Temporary Protection Visas, Other Temporary Humanitarian Visas & Return Pending Visas

Temporary protection (subclass 785)

On 9 August 2008 the subclass 785 TPV (class XA and XC) was abolished. This meant that all initial applicants for a temporary protection visa who were found to be eligible for Australia's protection obligations received a permanent protection visa.

Certain Temporary Humanitarian Visas (THVs) granted to people outside Australia were also abolished on that date. These visas were Secondary Movement Relocation (Temporary) (subclass 451) and Secondary Movement Offshore Entry (Temporary) (subclass 447) visas.

Current and former TPV and THV holders still in Australia on 9 August 2008 had access to a permanent visa with the same benefits and entitlements of the permanent protection visa. This visa is called the Resolution of Status (Permanent) (Class CD) (subclass 851) visa. Only health, character and security requirements needed to be met for this visa, and there was no reassessment of protection claims required.

On 18 October 2013, the TPV 785 (XA) was reintroduced. However, the instrument to reintroduce this visa was disallowed and the visa was repealed on 2 December 2013.

TPV 785 (XA) visas issued between October 2013 and December 2013 remain valid until they expire or the holder is granted another visa.

The TPV 785 (XD) was reintroduced on 16 December 2014 and is currently in effect.

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.2 Visa subclasses & payment eligibility for visas issued after 1/9/94

Safe Haven Enterprise (subclass 790)

The Class XE subclass 790 Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) provides temporary protection to those who are found to engage Australia's protection obligations, while encouraging earning and learning in regional Australia. This visa allows the visa holder to remain in Australia for 5 years and apply for a further SHEV or a TPV.

If the visa holder, for at least 42 months of the 5 years of the SHEV, is:

  • employed in regional Australia and not receiving any social security benefits, or
  • enrolled in full time study in regional Australia, or
  • a combination of the above,

they will be eligible to apply for other onshore visas (apart from a permanent protection visa) if they meet the criteria for those visas.

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.2 Visa subclasses & payment eligibility for visas issued after 1/9/94

Other relevant visas

They are as follows:

  • subclass 786 Temporary Humanitarian Concern,
  • subclass 449 Humanitarian Stay (Temporary), and
  • subclass 851 Resolution of Status (Permanent) (Class CD).

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.2 Visa subclasses & payment eligibility for visas issued after 1/9/94

Access to social security

Holders of TPVs, SHEVs and other humanitarian temporary visas are temporary residents of Australia and are therefore not Australian residents within the meaning of SSAct section 7(2). However, the Minister may sign determinations under SSAct sections 729(2)(f)(v) and 739A(6) whereby holders of TPVs, SHEVs or other humanitarian temporary visas, even though they are not permanent residents, may qualify for SpB and be exempt from the SpB NARWP, immediately on the grant of their respective visas. They may also qualify for family assistance and related payments but do not qualify for any other social security payments.

Last reviewed: 1 July 2015