Resident Return Visas (subclasses 155 and 157)

A permanent visa allows you to have residency in Australia indefinitely. However, permanent visas are only granted with a 5-year travel facility. So what happens if you need to go overseas (and more importantly, return to Australia) after you travel facility has expired?

Essentially your options are:

  • Apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV)
  • Apply for Australian Citizenship

Applying for the RRV will allow you to maintain or regain your Australian permanent resident status. You can apply for this visa if you fall into one of the following circumstances:

  • You have resided in Australia as a Permanent Resident;
  • You were previously an Australian Permanent Resident but no longer reside in Australia; or
  • You have renounced, given up, or lost your Australian citizenship in certain circumstances.

You will need to provide evidence that you have substantial cultural, employment, business, or personal ties with Australia.

You can be granted the maximum travel facility of five years, as long as you have resided in Australia for at least two years in the last five years as a Permanent Resident.

If you do not meet this residence requirement you will be granted a travel facility for up to 12 months only.

If you have been absent for more than five years, you may still be eligible to apply for a Resident Return Visa provided you can prove that you have substantial ties with Australia. You must also demonstrate that there was a compelling and compassionate reason for your absence in Australia.

The processing time for a decision for Resident Return Visas is 5-8 days. RRVs cost from $365.

Close Ties of Benefit to Australia

What counts as ‘ties’ to Australia? Generally this would include:

  • Close family members in Australia
  • A job offer or ownership of a business in Australia
  • Evidence that you have established residence here – for instance leased accommodation, enrolled children in school or moved the bulk of your assets to Australia