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NDIS Eligibility for Non Citizens and Residents


Updated 04-01-2024

NDIS Eligibility for Non Citizens and Residents

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) represents a significant advancement in disability support within Australia, offering a lifeline for many individuals living with a disability. However, understanding the eligibility criteria, particularly for non-citizens and residents, can seem daunting. Delving into the specifics of NDIS eligibility will provide clarity for those navigating this vital support system.

Who is Eligible for NDIS?

Eligibility for the NDIS revolves around several key factors:

  1. Age: Applicants must be under 65 years at the time of joining.
  2. Residence: Participants need to live in Australia and hold a visa that allows them to access the scheme.
  3. Disability: Individuals must have a permanent and significant disability impacting their daily life.

For Australian citizens, permanent residents, and certain categories of visa holders with Protected Special Category Visas, this is, for the most part, straightforward. Yet, non-citizens residing in Australia must navigate additional complexities.

Non-citizens who reside in Australia and wish to apply for the NDIS should first verify their visa status. It’s important to note that not all visa types are eligible for the NDIS. The visa types that generally meet the NDIS rules include:

  • Permanent Visas
  • Protected Special Category Visa (subclass 444)
  • Certain temporary visa types that include services for Australian residents under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013

If residing on a visa not covered by the guidelines, unfortunately, you will not be eligible for the NDIS. This exclusion stands even if all other criteria such as age and the nature of the disability are met.

The Role of Disability in NDIS Eligibility

Disability plays a crucial role in determining eligibility. The impairment must be permanent, meaning it is likely to be lifelong. Critically, it must also be significant, affecting one’s ability to participate effectively in social or economic activities without the support of others or the use of assistive technology.

Evidence of Disability

Applicants must provide evidence of their disability, which includes diagnoses from qualified medical professionals. The evidence must detail:

  • How the disability affects everyday life
  • The permanency of the condition
  • Any treatments or interventions the applicant has undergone

The Requirement for an Early Intervention

In some cases, where a disability is not permanent, potential participants may qualify through the early intervention requirements. Early intervention supports aim to:

  • Alleviate the effects of the disability
  • Prevent the condition from getting worse
  • Strengthen the participant’s functional capacity

It is crucial for non-citizens to compile comprehensive and robust documentation to support their application and meet the stringent evidence requirements of the NDIS.

Applying for the NDIS

To start the process, non-citizens should complete an Access Request Form. This form should be submitted along with the necessary evidence of disability and proof of residency status.

It’s wise to seek guidance when completing the form to ensure all information is accurately presented, increasing the chances of a successful application.

The Planning Meeting

Once eligibility is established, the next step is the planning meeting. Here, goals and aspirations are discussed, and a plan is tailored to the participant’s needs. Support services can range from personal care to community engagement activities.

Non-citizens may face additional hurdles such as cultural and language differences. The NDIS provides access to interpreters and has processes in place to ensure that supports are culturally appropriate.


For non-citizens and residents, the journey to NDIS support can be more complex due to residency requirements and the need for extensive documentation. However, understanding your rights, the specific visa stipulations, and the intricacies of the disability requirements can make the path to accessing support smoother.

The NDIS has opened doors for many people with disabilities in Australia, offering them the opportunity to lead fuller, more independent lives. For non-citizens, it embodies the promise of inclusion and assistance – the right support is a possibility, provided the eligibility requirements are met with diligence and care.

About the Author

Alex is an esteemed expert in assistive technology and disability support services, he holds a unique blend of professional expertise and personal dedication to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. With over a decade of experience in research and development, Alex has been at the forefront of integrating cutting-edge assistive technologies into practical support solutions. Renowned for his empathetic approach and strong advocacy for disability rights, Alex’s work extends beyond academic research to hands-on involvement in community initiatives and policy advisory roles. A prolific writer, his articles are widely acclaimed for their insightful analysis, clear communication, and commitment to ethical considerations in technology use.

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