A permanent visa holder in Australia is usually permitted a 5-years travel facility on the visa. Accordingly, the visa holders are free to travel from and to Australia as many times during this period, starting from the date of grant of the permanent visa until the expiry of the visa. After the 5-years period, the travel facility expires and the visa holder needs to apply for and be granted either a Resident Return visa or Australian citizenship to re-enter Australia.
Resident Return visas, Subclass 155 and Subclass 157, allow a permanent visa holder to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident after the expiry of the travel validity.
Eligibility for Resident Return visas
- Be Australian Permanent resident, or former Australian permanent resident, or former Australian citizen
- Meet the residence or substantial ties requirements
- Not hold an Authority to Return or Return Endorsement (as issued prior to 31 December 1986)
- Meet the character requirements
- Not have a cancellation action on business grounds for a business skills visa
- Not have had a visa cancellation or a previous application refusal
There are no age requirements to apply for Resident Return visas. Further, there is no cap on the number of Resident Return visas a visa holder can apply for.
Validity of Resident Return visas
Where the applicant:
- Has lived in Australia for 2 years (730 days) in the last 5 years, usually gets a 5-year travel validity;
- Has not lived in Australia for 2 years in the last 5 years but demonstrates substantial ties that benefit Australia, usually gets a maximum of 12-months travel validity;
- Meets the requirements for being a dependent family member, usually gets a maximum of 12-months travel validity;
- Has compelling and compassionate reasons for departure, usually gets a 3-months travel validity.
It is important to know that if you leave Australia after your travel validity expires, or it expires when you are outside Australia, you will not be able to return to Australia as a permanent resident. Thus, it is highly recommended that you keep a track of your travel facility expiration and promptly apply for a Resident Return visa before the travel expiry in order to avoid any delays in your plan.
Each applicant has to apply for this visa separately and you cannot include family members in one application. However, if you declare your family members in your application, your applications can be processed together.
If you want to know more about these visas or are seeking any migration assistance, Contact Us or call us on (02) 4626 100 to speak to one of our Registered Migration Agents in Sydney to discuss your situation.