Regional Australia

Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) holders might be able to apply for certain other visas in Australia if for at least three and a half years while holding a SHEV, they have been:

  • employed in regional Australia and not receiving Special Benefit payments, or
  • enrolled in full-time study in regional Australia, or
  • a combination of the above.

You can check which areas are currently considered part of regional Australia for the SHEV arrangements.

You can download a list of postcodes participating in SHEV arrangements (92 KB PDF). The postcodes might change, so we recommend that you check regularly.

New South Wales joined the SHEV arrangements on 1 July 2015, with the exception of postcodes 2320, 2321, 2322, 2323 and 2415 which commenced on 27 October 2016. Tasmania joined  the SHEV arrangements on 10 October 2015. The Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory joined the SHEV arrangements on 27 October 2016.

Only work and/or study undertaken by SHEV holders in regional Australia after that area commenced SHEV arrangements will count towards meeting the SHEV pathway requirements.

If you begin working and/or studying in a regional area, but that postcode is later removed from the SHEV arrangements, you can continue to work and study there. Work and/or study you complete in the area will still count towards you meeting the SHEV pathway requirements.

State and territory government information

For more information about services, support and opportunities for SHEV holders in regional Australia for the following participating state or territory, visit:

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Do I have to move to regional Australia if I am granted a SHEV?

As a SHEV holder, you can live, work or study anywhere in Australia you choose. There are no penalties if you choose to remain living, working or studying in an area not included in the SHEV arrangements. However, if you do work and/or study in an area that is part of regional Australia under the SHEV arrangements, as a SHEV holder that work and/or study could count towards meeting the SHEV pathway requirements.

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If the area I'm working/studying in becomes a SHEV regional area, does my previous work/study count towards the SHEV pathway requirements?

No. Only work and/or study undertaken after an area joins the SHEV arrangements will count towards meeting the SHEV pathway requirements.

If you begin working and/or studying in a regional area, but that area is later removed from the SHEV arrangements, you can continue to work and study there and have it count towards meeting the SHEV pathway requirements.

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Will I breach my visa conditions or will my SHEV be cancelled if I do not work or study in a SHEV regional area?

No. You can live, work or study anywhere in Australia you choose. Living, working and studying in regional Australia is not a condition of the SHEV.  If you do not live, work or study in regional Australia, this will not be a breach of your visa conditions and will not lead to your SHEV being cancelled. There are no penalties if a SHEV holder chooses to remain in an area not included in the SHEV arrangements.

However, if you do not work and/or study in regional Australia, you will not be able to meet the SHEV pathway requirements.

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I don't want to move. Should I wait until the state or territory that I live in commences SHEV arrangements before applying for a SHEV?

No. You should not delay applying for a TPV or a SHEV. If you are granted a SHEV, you can continue living in your state or territory, even if that state or territory has not yet commenced SHEV arrangements.

The areas of Australian states and territories that are considered part of regional Australia for the SHEV arrangements are listed on the regional Australia page.

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Is it more difficult to meet the criteria for a SHEV than for a TPV?

No. The requirements to be granted a SHEV are almost the same as the requirements for a TPV. The SHEV and the TPV are for people who engage Australia’s protection obligations and meet all other visa requirements, such as health, security and character.

A TPV will allow the holder to stay in Australia for up to three years and does not provide a pathway to certain other visas in Australia, such as skilled or family visas. A SHEV will allow the holder to stay in Australia for five years, requires the applicant to indicate an intention to work without accessing Special Benefit payments and/or study in regional Australia, and might provide a pathway to certain other visas in Australia such as skilled or family visas.