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Humanitarian Visas Options For Boat Arrivals

If you arrived in Australia by boat, you are not able to lodge an application for a Permanent Protection Visa, but you may be able to lodge an application for either a:

1. Temporary Protection Visa (Subclass 785) (TPV); or

2. Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (Subclass 790) (SHEV)

TEMPORARY PROTECTION VISA

Background

The TPV is a temporary visa that may allow you to stay in Australia legally for up to three years, during which time you can work and study in Australia, will have access to Medicare and Centrelink, as well as having free access to certain English language classes and public education for any children included in your application.

Who can get this visa?

To be granted a TPV, you must engage Australia’s protection obligations. For more information in this regard, please see the definition of a refugee and description of complementary protection under the Protection Visa tab.

You must also meet other requirements, such as health, security, and character checks.

Is there a pathway to permanent residence?

The TPV does not provide you with a pathway to permanent residency. If you are granted a TPV, you can make further applications for other TPV’s in the future, though you will have to continue to engage Australia’s protection obligations at the time of any future application for a TPV. This generally becomes more difficult as time progresses and you are away from your home country.

SAFE HAVEN ENTERPRISE VISA

Background

The SHEV is a temporary visa that may allow you to stay in Australia legally for up to five years, during which time you can work and study in Australia, will have access to Medicare and Centrelink, as well as having free access to certain English language classes and public education for any children included in your application. 

Who can get this visa?

To be granted a SHEV, you must engage Australia’s protection obligations. For more information in this regard, please see the definition of a refugee and description of complementary protection under the Protection Visa tab.

You must also meet other requirements, such as health, security, and character checks.

Is there a pathway to permanent residence?

Unlike the TPV, there is a pathway to permanent residence for holders of the SHEV. You may be eligible for a skilled migrant visa or certain family visas if for at least three and half years (42 weeks) of you holding your TPV:

1. you have been employed in regional Australia and have not received special benefit payments from Centrelink; or

2. you have been enrolled in and physically attended full-time study in regional Australia; or

3. a combination of the above.

Both you and your family members included in your SHEV must meet these requirements to be eligible for permanent residency.

Work

To meet the work criteria of the SHEV pathway to permanent residence, the work you do in regional Australia must be lawful, paid work.  Your employment basis is flexible – it can be full-time, part-time, casual or temporary.

The government will not find a job for you in regional Australia – this is your responsibility.

Please note that any work you do whilst receiving the special benefit payment will not be counted towards the three and a half year requirement.

You should also consult a migration agent or lawyer to discuss what sort of work you should do and what sort of courses you should study to give you the best prospects of securing permanent residency in the future.

Study

To meet the study criteria of the SHEV pathway to permanent residence, you need to physically attend full-time study that is:

1. accredited by the Australian Qualifications Framework, including a maximum of one course leading to a Certificate 1; and

2. at the campus of an education provider located in a regional area included in the SHEV arrangements or at a primary school, high school or college in regional Australia for a minimum of 161 weeks.

Participating in Adult Migrant English Programme courses that meet these criteria (Certificate I, II & III courses only) will count towards the 3.5 year requirement.

Social security benefits

You can access many other benefits which will not affect the work criteria when applying for permanent residence. We can inform you of what benefits you are eligible as a SHEV holder.

Contact Us

Our experienced immigration lawyers have handled many temporary humanitarian visa applications for people who came to Australia by boat. We will ensure your application is given the best prospects of success possible in the circumstances.

We offer all our prospective clients an initial meeting, during which we will thoroughly explain the law surrounding these temporary visas to you and get the full details of your case for protection.

To organize a initial consultation with us, please contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers on (02) 9590 3987.