Resident Return visa RRV Australia - 155 visa

The Resident Return 155 visa allows a current or former Australian permanent resident to apply to renew their permanent residency visa.

.

Generally speaking, once you are granted an Australian permanent residency visa, this visa will allow you to travel in and out of Australia for a period of 5 years from the date of grant. This is referred to as your ‘international travel facility’.

.

This does not mean that you are only allowed to lawfully remain in Australia for 5 years. You are allowed to lawfully remain in Australia indefinitely as a permanent resident as long as you arrive in Australia before your current permanent residency visa expires.
.

Resident Return visa - Requirements Summary

In the last 5 years before the lodgement of your Resident Return Visa application, you have been in Australia as a permanent resident for at least 2 years out of the 5. You must satisfy this requirement to obtain a 155 Resident Return Visa that is valid for 5 years and there are no exemptions to satisfying this requirement

You have been in Australia for at least 1 day in the last 5 years as the holder of a permanent residency visa and you have substantial, business, cultural, employment and/or personal ties to Australia which are of benefit to Australia

OR

Since the grant of your last permanent residency visa, you have been absent from Australia for a period of 5 years or more and there are compelling reasons for your absence and you have substantial, business, cultural, employment and/or personal ties to Australia which are of benefit to Australia

If you are outside of Australia, then you have been in Australia for at least 1 day in the last 5 years as the holder of a permanent residency visa, and you have compelling reasons that caused your last departure from Australia. Also, if you have been outside of Australia for more than three continuous months immediately before lodging your application, then you need to demonstrate compelling reasons for your current/recent absence from Australia.

OR

If you are in Australia and need to travel, then you need to demonstrate compelling and compassionate reasons for having to leave Australia

5 Years Resident Return visa

In order to obtain a 5 year 155 visa, you must live in Australia as a permanent resident for at least 2 years out of the 5 years that precedes the lodgement of your Resident return visa application.

 

Two years is defined as 730 days in total. You do not have to complete two consecutive years of residence in Australia. You can accumulate the required two years over the 5 year period that precedes the lodgement of your application.

 

You can only count the time that you have spent in Australia as a permanent resident or Australian citizen (i.e. you cannot count any time that you held a temporary visa or a bridging visa towards the 2 years). You can count both your date of arrival and departure from Australia, assuming that these dates are different days.

 

You must satisfy the above requirement in order to obtain a 155 Resident Return visa that is valid for 5 years. There are no exemptions that will get you around satisfying this requirement.

 

If you do satisfy this requirement, then you can apply for your Resident Return Visa online. You can lodge your application while you are inside of Australia, or outside of Australia. The process should be pretty straight forward, and the Department should be able to grant the visa within days of lodgement.

 

If you need to find out the number of days that you have been in Australia, then you can request this information from the Department by completing the Request for international movement records form and emailing or posting this form to the Department as per this form’s instructions

Substantial Ties with Australia - 1 year RRV

.

You can show substantial ties by having business, cultural, employment and/or personal ties. The Department’s policy does recognise that the longer that you have been away from Australia, the more difficult it may be for you to establish ‘substantial ties’. The Department’s policy guidelines state: In general, it becomes increasingly difficult to demonstrate substantial ties of benefit over extended periods of absence. This is in part because the longer the period of absence the more difficult it is to continue to maintain ties of sufficient import to be considered ‘substantial’.

.

Generally speaking, if you were in Australia when you lodged your Resident Return visa, and you are settled in Australia on a long term and permanent basis, then your on-going residence and intention to stay in Australia should be sufficient for you to satisfy the requirements for a 1 year visa. Such an application should be straight forward for the Department to assess, as you just need to upload documents to demonstrate your (and your family if applicable) on-going residence and settlement in Australia such as your lease or property ownership certificate, bills/receipts for household expenses, payslips from your work, bank statements etc.

.

If you have an employment opportunity in Australia, then you may be able to establish ‘substantial ties’ on the basis of this. The nature of the work is a relevant consideration (i.e. is it permanent, temporary or contract? Is it full-time, part-time or casual?). The Department’s policy guidelines state that ‘casual work would not normally be considered to be a substantial tie unless the applicant had been living in Australia for a significant period in the last 2 years’.

The Department can consider the following in assessing whether your employment ties are of benefit to Australia:

  1. Whether the role aligns with your qualifications and experience
  2. Whether the role is due to commence immediately
  3. Whether you can demonstrate an intention to stay in Australia on a long term basis which you can demonstrate by providing evidence such as a lease agreement, or enrolling your children in school

The Department may also need to consider the ‘genuineness’ of your claim of employment ties to prevent the forming of fraudulent employment ties in order to apply for a Resident Return visa.

The Department’s policy states that allowing you to live with your family can be considered to be of benefit to Australia if there is evidence that you and your family have imminent plans to live in Australia permanently, such as the following examples:

  1. If your partner is an Australian citizen and you’re living with your partner outside of Australia
  2. If you’re living overseas with your family and your family includes children (or a child) who are under 18 and are Australian citizens, and you provide evidence to show that you have immediate plans to return to Australia
  3. If you are an Australian citizen and your child is an Australian permanent resident and you need to apply for a Resident Return Visa for your child

Other basis for personal ties that are mentioned in the Department’s policy include:

  1. If you have a history of long term residence in Australia prior to the last 5 years, particularly if you have spent your formative years in Australia or has spent a significant amount of time in Australia since first being granted a permanent visa. The longer that you’ve been in Australia since you were granted permanent residency, the more weight is placed on this factor
  2. Personal assets in Australia such as a family home or investment property. However, whether this personal tie is of benefit to Australia is dependent on whether it is occupied, for example, by a close family member or actively being rented
  3. Having family members (e.g. your partner and/or child or children) who are Australian citizens or permanent residents and these family members have substantial residence in Australia

Under the Department’s policy, the applicant needs to ‘have substantial ownership interests in a business and be involved in the management of the business, however they do not need to have physical residence in Australia. This business should be an Australian business or a branch of a business which has connections with Australia’.

When the Department assesses whether your business ties are of benefit to Australia, the Department can consider the following:

  • Your business has led to the creation of employment opportunities in Australia, or for Australian citizens or permanent residents outside of Australia
  • Whether your business generates revenue in or for Australia
  • Size of the business
  • Whether your business enhances links with other countries
  • Whether your business has resulted in the transfer of Australian knowledge and/or technologies offshore and/or evidence of introducing new technologies into Australia.

If you have business ties to Australia (i.e. you have substantial ownership interests in a business), then you should consider the benefits and relationships that your business is delivering to Australia and Australians, and whether you can evidence these benefits and relationships.

The Department’s policy has the following explanation for ‘Cultural ties’:

A substantial cultural tie of benefit to Australia may exist if the applicant’s cultural pursuits are conducted at a professional level or with a degree of public recognition. Some examples of persons who may have substantial cultural ties include, but are not limited to:

  • A person who is accepted as a member of a cultural community within Australia who is actively involved in traditional activities
  • A person involved in the Arts at a professional level
  • Members of religious communities in Australia or
  • Sports persons or professional support staff who are members of Australian sporting associations.

Evidence to support a claim of cultural ties of benefit to Australia may include:

  • Publications
  • Contracts
  • Evidence of membership of cultural associations
  • Newspaper articles
  • Programs from concerts, etc.

As a general observation it is likely that the reasons claimed as cultural ties would be consistent with the basis for the grant of their original permanent visa.

Compelling Reasons for Absence

 

If you have been absent from Australia for a continuous period of 5 years or more since the grant of your last permanent residency visa, then you will need to demonstrate ‘compelling reasons’ for your absence.

 

The Department’s policy guidelines do provide examples in relation to what may constitute ‘compelling reasons’. Examples include severe illness or death of an overseas family member or been caught up in a natural disaster, political uprising or other similar event.

 

Generally speaking, ‘every day’ reasons for not being in Australia such as work or study commitments are generally not considered to be ‘compelling’.

 

Satisfying your case officer that there are ‘compelling reasons’ for your absence can be difficult, and whether your case officer accepts your reasons is discretionary. Hence if you want to retain the right to travel in and out of Australia as a permanent resident, then we would strongly suggest that you try and avoid this situation where you are absent from Australia for a continuous period of 5 years or more since the grant of your permanent residency visa.

Documents Checklist

Documents in a variety of colours. Resident return visa Australia - 155 visa

 

After you pay and lodge your online Resident return 155/157 visa application, you then need to use your Immiaccount to upload relevant documents to your application. The Department’s Immiaccount will accept these file types. The maximum size for each individual file is 5MB. You will need to upload clear scanned copies for all supporting documents. You do not need to provide certified or notarised copies unless the case officer specifically asks for this which is generally rare.

 

Generally speaking, you do not need to provide police clearances (unless you have any character issues such as prior criminal conviction/s).

 

You do not need to complete a health examinations for a Resident return visa application.

 

Depending on your application and circumstances, you will need to upload the following documents to your visa application (and also the visa applications for your family members if applicable):

 

155 visa – 5 years visa

 
  • Passport for visa applicant (generally speaking, you do not need to provide any other documents if you have lived in Australia for at least 2 years in the last 5 years before the lodgement of your Resident return visa application)

 

155 visa – 1 year visa

 
  • Passport for visa applicant
  • Documents demonstrating your substantial ties with Australia, such as:
  • Letter of appointment and/or employment contract
  • Payslips for current work in Australia
  • Tax records for current work in Australia
  • Payslips if assigned to work temporarily overseas by an Australian business entity
  • Australian passports of family members who are living with the visa applicant
  • Marriage certificate if married with Australian citizen spouse
  • Birth certificates for Australian citizen children
  • School/university/other education enrolment evidence for your child or children’s education in Australia
  • Property/assets/land titles etc. demonstrating your asset ownership in Australia
  • Lease or property ownership evidence for current residence in Australia
  • Annual financial reports
  • Business transaction documents such as invoices, receipts etc.
  • Bank statements
  • Contracts with customers
  • Business, superannuation and/or personal records –e.g. payroll tax, PAYG summaries
  • Publications
  • Newspaper articles
  • Programs from concerts, events, exhibitions etc., demonstrating your arts, sports or other cultural contributions to Australia

If you need to demonstrate compelling reasons for your absence from Australia for a period of 5 years or more, then relevant documents for this requirement may include:

 

    • Medical records to demonstrate your need to care for a family member outside of Australia
    • Court and/or legal documents to demonstrate that you have been involved in on-going legal affairs/disputes outside of Australia
    • Demonstrate that you have been living outside of Australia with your Australian citizen partner, and your Australian citizen child or children

157 visa – 3 month visa

 

When you lodge a Resident return visa application, the Department will automatically consider and assess your eligibility for both the 155 and 157 visas, so you do not need to lodge a separate 157 visa application.

 

If you do not have sufficient substantial ties with Australia, you may still be able to apply for the 157 visa because you do notneed to demonstrate substantial ties with Australia for this visa.

 

If you are outside of Australia when you lodged your application, then you must have been in Australia for at least 1 day in the last 5 years as the holder of a permanent residency visa, and you need to have compelling reasons that caused your last departure from Australia. Also, if you have been outside of Australia for more than three continuous months immediately before making the application, then you also need to demonstrate compelling reasons for your current/recent absence.

 

If you are in Australia and need to travel, then you need to demonstrate compelling and compassionate reasons for having to leave Australia.

 

The Department’s policy guidelines do provide examples in relation to what may constitute ‘compelling reasons’. Examples include severe illness or death of an overseas family member or been caught up in a natural disaster, political uprising or other similar event. Generally speaking, ‘every day’ reasons for being away from Australia such as work or study commitments are generally not considered to be ‘compelling’.

 

If you are granted this visa, then it will be valid for a period of 3 months. This is a permanent residency visa, and you will be allowed to remain in Australia indefinitely if you enter Australia before your visa expires.

 

You can enter Australia during this 3 month period, form stronger ties with Australia and then apply for the 1 year 155 visa on the basis of your residence in Australia (and work if applicable).

 

Documents checklist

 

If you are in Australia when you lodge your application, then you need to provide documents demonstrating your compelling reasons for your need to leave Australia. Your supporting documents may include:

    • Attending overseas funeral, wedding or other significant event for family or close friend
    • Temporarily leaving Australia to finalise overseas affairs such as property and assets sales before returning to Australia
    • Assisting family member or friend with medical treatment overseas

If you are outside of Australia when you lodge your application, then  you need to provide documents demonstrating that you have compelling reasons that caused your last departure from Australia. Also, if you have been outside of Australia for more than three continuous months immediately before lodging your application, then you also need to demonstrate compelling reasons for your current/recent absence from Australia as well. Your supporting documents may include:

    • Medical records to demonstrate your need to care for a family member outside of Australia
    • Court and/or legal documents to demonstrate that you have been involved in on-going legal affairs/disputes outside of Australia
    • Demonstrate that you have been living outside of Australia with your Australian citizen partner, and your Australian citizen child or children
Family Members

 

With your first or initial permanent residency visa application, you probably included yourself and all your family members in the same visa application and form.

 

With a Resident Return visa application, each individual is required to lodge his or her own separate visa application, even for children under 18.

 

Each individual applicant and application will be assessed by the Department separately to determine if the applicant satisfies the requirements for the 5 years, 1 year or 3 month visa.

 

You do need to pay separate government lodgement fees for each individual family member and visa application.

 

If you are granted a Resident Return visa, then your partner and your dependant family members can also be granted a Resident Return visa that is valid for a maximum period of 1 year, and the period granted cannot exceed the time remaining on your current Resident Return visa. This is assuming that your family member is a current or former Australian permanent residency visa holder or citizen, and your family member is not eligible for the 5 year 155 visa.

Processing Time (Updated July 2024)

 

The Department’s current processing times are approximately:

 

5 years 155 visa: 1-2 days from the date of lodgement

1 year 155 visa: Approximately 3-6 weeks

 

Please note that the above information is only providing estimated processing time information based on our recent experience, and actual processing times will vary for each individual application. Generally speaking, more complicated applications which may have issues satisfying the relevant legal requirements may take the Department longer to assess and decide.

Peng Cheng - Migration Agent, Sydney

Peng

.

Over 15 years of specialised visa and migration law experience. We have a long history of high approval rates with complex applications and Tribunal appeals.

We can generally guarantee approval for most types of applications. We will refund you our professional fees if your application is refused. Terms & conditions apply.

We are with you all the way, and we will help you prepare the best application possible.

.

Qualifications

Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1172863)

Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – University of Sydney

Bachelor of Economics – University of Sydney

Comments

218 Comments

Steven · July 9, 2024 at 9:32 pm

Hi There, I have a question.
I have been living in Australia for over 30 years and have been a holde of 5 years RRV since.
But due to Covid lockdown, I was locked out from Australia in 2020 – 2021. As the result, I was short by 9 months to retain my 5 years RRV.
Now Australia Government only granted me 1 year RRV.
I tried to contact IMMI about this , but looks like they only accepted form based application and I can’t find anyway to request for review.
What would be my options here ? Any guidance / advised would be much appreciated.
Many thanks

    My Access Australia · July 10, 2024 at 8:10 am

    Hi Steven,
    As per above post:
    In the last 5 years that precedes the lodgement of your Resident Return Visa application, you have been in Australia as a permanent resident for at least 2 years out of the 5. You must satisfy this requirement to obtain a 155 Resident Return Visa that is valid for 5 years and there are no exemptions to satisfying this requirement

Joyce · July 9, 2024 at 4:38 pm

We are permanent resident under skill migration and while I can qualify for RRV of 5 years travel faciity but my husband are not able to due to working overseas. I understand that he may get a 1yr travel facility but how can he ever able to get back to a 5 year travel facility again after the 1 yr expired?

if he continue to renew after the 1 yr facility expires, does it mean that he needs to stay for another 2 years then he can reapply for the 5 years again?

appreciate your advice

    My Access Australia · July 10, 2024 at 8:09 am

    As per above post:
    In the last 5 years that precedes the lodgement of your Resident Return Visa application, you have been in Australia as a permanent resident for at least 2 years out of the 5. You must satisfy this requirement to obtain a 155 Resident Return Visa that is valid for 5 years and there are no exemptions to satisfying this requirement

John-Paul Ryan · July 5, 2024 at 12:12 am

2009584437768, is my visa grant number, I plan to return at the end of September 2026. My visa runs out the 08/10/2026. What is the best way to apply for longer as I am an Irish Citizen?

    My Access Australia · July 5, 2024 at 10:53 am

    Hi John-Paul,
    You may be able to apply for the 1 year RRV if you have ties with Australia. Please see the above post.
    Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance with your visa application.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *