Subclass 155 / 157:
Resident Return Visa
When a permanent visa is granted, the travel right is attached to the permanent residency which entitles the holder to travel to and from Australia for a certain duration. After the expiry, you will not be able to return to Australia as a permanent resident. If you wish to return to Australia as a permanent resident, you must apply for and be granted a Resident Return visa before arranging travel to Australia. If you are in Australia at the time when the travel right expires, you do not need to apply for this visa unless you wish to travel out of Australia.
A small number of people who were granted permanent visas prior to the 1960’s may have permanent travel facilities attached to their visas. As this is extremely rare, it is vital that you ensure you have a valid right to return to Australia after your overseas travel.
Valid applications for resident return visas can only be made by:
Former citizens; or
Former permanent residents.
Relevant Circumstances for Validity Period
Depending on the circumstances, travel validity may vary from 3 months up to 5 years. After this period of validity, you will need another Resident Return visa (subclasses 155 and 157) to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident. Alternatively, you may consider your eligibility for an Australian Citizenship so you can travel on an Australian passport.
If you return to Australia without a permanent visa and a valid travel facility, this may potentially impact your:
Entitlements as a permanent resident; or
Ability to satisfy the permanent residence requirements when applying for Australian citizenship or another Resident Return visa.
5 years - Satisfying Residence Requirement
If you have lived in Australia for 2 years, that is 730 days, in the last 5 years as a permanent resident, former citizen or former permanent resident, you satisfy what is known as the residence requirement and might be given a 5 year travel validity on your visa. The period during which you have resided in Australia on any temporary or bridging visa does not usually count.
Maximum 1 year - Not Satisfying Residence Requirement but Substantial Ties
If you have not lived in Australia for 2 years in the last 5 years as a permanent resident or former citizen or former permanent resident, you may still be allowed a travel facility up to 1 year at most. You will need to demonstrate ties that are cultural, personal, business or employment related. In the process, the Department may consider whether:
You have been continually absent from Australia for the last 5 years; and
You either hold a permanent visa, held a permanent visa when you last left Australia, or were an Australian citizen when you last left; and
You were a citizen or permanent resident within the last 10 years and you have not been absent for more than 5 years in total.
If you establish substantial ties only because you are family with a person who holds a Resident Return visa, you may only be given a maximum of 12 months travel validity on your visa. Members of your family unit can be your:
De facto partner;
Dependent children or stepchildren; or
Dependent children of your dependent children or stepchildren.
Cancellation of Permanent Residency
If you have had your permanent residency visa cancelled or have received notice that the Department intends to cancel, you will not be able to apply for a Resident Return visa. It is not possible to use a Resident Return visa in order to try and avoid cancellation of your permanent residency. If your visa was cancelled but it has been set aside on appeal, you will be able to apply for this visa.
Relevant Public Interest Criteria:
Relevant Special Return Criteria:
There are no conditions for this visa subclass.