Refugee and SHEV Visa

What are Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs)?

The Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) is the other category of visa available to asylum seekers who arrived in Australia without a valid visa. The Abbott Government announced the creation of SHEVs in September 2014. An applicant for a SHEV must be found to be in need of Australia’s protection, and must intend to work or study in regional Australia.

TPV holders have the opportunity to transition to a five-year SHEV if they agree to move to a regional area (defined in the Regulations), and engage in study at an approved institution (defined in the Regulations), or undertake work that means they are not reliant on income support for more than 18 months in the five-year period. There are concerns that SHEVs may not be a viable option for refugees with physical or mental disabilities, or who are unable to work, such as young adults or those who arrived in Australia as unaccompanied minors. Regional farming groups have also noted that seasonal farm work may not necessarily guarantee employment for SHEV holders.