If you came to Australia via boat before 1 January 2014, the Department will soon send you an invitation to apply for a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) or a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV). It is important to understand that you will be required to show that you meet the definition of refugee or meet the complimentary protection criteria again (even if you have been assessed by UNHCR as a refugee in the past). This is why it is very important that you do obtain some legal assistance.
Temporary Protection Visas (TPV)
A TPV visa can be granted for up to 3 years, during which time the applicant can work, access Australia’s Medicare system, access Centrelink benefits, short term counselling and children less than 18 years of age can attend school. Once this visa expires, the applicant may apply for another TPV or SHEV visa.
Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV)
A Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) may be granted for up to five years, and applicants can access the same benefits as the TPV. In addition to these benefits, applicants over the age of 18 can attend the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). Once this visa expires, the applicant may apply for another TPV or SHEV visa. If you have met certain requirements through a work, study or benefits test, you may apply for another Australian visa. You may be eligible to apply for another Australian visa if, for 42 months – or 3.5 years, have either:
- Been employed in regional Australia and not receiving welfare payments;
- Been enrolled in full time study in regional Australia; or
- A combination of these.
It is important for applicants to note that neither the TPV nor the SHEV visas will grant the applicant Australian citizenship, nor will the applicant be able to travel outside of Australia and then return unless authorised by the Minister for Immigration.
If you have any questions regarding TPV or SHEV visas, or if you believe you match the criteria, please get in contact with our Registered Migration Agent Deva Menon who may be able to assist you.