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What is a Resident Return Visa (RRV) and How Do They Work?

What is a Resident Return Visa (RRV) and How Do They Work?

A Resident Return Visa (RVV), Subclass 155 & 157, allows Australian permanent residents (not citizens) to travel in and out of Australia as many times as they want until the travel validity expires. An RRV provides travel validity for up to 5 years depending on your circumstances.

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, unless you have a new RRV approved.

If you are already in Australia as a permanent resident, you do not need to apply for this visa if you do not wish to travel outside of Australia.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for an RRV, you must be either:

  • an Australian permanent resident 
  • a former Australian permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not cancelled 
  • a former Australian citizen who lost or renounced Australian citizenship. Australian citizens are not eligible to apply for an RRV.

There are no age requirements for RRV applicants.

Subclass 157 eligibility

You can get a 157 (3m RRV) if you are in Australia and:

  • were lawfully present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately before the application for the visa; and
  • have compelling and compassionate reasons for departing Australia or your last departure from Australia (if outside Australia);

You can get a 157 (3m RRV) if you are outside Australia and:

  • were lawfully present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately before the application for the visa; and
  • have compelling and compassionate reasons for your last departure from Australia; and
  • have not been absent from Australia for a continuous period of more than 3 months immediately before making the application for the visa, unless the Minister is satisfied that there are compelling and compassionate reasons for the absence.

If the eligibility requirements for subclass 155 RRV are not met, and you are eligible for a subclass 157 RRV, the maximum travel facility that can be granted is 3 months.

Can I include family?

You can’t include family members in your application. Family members must apply separately, however if done at the same time, all your applications can be processed together, if you declare them in your application.

How much does an RRV cost?*

  • AUD $425 to apply online
  • AUD $505 to apply on paper

Depending on your circumstances you might also have to pay for other costs including health checks, police certificates, and biometrics.

*Costs were accurate at the time of publishing

How do I apply?

You can apply for the visa online in or outside Australia but not in immigration clearance.

You cannot apply in person.

How long do they take to process?

Subclass 155

Most applications are processed in less than 1 day.

Subclass 157

Processing times are not currently available from Home Affairs.

Additional eligibility requirements

You must either:

  • have been present in Australia for 2 years in the last 5 years as the holder of a permanent visa (or permanent entry permit), or as an Australian citizen, in which case you will get a 5-year travel facility

OR

  • be outside Australia and:
    • not absent for 5 continuous years or more before the date of application (unless you have compelling reasons), and
    • hold a permanent visa or last left Australia as a permanent resident or citizen (but subsequently lost citizenship), and
    • be able to demonstrate substantial ties to Australia that are of benefit to Australia,

in which case you can only be given a maximum 12 months travel facility

OR

  • be outside Australia and:
    • were an Australian citizen or permanent resident less than 10 years before you applied, and
    • not absent from Australia for periods that total more than 5 years (unless you have compelling reasons) between the date you left Australia as a permanent resident or citizen and the date of application, and
    • be able to demonstrate substantial ties to Australia that are of benefit to Australia,

in which case you can only be given a maximum 12 months travel facility

OR

  • be in Australia and:
    • be able to demonstrate substantial ties to Australia that are of benefit to Australia, and
    • not been absent for 5 continuous years since grant of your most recent permanent visa or when you stopped being an Australian citizen (unless you have compelling reasons)

in which case you can only be given a maximum 12 months travel facility

OR

  • be the member of family unit of a person who already holds an RRV or has lodged a separate application for an RRV, and meets the time of application criteria for grant, in which case you can only be given a maximum 12 months travel facility.

In calculating the residence requirement relating to the first dot-point above, the:

  • 2-year period is counted as 730 days
  • 5-year period is counted back from the RRV application lodgement date (not from the date of RRV decision)
  • date of arrival and date of departure are both included in the count of days in Australia. Only one day is counted if the applicant arrives and departs on the same day. Only one day is counted if a visa expires and another one is granted on the same day. A part-day spent in Australia by a permanent visa holder is counted as a full day. 

Have substantial ties

Your ties must be both substantial and of benefit to Australia. Your ties can be:

  • business ties 
  • cultural ties 
  • employment ties 
  • personal ties (including family ties)

You can get a 157 (3m RRV) if you are in Australia and:

  • were lawfully present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately before the application for the visa; and 
  • has compelling and compassionate reasons for departing Australia or their last departure from Australia (if outside Australia); 

You can get a 157 (3m RRV) if you are outside Australia and:

  • were lawfully present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately before the application for the visa; and 
  • have compelling and compassionate reasons for your last departure from Australia; and 
  • have not been absent from Australia for a continuous period of more than 3 months immediately before making the application for the visa, unless the Minister is satisfied that there are compelling and compassionate reasons for the absence.

If you have previously had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia you might not be granted this visa. If you need support regarding a visa cancellation or refusal, please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers.

If you want expert advice and support applying for a Return Resident Visa (RRV) then please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers.

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