13 Mar Social security: waiting period for subclass 309 and 820 visa holders
‘The Amendment Determination only clarifies… that a person who becomes the holder of [a visa subclass 309 or 820] is subject to the [newly arrived resident’s waiting period]’ of 104 weeks
The Social Security Amendment (Class of Visas – Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period for Special Benefit) Determination 2018 was registered on 19 December 2018 and will commence on 1 January 2019. Its explanatory statement includes the following:
Subclass 309 (Partner (Provisional)) and Subclass 820 (Partner) visa holders are currently subject to a [newly arrived resident’s waiting period (NARWP)] once they enter Australia by virtue of paragraph 739A(1)(a) of the Act, unless they are exempt from the NARWP under subsection 739A(6), (7) or (8) of the Act. The Amendment Determination only clarifies, for the avoidance of doubt, that a person who becomes the holder of such a visa is subject to the NARWP pursuant to paragraph 739A(1)(e) of the Act. The NARWP will therefore continue to apply to these visa sub-classes.
The application of the NARWP to these visa subclasses reflects the purpose of the NARWP, which is that people seeking to settle permanently in Australia under the family stream are financially independent when they first settle here. Holders of these visa subclasses are expected to be able to support themselves, including through support from their partner or spouse already in Australia.
Further, under subsection 739A(4) of the Act, if a person is subject to a NARWP and the person was the holder of a visa that is in a class of visas determined by the Minister for the purposes of paragraph 739A(4)(b) of the Act, then the NARWP starts on the day the person applied for that visa, and ends when the person has been in Australia for the required period of  weeks. This Amendment Determination amends the 2015 Determination to determine that Subclass 309 (Partner (Provisional)) and Subclass 820 (Partner) visas are classes of visas for the purposes of paragraph 739A(4)(b) of the Act.
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