What is a Returning Resident Visa (RRV) and how does it work? – General immigration


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A return resident visa (RVV), Subclasses 155 and 157 allow Australian permanent residents (not citizens) to travel in and out of Australia as many times as they wish until the validity expires travel. An RRV offers travel validity of up to 5 years depending on your location.

If you leave Australia after your travel validity expires, or if it expires while you are outside Australia, you will not be able to return to Australia as a permanent resident.

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.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for an RRV, you must be either:

  • an Australian permanent resident

  • a former Australian permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not canceled

  • a former Australian citizen who has lost or renounced Australian citizenship. Australian citizens are not eligible to apply for an RRV.

There is no age requirement for RRV applicants.

Eligibility for Subclass 157

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

  • have been legally present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately preceding the visa application; and

  • have compelling and compassionate reasons for leaving Australia or your last departure from Australia (if outside Australia);

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

  • have been legally present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately preceding the visa application; and

  • have compelling and compassionate reasons for your last departure from Australia; and

  • not have been absent from Australia for a continuous period of more than 3 months immediately prior to applying for the visa, unless the Minister is satisfied that there are compelling and compassionate reasons for the absence.

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

Can I include family?

You cannot include your 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 be applied on paper

Depending on your situation, you may also need to pay other fees, including health checks, police certificates and biometrics.

*Costs were correct at time of publication

How to apply?

You can apply for the visa online inside or outside Australia, but not on immigration clearance. The department may allow you to apply using a paper form.

You cannot apply in person.

How long do they take to be processed?

Subclass 155

Most requests are processed within a day.

Subclass 157

Processing times are not currently available from Home Affairs.

Additional eligibility requirements

Visa subclass 155

You must either:

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

WHERE

  • be outside Australia and:
    • not absent for 5 consecutive years or more prior to the date of application (unless you have compelling reasons), and

    • hold a permanent visa or have last left Australia as a permanent resident or citizen (but subsequently lost citizenship), and

    • be able to demonstrate substantial ties to Australia which benefit Australia,

in which case you can only benefit from a maximum travel facility of 12 months

WHERE

  • be outside Australia and:
    • were an Australian citizen or permanent resident less than 10 years prior to your application, and

    • not have been absent from Australia for periods totaling 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 which benefit Australia,

in which case you can only benefit from a maximum travel facility of 12 months

WHERE

  • be in Australia and:
    • be able to demonstrate substantial ties to Australia which benefit Australia, and

    • not have been absent for 5 consecutive years since your last permanent visa was granted or when you ceased to be an Australian citizen (unless you have compelling reasons)

in which case you can only benefit from a maximum travel facility of 12 months

WHERE

  • be a member of the family unit of someone who is already an RRV holder or who has applied separately for an RRV, and who meets the grant application date criteria, in which case you can only benefit from a maximum travel facility of 12 months.

For the calculation of the residence condition relating to the first point above, on:

  • The 2 year period is counted as 730 days

  • The 5-year period is counted from the date of filing of the RRV application (and not from the date of the RRV decision)

  • the date of arrival and the date of departure are both included in the count of days in Australia. Only one day is counted if the applicant arrives and leaves on the same day. Only one day is counted if a visa expires and another is granted on the same day. Part of a day spent in Australia by a permanent visa holder is counted as a full day.

Have substantial ties

Your links must be both substantial and beneficial to Australia. Your ties can be:

  • business links

  • cultural links

  • job links

  • personal ties (including family ties)

You can see demonstration examples of these links in Step by Step under Gather your documents.

Visa subclass 157

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

  • have been legally present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately preceding the visa application; and

  • has compelling and compassionate reasons for leaving Australia or their last departure from Australia (if outside Australia);

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

  • have been legally present in Australia for at least 1 day in the 5 years immediately preceding the visa application; and

  • have compelling and compassionate reasons for your last departure from Australia; and

  • not have been absent from Australia for a continuous period of more than 3 months immediately prior to applying for the visa, unless the Minister is satisfied that there are compelling and compassionate reasons for the absence.

Meet the character requirement

You must meet the character requirement.

Not having had a canceled visa or a previous application refused

If you have ever had a canceled or refused visa while you were in Australia, you may not receive that visa. If you need assistance with a visa cancellation or denial, please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers.

If you would like expert advice and assistance in reclassifying a Returning Resident Visa (RRV), please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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