Resident Return visa (subclasses 155 and 157)
Once you have been granted a permanent visa it has an initial five (5) year validity period. This validity period is essentially a travel facility. If you remain in Australia beyond the five years your permanent residence does not expire, only your ability to depart and then re-enter Australia as a permanent resident is affected.
FIVE YEAR RRV
To obtain a new five (5) year travel facility (called a resident return visa, or RRV) the basic criteria is that you have spent at least two (2) years out of the last five (5) physically present in Australia as the holder of a permanent visa.
ONE YEAR RRV
If you cannot meet the ‘2 in 5’ requirement you may be eligible for a resident return visa with one year travel validity. As noted above, if you remain in Australia beyond the one year validity period your permanent residence does not expire, only your ability to depart and then re-enter Australia as a permanent resident is affected.
To meet the requirements for the one year RRV you must demonstrate that you have substantial ties to Australia that are of benefit to Australia. Substantial ties can be under any of the following:
THREE MONTH RRV
Permanent residents who have less than 2 years’ physical presence in Australia and who have not yet established substantial ties of benefit to Australia may be eligible for a three month RRV. For example, you may have settled in Australia when nearing the end of your migrant travel facility and need to travel overseas before you have established substantial ties.
As above, if you remain in Australia beyond the 3 month validity period your permanent residence does not expire, only your ability to depart and then re-enter Australia as a permanent resident is affected.
- You can apply online right now, without providing any documents, if:
- you are a permanent resident
- you have resided in Australia for a total of at least 2 years within the last 5 years
- your name and date of birth have not changed since grant of your last visa.
- Or, read information about:
- eligibility criteria
- the visa, including what happens if you do not meet the 2 in 5 years residence requirement
- the steps to apply, including the documents you might need to provide.
You must be:
- an Australian permanent resident
- a former Australian permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not cancelled
- a former Australian citizen who lost or renounced their citizenship.
You must have a valid passport.
You must meet our character requirement.
You are not eligible for this visa if your last permanent visa was cancelled.
We will not accept an application if you have received a notice that your permanent business visa might be cancelled.
- You should not apply for this visa if you hold:
- an Authority To Return (ATR) that was granted between 1 March 1976 and 31 August 1979
- a Return Endorsement (RE) that was issued between September 1979 and 31 December 1986
- a BF-111
What you can do
Both the 155 and 157 visas are permanent visas. They let you undertake all of the activities that your original permanent visa let you undertake:
- stay in Australia indefinitely
- work and study in Australia
- enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
- sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
- travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while the travel facility is valid
- apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.
How the visas differ
- The difference between the visas is the length of the travel facility:
- Subclass 155 – up to five years from the date of grant.
- Subclass 157 – 3 months from date of grant.
Which visa you will get
The visa you are granted depends on the information you provide in your application.
Subclass 155 visa
You might be granted a subclass 155 visa if you either:
- meet the resident requirement (5 year travel facility)
- have ties of benefit to Australia (1 year travel facility)
- are a family member of someone who holds, or has applied for, a Resident Return visa and satisfies the criteria for grant (up to 1 year travel facility).
Subclass 157 visa
You might be granted a subclass 157 visa if all of the following apply to you:
- you lawfully spent at least one day but less than two years in the past five years in Australia immediately before you apply for this visa
- you were an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen the whole time you were in Australia
- there is a compelling and compassionate reason for leaving Australia.
If you are outside Australia when you apply
If you have been outside Australia for more than three continuous months immediately before you apply, you must have a compelling and compassionate reason for the absence.
If you apply on paper, you need to pay an additional $80.
While they usually do not occur, if there are any additional costs associated with this visa, you are responsible for them.
Estimate the cost of your application
The visa pricing estimator is an online tool that calculates the total cost of your visa.
If you are in Australia and the travel facility on your current visa has, or is, about to expire, you need to apply for, and be granted, an RRV before you leave Australia.
You can apply for the visa outside Australia, but it must be granted before you enter Australia.
How long the visas last
The subclass 155 and 157 visas are permanent visas, however, this does not mean that the visa always lasts indefinitely.
- If you do not travel outside Australia the visa lasts indefinitely (it does not end) and you will not become unlawful when the travel facility ends
- If you do travel outside Australia after the travel facility on the visa ends, the visa will end when you leave Australia. So it is best to apply for another Resident Return visa before you leave Australia. You can also apply from overseas.
How long the travel facility lasts
The length of the travel facility attached to your visa depends on information in your application and the visa subclass you are granted.
What to do when the travel facility ends.
There is important information for New Zealand passport holders.
You cannot include family members in your application. Each family member must complete their own application.
You and your family members must comply with Australian laws.