Although a permanent visa allows you to remain indefinitely in Australia, you will need a resident return visa if you want to re-enter Australia after your travel facility expires. If you have been granted an Australian permanent visa, for example, a partner visa subclass 100 or 801, you will be permitted to remain indefinitely in Australia from the date of each arrival. However, your partner visa will only allow you to return to Australia for a period of 5 years from the date of your visa grant. This travel period is referred to as the travel facility which is attached to a permanent visa. You can find all of this information on your visa grant notice or online through the Department’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service. VEVO can be used to find out the following information relating to your current visa:
- which visa
- the expiry date
- the must not arrive after the date
- the period of stay (how long you can stay)
- conditions (what you can and can’t do).
For travel to Australia after the last date that you must re-enter Australia by, you will need to apply for a resident return visa, commonly referred to as an RRV. If you are outside of Australia and you don’t have an RRV, you will not be permitted to return to Australia until you have been granted one.
When should I apply for a resident return visa?
Your visa grant notice will tell you the last date you must re-enter Australia by. Although you do not need an RRV to leave Australia, you will need one to return after this date. If you are intending to travel outside of Australia towards the end of your 5-year permitted travel period, we recommend applying at least 3 months prior to your intended departure date, as current Australian visa processing times for an RRV is between 2 days to 3 months from date of application.
Do I qualify for a resident return visa?
To qualify for an RRV, you must meet either the residence or substantial ties requirements. If you meet the residency requirement you will be granted a 5-year resident return visa, whereas a 1-year resident return visa will be granted if you meet the substantial ties requirement.
What are the residency requirements for a resident return visa?
To be granted a 5-year RRV you will need to have lived in Australia for 2 years (730 days) in the last 5 years as the holder of a permanent visa. If you do not satisfy the residency requirement, you will then need to meet the substantial ties requirement to be granted a 1-year resident return visa.
What are the substantial ties requirements for a resident return visa?
If you do not satisfy the residency requirements, you will need to show that you have substantial ties to Australia and that those ties are a benefit to Australia also. Substantial ties include the following:
- business ties
- cultural ties
- employment ties
- personal ties
Is it a requirement that I have a resident return visa?
Whilst your visa may be a permanent one, your ability to return to Australia is not. Whilst there is no actual requirement for you to maintain an RRV, not having one will impact on your ability to re-enter Australia. Many permanent residents that reside in Australia and have no intention of leaving may simply not have an RRV. However, if they need to travel outside of Australia at short notice, perhaps for a family emergency, they will not be able to return unless they have been granted an RRV. For this reason, it is always recommended to keep your RRV current