Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790)

Sunday 5 November 2023


The Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (Subclass 790) is a temporary visa category in Australia that offers individuals who arrived without a visa and seek asylum the opportunity to live, work, and study in Australia for up to five years. This comprehensive guide aims to provide a detailed overview of the visa application process, requirements, and important information for visa holders.

Application Process

To apply for the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa, individuals must meet specific criteria and submit their application through the Australian Department of Home Affairs. The application process involves attending an interview with a Department officer, where applicants must provide accurate and complete information to support their claims for protection. It is crucial to provide all necessary documents and evidence to avoid credibility issues or potential rejection.

Identity Requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their identity, nationality, and citizenship or country of residence. This includes documents such as passports, birth certificates, national identity cards, and driver's licenses. Any name changes, such as marriage or divorce, must be supported by relevant documents.

Claims for Protection

Applicants are required to provide detailed information about their claims for protection, including the country they seek protection from, reasons for leaving, inability to return, harm experienced, and fear of future harm. It is essential to provide supporting documentation and evidence wherever possible to strengthen the claims.

Character and Security Requirements

Meeting the character requirements is crucial for visa approval. Applicants must provide police certificates from countries they have lived in for 12 months or more since turning 16 years old. Military service records or discharge papers are also required if applicable. The Australian Department of Home Affairs conducts security checks to ensure applicants meet the security requirements.

Health Requirements

Health examinations are mandatory for Safe Haven Enterprise Visa applicants. These examinations aim to protect the health of both the applicant and the Australian community. Applicants will receive a health identifier (HAP ID) and instructions on how to arrange the examinations through Bupa Medical Visa Services.

Australian Values Statement

Applicants aged 18 years or older must sign the Australian Values Statement, confirming their commitment to respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. This statement signifies an understanding of the values upheld by Australian society.

Benefits and Conditions

Once granted a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa, individuals can stay in Australia temporarily for up to five years. They have the right to work, study, and access government services. The visa also provides access to short-term counseling for torture and trauma, free English language classes (if eligible), and the opportunity to travel overseas with written approval from the Department due to compassionate or compelling circumstances.

SHEV Pathway Requirements

Engaging Australia's protection obligations is a vital aspect of the SHEV pathway. Applicants must meet all other visa requirements, such as health, character, identity, and security. They are also required to sign a declaration on the application form, stating their intention to work or study in regional Australia.

Review Rights and Fast Track Assessment Process

Under the Fast Track Assessment process, applicants may not have access to merits review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) unless their SHEV is refused on character grounds. The Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) reviews applications that do not engage Australia's protection obligations. Applicants who are excluded from fast track review may have limited review options.


The Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (Subclass 790) offers temporary protection for individuals who arrived in Australia without a visa and seek asylum. By understanding the application process, meeting the eligibility criteria, and providing accurate and complete information, applicants can increase their chances of obtaining a SHEV. This visa provides various benefits and opportunities for individuals to work, study, and access essential services while they await a more permanent resolution of their status.

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