everything you need to know about the australia resident return visa

Introduction to the Australia Resident Return Visa

Whether you’re a current Australian permanent resident or have held this status in the past, the Australia Resident Return Visa (RRV) specifically Subclass 155 & 157, holds paramount importance when it comes to traveling abroad and planning your return to Australia. This comprehensive guide is here to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of the Australia Resident Return Visa – from its fundamental essence to the application process, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free re-entry experience. Whether you’re a current permanent resident or have held this status in the past, this guide will equip you with everything you need to know about eligibility, application, benefits, and more.

Understanding the Australia Resident Return Visa

The Australia Resident Return Visa Subclass 155 & 157 serves as a pivotal travel document that safeguards the status of permanent residents while they venture outside Australia.  This allows them to re-enter the country seamlessly, especially after the expiration of either their initial five-year visa or a subsequent five-year visa.

What do I mean by this?

Australian permanent residents who are not citizens may enter and exit Australia as often as they like while holding a Resident Return Visa (RVV), Subclass 155 & 157. Depending on your circumstances, an RRV offers travel validity for up to 5 years.

You will not be allowed to return to Australia as a permanent resident if you leave the country after the travel validity expires or if it does so while you are outside the country.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia and do not intend to travel, you do not need to apply for this visa.

Why do I Need an Australia Resident Return Visa?

Normally, you are able to stay in Australia permanently if you have permanent residency (PR), but if you want to travel outside of the country and then return as a permanent resident, your travel authorization must still be valid.

Your initial travel authorization is usually good for 5 years if you have a permanent residence.

To extend your travel authorization after that expires, you must apply for a resident return visa (RRV).

READ MORE:  The Australia Student Visa Extension Explained

Also, The Australia Resident Return Visa offers an array of advantages, including:

  • Multiple Re-Entries: Enjoy the flexibility of traveling in and out of Australia multiple times during the visa’s validity period.
  • Preservation of Permanent Residency: Your permanent residency status remains safeguarded.
  • Access to Healthcare and Education: Maintain access to Australia’s exceptional healthcare and education systems.

Eligibility Criteria for the Australia Resident Return Visa

Candidates are judged against the requirements for both subclass 155 and 157 visas when an RRV application is submitted. The maximum travel facility that can be given with a subclass 157 RRV, if the conditions for subclass 155 RRV are not satisfied and the applicant is qualified, is three months.

If you had previously held a permanent visa or were an Australian citizen, you can still be qualified for an RRV even if you currently have a temporary visa.

If you previously held an Australian permanent visa and returned to Australia on a temporary visa (such as an Electronic Travel Authority), you should think about applying for an RRV as soon as possible if you intend to stay in Australia permanently.

So, who is Eligible?

You must be one of the following to be eligible for an RRV:

  • an Australian permanent resident
  • a former Australian permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not terminated;
  • a former Australian citizen who lost or renounced Australian citizenship.

Australian nationals are ineligible to apply for an RRV.

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for an Australian Resident Return Visa?

  • Online applications cost AU $465,
  • while hardcopy applications cost AU $545.

Depending on your situation, you can also be required to pay for additional expenses including health exams, police clearances, and biometrics. Online visa applications are accepted both inside and outside of Australia, but not during immigration clearance. You might be permitted by the department to submit an application on paper.

It is important to note that it is not possible to apply in person.

*Costs are correct as of 14th of August 2023.

READ MORE:  The Australia Partner Visa - Key Information to Know

Application Processing Period for the Australia Resident Return Visa

On the question of how much time It Takes To Get An RRV?

The timelines are broken down on the Department of Home Affairs website, but in general, we’ve seen:

  • If you meet the two-year stay requirement, you can acquire your visa within one day of filing your application.
  • If you use substantial ties, it takes about 2-3 months, though if the case is difficult or lacks supporting documentation, it may take longer.

When your RRV is approved, you will be given a new 5-year or 1-year travel authorization.

You can now return to Australia as a permanent resident with ease!

Validity of an Australia Resident Return Visa

An RRV may be given based on one of two criteria, and the one you meet will determine how long your RRV is valid:

  • A Subclass 155 RRV with a 5-year travel authorization would be yours if you had spent any two years in Australia in the previous five years. This entitles you to fly into and out of Australia for the subsequent five years as a PR.
  • You might be given a Subclass 155 RRV with a one-year travel authorization if you’ve resided in Australia for fewer than two of the last five years and you can demonstrate your ties to the country.

You always have the chance of getting a one-year renewal as long as you keep friendly relations with Australia.

To strengthen your application, provide compelling evidence of substantial ties to Australia such as:

  • Employment Ties: Showcase your current or past employment in Australia.
  • Family Bonds: Highlight family members residing within the country.
  • Property Ownership: If applicable, include documentation related to property ownership.
  • Cultural and Business Affiliations: Emphasize involvement in cultural or business activities within Australia.

Expert Tips for a Successful Application

Enhance the likelihood of a successful application with these expert tips:

  • Early Initiation: Begin the application process well before your current visa’s expiration.
  • Accurate Data: Provide accurate and up-to-date information to prevent processing delays.
  • Comprehensive Documentation: Include all necessary documents that support your ties to Australia.
  • Adherence Proof: Demonstrate your adherence to Australian laws and responsibilities.
READ MORE:  Australia Humanitarian and Refugee Visa - A Comprehensive Guide


The Australia Resident Return Visa is your key to a smooth re-entry into the heart of Australia. By understanding the eligibility criteria, benefits, and application process outlined in this comprehensive guide, you are empowered to navigate the complexities of maintaining your permanent residency status while venturing abroad. Whether you’re an avid traveler or someone embarking on a short-term journey, securing the Australia Resident Return Visa ensures your return to the stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm embrace of Australia.

 FAQs about the Australia Resident Return Visa

Q: Can I apply for the Australia Resident Return Visa if my current visa has expired?

A: Yes, you can apply, but make sure your current visa expired within the last 90 days.

Q: What is the usual processing time for the Australia Resident Return Visa?

A: Processing times vary, but it’s recommended to apply well in advance of your intended travel.

Q: Can I renew my Australia Resident Return Visa?

A: Absolutely, as long as you continue to fulfill the eligibility requirements.

Q: Is there a minimum duration for which I must stay in Australia after obtaining the visa?

A: While there’s no strict duration, spending a substantial amount of time in Australia strengthens your ties.

Q: Can I include my family members in my Australia Resident Return Visa application?

A: 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.

Q: Can I embark on international travel immediately after receiving the Australia Resident Return Visa?

A: Yes, you can commence your travel plans as soon as you receive the visa grant.

Q: Is there any age requirement for the application of an Australia Resident Return Visa?

A: There are no age requirements for RRV applicants.

READ MORE: Australia Global Talent Visa – Subclass 858

By Michael

Leave a Reply

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