Temporary residents moving to Australia

If you move to Australia with a temporary resident visa that allows you to work, you will probably earn superannuation (also known as super).

Super is compulsory for most employed Australians, and it helps you save money for retirement.

Your superannuation money gets invested in your super account until you are ready to retire - but you can usually access it early if you were a temporary resident who has left Australia.

Find out more about how superannuation works.

Superannuation for temporary residents

Working visa types that allow you to work in Australia as a temporary resident and earn superannuation include:

  • Working holiday visas 417, 462
  • Graduate visas 485, 476
  • Student visa 500 (allowed to work a certain number of hours per week)
  • Temporary or seasonal work visa 403, 400
  • Maritime crew visa 988
  • Temporary activity visa 408
  • TSS visa (this replaced the employer-sponsored work visa 457).
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Temporary residents leaving Australia

If you had a temporary resident visa and you earned superannuation while working in Australia, you can claim your super as long as:

  • Your visa ends (it might expire or be cancelled)
  • You have left Australia permanently
  • You apply to withdraw your super after you leave or your visa ends.

This payment is not available if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia. But if you leave Australia to permanently live in New Zealand, you may be able to transfer your super to a KiwiSaver account. For more information, read our Transfer your super to New Zealand factsheet (pdf).

Claim your super

There are two ways to claim your super after you leave Australia - with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and with QSuper. It's a good idea to find any other super you might have and check with your employer that they have paid all your super before you make a claim.

Option 1
With the ATO

  1. Submit your claim via the the DASP online application system - the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will then contact us.
  2. If it has been more than 6 months since you left Australia and your money has been transferred to the ATO, use the Application for payment of ATO-held superannuation money.

Option 2
With QSuper

  1. Download our Accumulation Account Departing Temporary Resident Claim form (found in at the back of the Departing Temporary Resident Claim factsheet (pdf))
  2. Provide copies of the documents we ask for (e.g. your passport, expired or cancelled visa, statement from DHA, etc.)
  3. Send your completed form to us by mail (post) or email qsuper@qsuper.qld.gov.au.

Temporary resident frequently asked questions (FAQs) Show all Hide all

If you’ve left Australia permanently, your super is taxed at the following rates:

  • No tax on the tax-free part
  • On the taxable part:
    • 35% tax on money that has already been taxed
    • 45% tax on money that has not been taxed yet.

However, 65% tax applies to both the taxed and untaxed parts if you were on a 417 working holiday visa, 462 work and holiday visa, or a working holiday bridging visa.

We charge your tax and send it to the ATO before we send your super to you.

When you receive your super from us, you don’t need to include it in your tax return, because you have already paid tax on it.

We’ll pay your super electronically to your bank account in Australia. We can't pay your super to an overseas bank account.

When you send us your claim form and other documents, we do our best to pay your super within 7 working days.

If you've left Australia recently, we have to wait until your employer sends us your final super contribution. Once we have the final contribution, we can pay your super.

If you don't claim your super within 6 months after leaving Australia, we have to transfer your super to the ATO. They will hold your super for you until you contact them to claim it.