one of the first 2 residency conditions at, but who has left Australia and remains absent from Australia may continue to meet the Australian residency test for PLP, except where they have been absent from Australia for a period of more than 56 weeks. A person who has been absent for more than 56 weeks is deemed not to meet the Australian residency test and hence is not eligible for PLP from that day.

Where the 56 week mark falls within the 18 week PPL period (1.1.P.200), the person may receive PLP until they cease to be eligible (the date on which they have been overseas for more than 56 weeks, unless they receive an extension from the Secretary).

Example: The primary claimant has their baby overseas on 1 August 2014 and has been overseas for 44 weeks before their nominated start date. The claimant will only be paid PLP for 12 weeks (until they reach the 56 week absence from Australia mark).

Extension to the temporary absence period

The Secretary may extend the 56 week period to a period of no more than 3 years if a person was unable to return to Australia due to:

  • deployment outside Australia as a defence force member, under conditions specified in a determination made under the Defence Act 1903 that relates to such deployment, or
  • deployment outside Australia for the purpose of capacity building or peacekeeping functions as a member or special member of the Australian Federal Police, or a protective service officer within the meaning of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.

Calculating the absence period

If a person who has been absent from Australia for more than 6 weeks, but less than 56 weeks, returns to Australia, and then leaves again less than 6 weeks later, then the person is taken not to have returned to Australia for the purposes of calculating the 56 week period for the Australian residency test for PLP.

If a person has been absent from Australian for 56 or more weeks, then returns to Australia and leaves again less than 6 weeks after returning, they do not meet the Australian residency test and are not eligible for PLP at any time during their stay in Australia or their subsequent absence from Australia.

If the 56 weeks absence period expires during a return to Australia of less than 6 weeks, the Australian residency test will not be met for any days after the 56 weeks, including days falling within that period of return, despite the individual's physical presence in Australia.

Act reference: PPLAct section 46 Effect of absence from Australia on Australian residency test

PPL Rules

Policy reference: PPL Guide 1.1.A.10 Absence from Australia, 2.2.1 PLP eligibility overview

Last reviewed: 6 November 2017