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To get a permanent visa, a person holding a SHEV (or one of their family members) also need to meet other conditions (called the ‘SHEV pathway requirements’). The main requirements are that, for 42 months (3½ years) of the five-year period, they must have:

  • worked in a ‘regional area’ without receiving social security assistance, or
  • been enrolled in full time study in a designated regional area, or
  • been involved in a combination of the above.

Only one member of a family holding SHEV needs to meet these requirements. For example, if a person with a SHEV has a child under 18, they may attend a local school for 3½ years, and then the family are considered to have met the ‘pathway requirements’.

Even if you meet the SHEV pathway requirements, this does not mean you will automatically receive a permanent visa. It will only mean you can apply for other visas (some of them are permanent) and have to meet the requirements of those visas.

What kinds of visas can I apply for if I meet the SHEV pathway requirements?

This information is provided by the Law Institute of Victoria, a legal organisation in Victoria. It was published in 2017.

How do I record my work or study?

Recently, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has created form 1465 for SHEV holders in regional areas who work or study, to record their work and/or study for SHEV pathway requirements.

If I meet the SHEV pathway requirements, when could I apply for another visa?

You can apply for another visa if you have worked or studied for the time you need to on a SHEV (42 months). You do not have to wait until the end of the SHEV before applying.

Can I get married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident?

You can get married in Australia. However, to stay in Australia permanently, you have to get a permanent Partner visa.

If you hold a SHEV, and you meet the regional work or study requirements (SHEV pathway requirements), then you can apply for a Partner visa. If you do not meet the requirements, or you do not hold a SHEV, and you arrived in Australia by boat, then it is likely that you would not be able to apply for a Partner visa.