Temporary protection visa - frequently asked questions

I am an illegal maritime arrival.  Can I apply for protection in Australia?

If you are an illegal maritime arrival (IMA) and did not apply for an initial Temporary Protection visa (TPV) or a Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) before 1 October 2017, you cannot apply for a TPV or a SHEV.   

I lodged my application for a TPV before 1 October 2017. What can I do while my application is being processed?

It is important for you to keep your contact details current with us. This includes the address where you live and your phone number so we can contact you with important information about your immigration status. Remember, this is also a condition of holding a bridging visa and being able to live in the community.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 - Change of address and/or passport details (86KB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 - Notification of changes in circumstances (77KB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

If you have lodged your application online, you can update your details in ImmiAccount. 

Read the information on "Tell us of changes" tab.

How will my visa application be processed?

Your Temporary Protection visa application will be assessed under the Fast Track Assessment process if you:

  • arrived on or after 13 August 2012 and before 1 January 2014
  • have never been taken to a Regional Processing Centre
  • lodge a visa application on or after 18 April 2015.

The Minister could also determine what other groups of people will be processed under the Fast Track Assessment process. We will tell you if you are a fast track applicant.

I have already been granted a TPV or SHEV. When do I apply for a subsequent one?

If you are granted a TPV or SHEV, you will need to apply for either another TPV or a SHEV before it expires. 

If you still engage Australia's protection obligations and meet all other requirements, you will be granted another TPV or SHEV.

If you do not apply for a subsequent visa or your application is assessed as no longer engaging Australia's protection obligations, you will be expected to return home.

What do I have to do to lodge a subsequent TPV application?

If you hold, or have ever held, a TPV or SHEV you can apply for a subsequent TPV or SHEV.

More information on how to lodge a subsequent TPV or SHEV application is available on Applying for a subsequent protection visa.

What support arrangements are available to TPV holders?

TPV holders can work, get assistance with finding a job access Medicare, and receive social security benefits (Centrelink). They can also access short-term counselling for torture and trauma if they need, or other support services offered by the Department of Social Services.

Adult TPV holders have access to 510 hours of education and training through the Adult Migrant English Programme (AMEP).

TPV holders have permission to work and can access jobactive, a network of organisations funded by the Australian Government to provide employment services to job seekers and employers.

TPV holders unable to find work will also be eligible for Special Benefit. Any work done by a SHEV holder while accessing Special Benefit, including Special Benefit ancillary payments, will not count towards meeting the SHEV pathway requirements.

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

No. The requirements to be granted a SHEV are the same as the requirements for a TPV, with the exception that requires a SHEV applicant to indicate an intention to work without accessing Special Benefit payments and/or study in regional Australia. 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 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.