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Resident Return Visa

The Resident Return Visa (RRV) is for current or former Australian permanent residents and former Australian Citizens who want to travel overseas and return to Australia as permanent residents, or who want to return from overseas as Permanent Residents.

This visa will let you keep or regain your status as an Australian permanent resident as only Australian citizens have an automatic right of entry to Australia.

For example, if you held a permanent residence visa with a five year travel facility and that visa has now lapsed, you can apply for a RRV to allow you leave and re-enter Australia (if you are in Australia), or re-enter Australia (if you are outside of Australia).

Eligibility Criteria 

The RRV can be granted for a five year validity period or a one year validity period depending on how much time you have spent in Australia in the five years preceding the application.

If you have spent a period totalling two years in the last five years in Australia as either an Australian permanent resident or citizen, you will be granted a five year RRV. These applications are relatively non-contentious.

However, if you have spent less than less than two years in the last five years in Australia as either an Australian permanent resident or citizen, you can only be granted a one year RRV. These applications are more complicated, as you are required to prove you have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia to be granted an RRV. If you have spent five or more continuous years outside of Australia, there are more stringent criteria that apply for you to be granted an RRV.

Substantial Ties of Benefit to Australia

In order for an applicant to prove that they have the necessary substantial ties of benefit to Australia, they may claim:

1. business ties;

2. cultural ties;

3. employment ties; and/or

4. personal ties.

Business Ties

If you are claiming business ties with Australia, you will need to show that you have substantial ownership interests in an Australia business, or a business connected with Australia, and are personally involved at a senior level in the day-to-day operations and management of the business. The business activity needs to be ongoing, regular activity that is commercial in nature, has an intention to make a profit and has a system of record keeping and management that substantiates the business activity claimed.

Cultural ties

There are a range of intellectual, artistic, sporting or religious pursuits which are not strictly of a business or employment nature but could be considered to be a cultural tie to Australia. If you are claiming cultural ties, you will need to provide proof your role is adding to Australia’s cultural life. This can include publications you have written, your membership of cultural associations, any media articles about you or proof of your performances.

Employment ties

To prove you have employment ties to Australia, you must show that:

a. you are currently employed by an Australian organization in Australia or overseas;

b. you have a formal offer of employment in Australia; or

c. your employment by a non-Australian organisation has a demonstrable benefit to Australia, for example, working as a representative of Australia for an international organisation.

Personal ties

This is the most common basis claimed by applicants.

Substantial personal ties could be of benefit to Australia if you are, or have been, a participating member of the Australian community and economy. Living in Australia for a substantial period of time or living overseas with an Australian citizen partner is taken into account.  Proof of personal assets or family who live in Australia could also help to demonstrate personal ties if you are able to show they are both substantial and of benefit to Australia. If you have spent your formative years in Australia, and have studied at an Australian school or tertiary institution, this can also help provide you have substantial personal ties to Australia. If you regard Australia as home, this can also help.

Where the application can be lodged

An application for an RRV can be lodged either inside or outside of Australia.

If you lodge your application in Australia, you will be granted a Bridging Visa which will allow you to remain in Australia lawfully until your application is decided.  If you lodge your application inside of Australia, you must be inside of Australia for the visa to be granted.

If you lodge your application outside of Australia, you must be outside of Australia for the visa to be granted.

Contact Us

Our experienced immigration lawyers have successfully handled many applications for a Resident Return Visa. We will ensure your application is given the best prospects of success.

We offer all our prospective clients an initial meeting, during which we will thoroughly explain the law surrounding this visa to you and inform you of the process moving forward.

To organize a initial consultation with us, please contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers on (02) 9590 3987.