I'm non-native speaker and I live in Australia. When I filled out the form of a driving license, the officer made me fill sallow in the blank. I didn't know the meaning of sallow at that time, I did. Sallow means unhealthy, yellowish. I'm asian. Does it include racism? Or can be used often as describe complexion?
In Ireland, we use it as a compliment. If you're not white as a sheet (like most of us) and have a slightly darker skin tone / can tan in the sun rather than burn, you might have sallow skin. There are a lot of Irish people in in Australia so maybe he meant it the same way. Hopefully, anyway. I only learnt that it could mean jaundiced but we would just say jaundiced or yellow in that case.
I don't think it was racist or anything.
I did a Google search and found a bunch of death reports from The South Australian Government Gazette, Volume 2 (1908). It seems 'sallow complexion' is a common description of many people. One guy named David Stuart jumps out to me because he's a 'Native of Scotland.'
A Google image search of 'sallow complextion' results of lots of white people's photos.
Perhaps you just have a sallow complexion. Reply with a photo of yourself maybe?
It is a coded way of saying that you don't look white enough to tick the
white box. I don't know if Australian driving license forms collect data on race.
It is probably one of those terms invented to conceal or suppress accurate racial statistics.
I have an updated an answer at https://english.stackexchange.com/a/459136/311500 over the origin and meanings of the word sallow.