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Resident Return Visa

A Resident Return Visa is required for all non-citizen permanent residents of Australia who wish to temporarily leave the country, typically once the initial five year validity period of their residence visa has expired.

What is a Resident Return Visa (RRV)?

There are two classes of Resident Return Visa: The Subclass 155 RRV and the Subclass 157 RRV.

155 Resident Return Visa

The most common form of RRV allows the holder to leave and re-enter Australia at will for five years.

157 Resident Return Visa

The 157 RRV is typically reserved for those who are ineligible for a 155 RRV; it also allows the holder to leave and re-enter Australia legally, but only for a period of three months.

Who needs a Resident Return Visa?

If you are the holder of a permanent residency visa for Australia, you are permitted to remain in Australia indefinitely. However, your visa is only valid as a means of entry into the country for the first five years since your visa grant date.

If you would like to travel outside of Australia after, or towards the end of, the initial five year period, you will require an RRV.

Any family members who will also be travelling outside of Australia will also require their own RRV and separate applications must be made for each person.

If you were formerly a permanent resident of Australia and your visa has expired, you will require an RRV to re-enter Australia.

If you were formerly an Australian citizen and you either lost or renounced your citizenship, you will also require an RRV.

If your passport contains either an Authority to Return (ATR) or Return Endorsement (RE) document, you do not require a Resident Return Visa. You may have an ATR or RE if your permanent residency was granted between 1 March, 1976 and 31 December, 1986.


Typically an RRV applicant will be required to have spent at least two years within the last five in Australia to be eligible for an RRV. Alternatively, if an applicant can suitably demonstrate that they have substantial ties to Australia – such as family members or employment – they may also be eligible for an RRV.

However, 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.

Eligibility for a Resident Return Visa (RRV) is relatively broad in comparison to other Australian visa streams.

Typical Requirements (Eligibility)

In order to be eligible for a Resident Return Visa which will allow you to leave and re-enter Australia freely for five years, you must be:

  • A permanent resident of Australia
  • A former permanent resident of Australia whose last visa was not cancelled
  • A former Australian citizen who lost or renounced their citizenship

As well as one of the above requirements, you should have spent at least two years in Australia within the last five.

Exceptional Cases

If you have not spent two years in Australia within the last five, you may still be eligible for a Resident Return Visa. However, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will judge each application on a case by case basis and this can also affect the validity period of an RRV.

Reasons why an RRV application may be granted include:

  • Being able to prove a compassionate and/or compelling reason why the residency requirement could not have been met
  • Having personal ties to Australia
  • Having employment or other business ties to Australia
  • Having a partner or family member in possession of a valid Resident Return Visa
Ineligible Visa Holders

If the last visa you were in Australia on was one of the following business visas, you are not eligible for a Resident Return Visa:

  • Business Owner visa (Subclasses 127 and 840)
  • Senior Executive visa (Subclasses 128 and 841)
  • State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (Subclasses 129 and 842)
  • State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive visa (Subclasses 130 and 843)
  • Investment-Linked visa (Subclasses 131 and 844)
  • Business Talent visa (Subclass 132)
Processing Times

If you would like to apply for a Resident Return Visa, it is recommended you begin your application at least three months before you intend to travel.

Applications are typically processed much quicker but we recommend allowing yourself enough time to account for any unforeseen difficulties in processing your application.

If you are intrested to immigrate to Australia, then Fill out our online assessment form.

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