Resident Return Visas

Resident Return Visa

Resident Return Visa (RRV)

The Resident Return Visa (RRV) is for Australian permanent residents to regain their permanent resident status

Subclass 155 is a long-term Resident Return Visa granted to those who have been physically present in Australia for at least 2 years (730 days) in the last 5 years as permanent residents.

Subclass 157 is a short-term RRV, granted when the applicant has substantial ties to Australia but does not meet the residence criteria of Subclass 155. It is valid for 3 months.

To be eligible for an RRV applicants must prove they have substantial ties to Australia that are of benefit to the country if applying under the less than 2-year residence rule

If your RRV expires while outside Australia you must reapply for another RRV to re-enter as a permanent resident.

Resident Return Visa Australia

A Resident Return Visa Australia is required for all holders of a Permanent Residency Visa who have (or intend to) leave the Country for a period of time before hitting the visa requirements for Citizenship.

Emigrating to Australia Visas are multiple entry live and work visas designed to lead to full Citizenship and Dual Nationality (2nd Passport Australia).

The RRV can therefore be thought of as a renewal of an Australian Permanent Resident Visa without having to go through the whole Australian Migration process again.

A 189 or 190 Visa is initially valid for a period of 5 years.

Within this time should you spend at least two years in Australia then you’ll automatically qualify for a second five year PR Visa. If you spend four years in Australia on your first PR Visa you’ll be eligible to apply for full Australian Citizenship.

If you spend more than two years in Australia as a Permanent Resident but less than four then you’ll qualify for a second PR visa and during this additional timeframe it is anticipated that you’ll hit the requirements for an Australian Passport.

If you leave Australia during the first PR Visa for any considerable amount of time before achieving Citizenship, or indeed after the initial five years has expired then in order to return you’re going to need an Australian Resident Return Visa to reactivate your PR Status and continue the journey towards Citizenship.

The good news about the Australia Resident Return Visa is that there’s no need to go through the entire Skilled Migration process again from the beginning.

Take our Free Australia Visa Assessment to check your edibility for a Resident Return Visa and for further information.

What Resident Return Visa (RRV) Classes Are Available?

There are two different Visa subclasses of Resident Return Visa knows as the 155 RRV and the 157 RRV subclass. The most widely issued is the 155 RRV Australia which effectively allows the holder the right to enter and leave Australia for a further period of five years.

The 157 Resident return Visa is aimed at those who aren’t eligible for the 155 RRV with the exceptional caveat that the 157 RRV is only valid for a period of three months.

Resident Return Visa Requirements

In order to qualify for an Australian Resident Return Visa you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve spent at least two years as a lawful resident on Australia or that you have personal, cultural or business relationships in Australia that can be classed as significant.

In an ideal world you’ll have lived in Australia for two years out of your initial five year 189 or 190 PR Visa although if not, we will have to prepare your significant and substantive reasons for not having done so.

Having not lived in Australia for the two year period doesn’t lead to an automatic rejection of your Resident Return Visa, it simply means that we need to expand your RRV Visa application in more detail and provide more accompanying documentation.

The requirements for an RRV application are less rigorous than making a fresh PR Skilled Migration application and you could still be eligible for an RRV if you don’t meet the basic stated criteria.

Do Family Members Need a Resident Return Visa for Australia?

Yes, any accompanying family members who will be travelling outside of Australia for any considerable period of time will also require their own Resident Return Visas in order to re-enter Australia and live as a Permanent Resident and separate applications must be made for everyone.

Time Limit to Apply for Resident Return Visa

What is the maximum amount of time I can spend outside Australia before applying for a Resident return Visa?

There is no express stated timeframe that makes you ineligible to apply for a Resident Return Visa although as with any passage of time so too does your links and ties to any particular place. It is important then to maintain strong links to Australia regardless of the time you are out of Country. This can be achieved through land, property, servicing of debt, family, bank accountants and tax returns.

The positive news it that unlike other categories of visa, the requirements are less stringent and you may be eligible for an RRV even if you do not meet the basic eligibility requirements.

Can I Add New Family Members to my RRV?

Typically the answer is no, the Australian Resident return Program is designed for people who have already been awarded PR Status and left the Country before achieving the milestones set in place for Citizenship.

Exceptions from Resident Return Visa Applications

If you passport contains an existing ATR or RE endorsement that you won’t require an RRV to move back to Australia again. An ATR stands for ‘Authority to Return’ and RE means ‘Return Endorsement’. Usually you’ll find that you have either an ATR or RE stamp if your initial Permanent Residency for Australia was granted between 1976 and 1986.

Additionally, if you were previously in Australia on one of the following visa classes you won’t be eligible to return to Australia on the RRV Program:

Business Owner Visa holders
Senior Executive Visa holders
Investment Visa holders
Business Talent Visa holders

Resident Return Visa Processing Time

If your RRV application is lodged in Australia it should be completed in one working day.

If the Resident return Visa application is lodged outside of Australia you should receive the decision within around two weeks.

However, as with most things no one can account for unforeseen delays, additional checks or questions that may have to be answered which is why the Resident Return Visa Specialists at Migration Consultant recommends leaving at least 12 weeks from lodging your application until date of eventual travel to Australia.

Resident Return Visa Fee

The current fee that must accompany every Australia Resident Return Visa application) i.e. for every member of the family) is $360 AUD with an additional postal application fee of $80 should you choose to take the traditional postal visa application route.

Return Resident Visa Checklist

Below are some of the things your Migration Consultant Resident Return Visa Specialists will work with you on preparing prior to lodging your formal Resident Return Visa online application.

Resident Return Visa Identity Documents

Certified copies of passports for all people making RRV applications
Evidence of name changes (deed poll, marriage)
Evidence of current / expired permanent residency visa

Documents Showing Significant Links to Australia

If you have not spent a total of two years in the last five years in Australia as an Australian permanent resident, you must provide documents to show that you have substantial ties to Australia. These could be business, cultural, employment or personal ties.

Start an Resident Return Visa Application

All Australian Resident return Visas are handled by our friendly visa experts.

Migration Consultant Alexander King
Migration Consultant at Migration Consultant LLC | Website

Alexander King is a leading authority in the field of migration, holding a prominent role as a Head of Compliance at Migration Consultant LLC ( With years of expertise under his belt, King has guided countless individuals and families on their journey to immigrating to Australia and Canada, shaping countless lives with his professional advice and in-depth knowledge of immigration law and procedures.

His profound understanding of the complexities of immigration coupled with his unparalleled skills in tackling these challenges has earned him a reputation as a trusted expert in his field. This expertise is shared in his groundbreaking book, "How to Immigrate to Canada," a comprehensive guide designed to streamline the process for those aspiring to call Canada their new home.

King's dedicated, compassionate approach to helping others stems from his own experiences. Born and raised in a multicultural community, he grew up witnessing the struggles and triumphs of people striving to start new lives in new countries. This drove his passion for guiding others through their immigration journey, a passion that he pours into his work and writing.

Authoring "How to Immigrate to Canada" has been an endeavor close to his heart. King hopes that through his words, he can demystify the often daunting process of immigration, making it accessible and achievable for everyone.