An understanding of the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (Subclass 790)

The Safe Haven Enterprise Visa, also known as the SHEV, is a new temporary protection visa that allows refugees, or people found to meet Australia’s protective obligations under the Protection Application Information and Guides, to work and/or study in SHEV supportive regional Australia for a period of five years. This is only available for immigrants and their family members who have entered Australia illegally (whether by sea or air), who have lodged a valid application onshore in Australia, and are seeking protection from their country of origin.

The applicants must meet the health, security and character requirements (via police checks from any other countries visited in the past 12 months though not the country they seek protection from). Only family members who are in Australia can be included in the application for this visa and they must be included at the time of lodgement, and at least one member of the family must indicate an intention (willingness or commitment) to work and/or study in regional Australia.

The safe haven enterprise visa allows access to a range of services offered by the Australian Government, such as Medicare, social security benefits (Centrelink), assistance with job searches. Education opportunities are available for any children, while adult visa holders can learn under the Adult Migrant English Programme, and short-term counselling will be given for any existing trauma. Those who have applied for and been granted a safe haven enterprise visa will meet the SHEV pathway requirements if, for three and a half years of the full five years of the SHEV, they have been employed in regional Australia without receiving special benefits payments and/or are studying full time in regional Australia.

Once the pathway requirements are met, applicants are eligible for different temporary or permanent onshore visas, but not a permanent Protection Visa, and applicants must then meet the further visa requirements. If an applicant applies for a skilled or family visa after meeting the safe haven enterprise visa pathway requirements, they will no longer be under Australia’s protection obligation. Additionally, if one does not fulfil the SHEV pathway conditions, they may only apply for another SHEV or a three year Temporary Protection Visa. However, other family members cannot be sponsored to come into Australia once the further visas are approved.

Applicants must be aware that they must have sufficient available funds to pay the visa application charge otherwise their applications will be invalid. They must also note that they cannot leave Australia without approval from the Department of Border Protection, and they cannot travel to the country they seek asylum from. If these conditions are breached, the safe haven enterprise visa will be cancelled. Travel outside Australia will need to be granted if there are any compassionate or compelling circumstances to substantiate the decision.

To find out more information on the steps required to acquire the safe haven enterprise visa, potential applicants may contact us by phone at: 1300 CORNERSTONE or email: info@cornerstonelawoffices.com.au, as our services are geared towards managing visa applications and any health and verification requirements foreign applicants may need to undertake, thus easing any sense of apprehension the applicants may face.

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