Any issues returning to Australia?

Terry has been receiving his pension overseas but needs to temporarily return to Australia and wonders what requirements he needs to fulfil.


Q. Terry
Can you please tell me what the pension rules are with regards to a temporary return to Australia for a pensioner who resides overseas? What notification is needed and how long can I stay for? I would appreciate any information you can give me on this subject, as I can’t find anything.

A. You can stay in Australia for as long as you require. In most cases you don’t need to tell Centrelink that you have returned to Australia.

You only need to contact Centrelink if:

  • your payment or concession card stopped while you were away and didn’t restore automatically when you returned
  • you’re returning to live in Australia after having lived outside Australia
  • you’re paid under an international social security agreement, or
  • Centrelink has asked you to provide evidence for your reason for travel


If you have been away for more than five years you must supply proof of residency in Australia to re-enrol for Medicare if required.

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

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