Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV): This protection visa is for people who arrived in Australia without a visa and want to seek asylum. As a SHEV holder, you can live, work or study anywhere in Australia. There are no penalties if you chose not to live, work or study in a SHEV regional area. If you do not work or study in a SHEV regional area, you will still be able to apply for another SHEV or a Temporary Protection visa if you need Australia’s protection.
If you have entered Australia without a valid visa or were not immigration cleared on arrival, you may be eligible.
With this visa you can:
- Live, work and study in Australia temporarily for 5 years
- Access government services such as JobAcitve, Medicare and Centrelink services
- Access short-term counselling for torture and trauma when required
- Attend 510 hours of English language classes for free – Adult Migration English Program (AMEP) (cap of 510 hours will be removed in July 2023)
- Travel overseas to countries other than your home country (if obtained a written approval to travel due to compassionate or compelling circumstances)
- Apply for certain other visas in Australia, including permanent visas such as skilled and family visas (but not a permanent Protection visa (subclass 866)) if you meet the Safe Haven Enterprise visa pathway requirements
Length of Stay
Temporarily, you can stay in Australia for 5 years.
You must be in Australia when you lodge your application and when a decision is made for your visa.
Department of Home Affairs (DHA) aims to finalise SHEV applications as quickly as possible. Since this is a complex process, it will take some time for the DHA to finalise your application.
Fast Track Assessment Process
The Fast Track Assessment process makes the visa application process for those seeking protection in Australia more efficient and effective. If DHA have questions or concerns about your protection claims or other information from you, they will give you an opportunity to respond in writing or at interview. You will have limited time to give them new information or to respond to adverse information before they decide on your application.
DHA will assess your application under the Fast Track Assessment process if you:
- Are an unauthorised maritime arrival
- Entered Australia on or after 13 August 2012 and before 01 January 2014
- Have never been taken to a regional processing country
DHA will also assess all subsequent Temporary Protection visa and SHEV applications made on or after 02 April 2019 under the Fast Track Assessment process.
The Minister may also decide to assess other applicants under the Fast Track Assessment process.
Who could get this visa
To get this visa, you must:
- Be unable to make a valid application for a permanent Protection visa (subclass 866) and
- Be an unauthorised maritime arrival or
- Have not been immigration cleared at Australia’s border when you last entered Australia or
- Have entered Australia without a valid visa or
- Hold or held one of the following visas:
– Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785)
– Temporary Safe Haven visa (subclass 449)
– Temporary (Humanitarian Concern) visa (subclass 786) or
– Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790)
You may be asked to provide biometrics (a scan of your fingerprints and digital photograph of your face) as part of your application if you have not provided to the DHA before. DHA will use the information collected about your identity when assessing your claims for protection and completing character and security checks.
As part of the application process, DHA will assess whether you meet Australia’s security requirements for the grant of a SHEV.
You must meet certain health requirements. The results are usually valid for 12 months.
All applicants older than 16 years of age must meet certain character requirements. They must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country they have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after they turned 16 years of age.
Australian Values Statement
All applicants older than 18 years of age, you must:
- Have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia booklet and
- Confirm you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws when you sign or accept the Australian Values Statement
Including Family Members
Members of the same family unit may apply together on the same application. They must be in Australia at the time of application and be eligible to apply for this visa.
Members of the same family unit are:
- Spouse or de facto partner of the family head
- Dependent child or step-child of the family head
- Dependent child or step-child of the family head’s partner
- Other dependent relatives of the family head
*The family had can be you or someone else in your family who has not applied for this visa.
A dependent child is a child or step-child who is under 18 years old. A dependent child can be 18yeras old or older if they are:
- Incapacitated for work due to loss of their bodily or mental functions; or
- Wholly or substantially reliant on their parent or step-parent for financial, psychological or physical support
*A child or step-child of any age is not considered to be a dependent child if they are currently married, engaged to be married in a de facto relationship.
Other dependent relatives may include relatives such as the family head’s:
- Niece/Nephew or
- Step equivalent to any of the above
*A relative will be considered a dependent relative of the family head if they do not have a spouse or de facto partner. Relative who usually lives with the family head and are wholly or substantially reliant on the family head for financial, psychological or physical support is considered to be dependent.
If a child is born after you have submitted your application and before the DHA makes a decision on our application, the child will be taken to e included in the application. Once the child is born, you must report to the DHA as soon as possible by:
- Completing Form 1022 – Notification of Change of Circumstances
- Providing a clear colour copy of the child’s original birth certificate (certification is required if you are planning to send it by post)
- Attaching them in ImmiAccount or sending them by post to the address where you sent your application
*If you child is born in Australia, they are automatically granted the same visas their parents hold at the time of the child’s birth.
If you leave Australia while waiting for your SHEV application to be decided, your bridging visa will expire and you will not be allowed to re-enter Australia.
Once your SHEV has been grant, visa condition of 8570 (restricted travel) will apply to your visa. You cannot travel to your home country, under any circumstances and you can only enter any other country if you have compassionate or compelling reasons for travel. You will be given a written approval to travel before you leave Australia.
If you travel overseas without the DHA’s written approval, you will breach visa condition 8570 and you may have your visa cancelled (and the visas of members of your family unit) while you are offshore.
Barred from lodging a SHEV application
You may not be able to make a valid SHEV application if you:
- Are an authorised maritime arrival or
- Were immigration cleared when you arrived in Australia or
- Have been refused a protection visa since your last arrival to Australia or
- Have had a protection visa cancelled since your last arrival to Australia or
- Are a national of two or more countries or
- Have protection in a prescribed safe third country or
- Hold or held a Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) (subclass 449) since last entering Australia or
- Are a transitory person
*The Minister has the power to lift any application bar if it is determined to be in the public interest and may have already lifted any relevant application bar(s) in your case.
If you have applied your application under the Fast Track Assessment process, you will not have access to merits review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), unless DHA refuse your SHEV on character grounds.
If you do not engage Australia’s protection obligations, you could get a limited form of merits review by the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA). DHA will automatically refer your case to the IAA, unless you are an excluded fast track review applicant.
The IAA will only consider information that was available to the DHA when they made the decision to refuse your application. You will only be able to give new information to the IAA in exceptional circumstances.
When you receive your SHEV refusal letter, the letter will inform you of any merits review rights you may have. Your refusal letter will mention:
- If the DHA have referred your case to the IAA directly or
- How long you have to apply for review at the AAT or
- That you are ineligible for merits review because you are an excluded fast track review applicant
Excluded Track Review Applicants
You will be considered as an excluded fast track review applicant if you:
- Have access to a safe third country where you can seek protection or are a national of two or more countries
- Entered Australia before and while in Australia applied for a protection visa and that application was either refused or withdrawn
- Were refused protection in another country, including with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- Made ‘manifestly unfounded’ claims for protection (that is, your claims have no substance)
- Provided DHA a bogus documents as part of your protection visa application and do not have a reasonable explanation for doing so
If you have been excluded, DHA will inform you if you fit in one of the above categories. They will give you an opportunity to comment and give us more information before they reach a decision that you are an excluded fast track review applicant.