Dec 23 2016

Resident Return Visa

Resident Return Visa Information

A Resident Return Visa (RRV) is required for the period after you have gained your Permanent Residency (PR), and your initial entry visa (Normally 5 years) has expired, but before you get your Citizenship…

The RRV allows you to re-enter Australia as a Permanent Resident, but using your British Passport.

Resident Return Visa (RRV)

A Resident Return Visa is valid for 3 months,  12 months or 5 years (depending on circumstances).

It allows Australian permanent residents to travel to and from Australia as often as they wish within the validity of the visa, while maintaining their status as permanent residents.

Updated in 2016

Resident Return visa (RRV) Cost at July 2016

$360 (Subclass 155 and 157) Online Application
$440 (Subclass 155 and 157) Paper Application

The cost of the RRV may be adjusted each July.

How do I apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV)?

To be eligible for a Resident Return Visa (RRV), you must be:

  • a permanent resident holding a valid permanent visa,
  • a former permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not cancelled, or
  • a former Australian citizen who has lost or renounced their Australian citizenship.

In addition to the above, to be eligible for a five year RRV:

  • you must be lawfully present in Australia for a total of at least 2 years in the 5 years immediately before lodging the application for the visa, or
  • you must have substantial and beneficial business, cultural, employment or personal ties to Australia and compelling reasons if you have been absent from Australia for more than 5 years, or
  • you must be a member of the family unit of a person who holds a valid RRV or who has applied for and met the criteria for an RRV.

If you do not meet these criteria, but have to leave Australia for compassionate and compelling reasons, you may be eligible for a 3 month RRV.

If you are unable to meet the RRV requirements in your own right, but you are a member of the family unit of a person who holds an RRV, you may be granted an RRV with the same validity period as the family head’s RRV.

3 Month, 12 Month or 5 Year RRV Travel Periods

3 Month, 12 Month or 5 Year RRV Travel Periods may be applied, depending on your circumstances.

  • If you have lived in Australia for at least two years of the past five years and are granted a Subclass 155 Resident Return visa it will have a five year travel facility from date of grant.
  • If you are granted a Subclass 155 Resident Return visa on the basis of your substantial ties of benefit to Australia, then your travel facility will be for one year from the date of the grant.
  • If you are granted a Subclass 157 visa (having spent less than two years in the past five years in Australia) the travel facility will be for 3 months from date of grant.

More details at:

Resuming Australian Residency after Resident Return Visa RRV expires.

Most Australian Permanent Residents will have a 5 year RRV when they leave Australia, so that they can prove Resident status on their return.

If that RRV expires during their absence from Australia, they can be refused re-entry into Australia.

For most people this will mean re-applying for residency…

This can be a long and complex process, without a guarantee of success.

For those with an Australian partner and/or children, the process is easier, but can still involve interviews with the Immigration Department.

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  1. BritinBrissy

    Hi, myself and family are currently living in Australia and have been for the last 7 1/2 years. My husband and i are both permanent residents with our 4 year old son being a citizen. We are considering moving back to the UK without having to wait for the citizenship to go through. If we were to be outside of Australia for longer than 5 years, what are our chances of being able to return, should we not enjoy it? Thanks

    1. ABCDiamond

      Having been in your situation, but 10 years in Australia as PR, then returning to UK and going past the RRV expiry date, I’ve always said never again. It was a bit hard to get it sorted at the time (now over 15 years ago).
      If you can get Citizenship, I would do that first. However, I have heard of some being issued an RRV while overseas, but it may be based on exceptional circumstances. Having an Australian citizen child might help, but even in my case, I had an Australian wife and Australian child.

      This quote on the Border page for RRV‘s is interesting: “If you do not hold a valid return visa you could be refused entry to Australia or have your entry delayed until your identity and claim to enter Australia are checked.”
      It makes it sound like you can come back with some formalities ?

      THIS at the Australian High Commission in London is more interesting,
      Resident Return Visas
      Permanent Residents who have recently departed Australia to the UK or Ireland without a Resident Return Visa (that enables them to re-enter Australia) should make contact with this office as soon as possible and well in advance of their planned return to Australia. This should allow us sufficient time to process the visa application before your return flight to Australia. Clients who have not spent 2 years out of the previous 5 years in Australia may need to provide additional documentation to the application form.

      I would consider asking the Australian High Commission, London Phone: +44 (0) 20 7379 4334, for confirmation.

      1. BritinBrissy

        Thanks for your reply, i really appreciate you taking the time!! Both our parents are ill and we just feel so bad being out here and not being part of taking care of them. That being said, who knows how long we could be there for :/ I just feel a duty as a family member to be involved in their care as much as my siblings. Were nearing on completion of the application, but still have to wait for the test and then ceremony and are worried how long that itself would take. Any ideas?

        1. ABCDiamond

          I would try to call the Embassy in London, and ask their opinion. I have heard that Embassies are easier to get through to than the main offices here in Australia.

          You can rush the citizenship ceremony and passport issue, after the test, for an extra fee. I did that in 2011.

          The Citizenship test was taken on 28th November 2011.
          The Citizenship Ceremony was held at 10:45 am on 21st December 2011. (Private ceremony at Brisbane main Office)
          The Australian Passport Application was lodged at 11:55 am on the same day.
          The completed passport became ready for collection at 2.55 pm on the same day.

          Just 4 hours and 10 minutes from the Citizenship ceremony to having the passport available for pickup.

          You need to request the rush ceremony with reasons, and request priority passport issue, for extra cost.

          Find your nearest Visa and Citizenship Office at: https://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/offices-locations/australia

          1. BritinBrissy

            We actually didnt know you could rush the ceremony through!! So thank you so much for making me aware of that!!

            How long did it take before lodging the application and receiving a test date?

            So in the application i must also state when it asks you are you planning on leaving the country in the next 12 months as a Yes?

            Also did you have a passport in order to leave the country to fly back to the UK, hence why the passport office here was willing to rush through your passport application?

          2. ABCDiamond

            I can’t recall exactly what happened for the test, but I did ask for a faster one in another area. Hence using Brisbane City at the time, which did speed up the process.

            My UK passport had expired, this might have helped as a reason.

            Priority Passport Applications: Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 to arrange an appointment for you to lodge your passport or renewal application at an Australian passport office. But, an extra $183.

  2. viswa


    I went through your website. Great information and I saw few testimonials appreciating your guidance and knowledge on visa processing. We are happy and confident to be associated with you.

    Migration agent is like a doctor when it comes to visa processing. I have shared all the available information . Please inform do I have any chance of getting back to Australia. Please inform what information can be used from the below for a successful visa.

    ..(private information removed)..

    Please inform Migration agent fee and application fee.

    1. ABCDiamond

      I am not a migration agent, and I suggest sending the same information (removed from this post) to a migration agent.

      All I can say is that you do normally need compassionate reason and substantial ties. Without that, a new PR application may be needed.

  3. Yvette

    I’m a permanent resident of Australia and have been since 1975 I came here on my mothers passport from the UK. I’ve planned a trip back to the UK for May next year for 8 weeks how do I leave Australia and come back without Australian citizenship or any passport

    1. ABCDiamond

      You need either Australian Citizenship and a passport OR a Resident Return Visa in a UK passport.

      I suggest checking getting Australian Citizenship ASAP.


  4. John


    I am a temporary resident in Australia and planning to go leave the country when I get my PR status next year. the rules said to get the 5 year RRV, you must have stayed in Australia for 2 years. by that said, I can only stay out of Australia for 3 months.
    with this rule written above:
    If you are unable to meet the RRV requirements in your own right, but you are a member of the family unit of a person who holds an RRV, you may be granted an RRV with the same validity period as the family head’s RRV.
    The questions:
    1. My mother is now married to my step dad who is an Australia citizen. Does that make us a family even though I am not my step dad’s biological son?
    2. if so, can I get a 5 year RRV?

    Thank you very much

    1. ABCDiamond

      You may need to read the definition of a family unit here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_reg/mr1994227/s1.12.html

      That may answer the question for you.

  5. sudheera


    I am an Australian permanant resident and my PR visa is valid up to 10 August 2015. Currently I am working in Dubai and no plans to go and settle in Australia prior to my PR visa expiry date due to several personal reasons. However, I am planning to buy a house in Melbourne prior to my PR expiry date with the help of a mortgage loan from an Australian Bank. Then I am planning to re-apply for PR again at the end of this year. If the same rules are there at that time I should be able to get the PR again as I can easily get required points.

    My question is ; what will happen to my property once my current PR expired? Will I have to pay some extra tax for that or will I have some leagl issues on the ownership of the property?

    Need advice.


    1. ABCDiamond

      I would suggest asking the Foreign Investment Review Board, although I feel that if you buy as a PR, then you should not have any problems.

      A couple of things that may relate to people, after a change of residency/visa status, are:

      Q2.4. If I buy a property, can I rent it out?

      Established (or second‑hand) dwellings bought by temporary residents cannot be rented However, new dwellings, dwellings built on vacant land and dwellings built as part of a redevelopment, can be rented.

      Q5.18. I obtained approval to buy a new dwelling as a temporary resident. My visa will soon expire. Do I need to sell my house before the visa expires or can I retain the property and rent it out when I am overseas?

      As you have bought a new property, you are not required to sell the property and can rent it if you wish.


  6. greig


    I have been an Australian permanent resident since 2000, I moved back to the UK for 6 years to help look after a sick parent (which I explained to the Australian immigration), I also went back to university while in the UK. I have since moved back to Australia (1/12/2015) as my Subclass 155 overseas visa was running out.

    Am not looking at leaving Australia anytime soon but I would like to go back to the UK next xmas to see my parents for a few weeks. Do you know of any visa that I can apply for?

    Thanks for your time

    1. ABCDiamond

      You just need to apply for a normal Residents Return Visa again. I assume they will only do a 3 month one this time though.

      Apply in plenty of time before you need to leave though.

  7. Butt123

    hi there

    i am oz permanent resident , i already took the rrv and it wil expire in 2016, i dont think that i would be able to stay in oz to be eligible in this time, however i completed by 2 years , what are the option if i want to retain my residency , can i apply for a second rrv or any other option available as most of my time is spent overseas


    1. ABCDiamond

      Permanent Residency is designed for people to spend most of their time in the Country.

      You may come under this condition though:

      you must be lawfully present in Australia for a total of at least 2 years in the 5 years immediately before lodging the application for the visa,

      So if that 2 years is in the 5 years before application, you should be OK.

      But make sure you are back in Australia before the RRV expires.

  8. Seema

    My PR has expired and I want to buy OZ property to how tie for applying RRV. Can I be considered PRto buy property from outside Australia?

  9. Seema

    My PR entry limit has expired and I am outside Australia. I wish to apply for RRV now. Before applying RRV, I want to buy property in Australia to show ties. Can I buy property as a PR from outside Australia?

    1. ABCDiamond

      You may actually need to apply for Residency again. A full application.

      If you are outside Australia and your PR or RRV expires, then you need very solid reasons to get it back, without doing a full application.

      This happened to me, but they let me back as I had a house, an Australian wife and Australian daughter, but it did take two interviews before they accepted me again, even with those strong ties to the country.

      Regarding the property purchase, almost all acquisitions of residential real estate by foreign persons must be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board http://www.firb.gov.au/

  10. Paul

    Myself and my family emigrated to WA in 2007 on a independent skilled migrant visa but due to personal circumstances out of our control returned to the UK in 2009. My PR visa ran out last year 2012 and I believe therefore cancelled. The circumstances that drew us back have now changed and we would love to return to live in WA once again. We have three children and our middle child was born and is a citizen off Australia. Would we be potentially eligible for a Residents return visa?


  11. Arlo

    How do you provide proof of compelling compassionate leave to the Australian immigration.
    Many thanks

    1. ABCDiamond

      Not easy to answer, but your letter must show sufficient grounds to the official that makes the decision. Try to look at it from their point of view, when writing the letter, and see how you would think in their place.

  12. Jim

    Am holding a valid PR with RRV expiring in Aug 2012.
    Do i have to renew my RRV eventhough i have
    no intention to travel out of Australia now.?

    And will only renew when i need to travel?

    1. ABCDiamond

      You only need it if you are leaving the country.

      “If you hold a permanent visa you have the right to remain in Australia indefinitely, however if you choose to travel outside Australia, you must ensure you have authority to return.”
      ie: A Resident Return visa.

  13. Fiona

    My Scottish husband has a Partner (residence) (BS 801) visa with multiple re-entries to Australia until 09 February 2015.

    We are looking at moving back to Scotland early in 2013 but are worried about where he will be “immigration wise” if we go for 4 or 5 years.

    Assume he will have to apply for a Resident Return Visa before we go, and that should give us 5 years (2018) to return – we might only last a year!!

    The question is when we get back, how long will he have to wait before he applies for his citizenship? We have 2yr old twin sons with dual passports.

    Any thoughts?

    1. ABCDiamond

      He must have:

      4 years lawful residence in Australia.
      12 months of this MUST be as a permanent resident
      Lawful residence means residence in Australia on a temporary or permanent visa.

      Australian Citizenship Act: Residence Requirements Calculator

  14. Neil

    Dear ABCDiamond,

    I have my PR visa for Australia that expires in 2012.
    I haev not stayed in Australia for more than 2 years in the last 5 years.
    I would like to request for an RRV as,

    1) I have purchased a property in the current country that i am residing.This property was purchased before the propert crash and recession.With my current income and savings, i shoul dbe able to clear this debt in 2 years and then be ready to move to Australi.

    2) My current employer requries me to stay in this current role for atleast 2 years, after which i will be considered for a job in Australia

    3) I have 2 kids and their future is in concern. I would not want to leave in debt especially since i will not have a job

    Can you advise

    1. ABCDiamond

      You should direct this question to Immigration, together with those reasons. My answer would only be a guess, but I think it would be well worth trying. There is some flexibility…

  15. David

    I have family members who emigrated to Australia in 2005. The parents have become Australian citizens, who work and pay taxes here. The two girls have completed school, but haven’t become citizens. Both are at UNI, but the one who started Uni this year has been kicked out because she is not an Australian citizen. Can anyone tell me the rules? Seems rather unfair.

    1. ABCDiamond

      Some Full university cost rebates or assistance are only available for Citizens, not for Permanent Residents. This is one of the few areas that are different between citizen and PR.

      However, to be kicked out does seem odd. I would be double checking that with the Uni, for the exact reason.

      The two girls should apply immediately for citizenship, otherwise the following apply:

      Permanent Residents of Australia undertaking an undergraduate program are Commonwealth Supported but
      must pay the relevant Student Contributions upfront without a discount.

      Permanent Residents of Australia who commenced their program from 2005 onwards are not eligible for HECSHELP or FEE-HELP and must pay their fees upfront without a discount by the fee due date.

      Some Permanent Residents of Australia may be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place in a postgraduate program. Permanent Residents of Australia in all other postgraduate programs will be charged DTF rates.
      Please check with your relevant College as not all colleges have this option available.

      DTF = domestic tuition fee

      Citizenship can be obtained very quickly if needed with good reason. I did mine in 23 days between citizenship test and ceremony.

  16. Anna

    Dear ABCDiamond

    My RRV expired in 2008 and it has been over 10 years since I was in Australia. Both my parents are Australian citizens (but not residing in Australia but hoping to relocate there preferably with my daughter and me). I have an aunt and cousin who are citizens and living in Australia over 40 years.

    Do I stand any chance of obtaining even a 3 month RRV?

    Thanks in advance.


  17. Anh Nguyen

    I had investment apartment in Melbourne, i only stay about 3 months during last 5 years in Australia? Can i apply for 5 years RRV? If they dont grant RRV, what will happen with my apartment if i dont have visa to come back to Australia?

    1. ABCDiamond

      My guess is that a 5 year RRV is out of the question. Maybe a 3 month one? Otherwise tourist visa is always an option to come and go to check your property. As you may end up not actually being a resident. it may be worth checking current rules with the FIRB on property owned by non-residents.

  18. Suchet Handa

    Dear ABCDiamond

    Many thanks for your reply.

    I am returning to Australia in first week of April 2012. Then I will be having 6 months to reside and work in Australia as I have done Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from Macquarie University. Will it be feasible enough for me to apply for my wife’s Temporary Residency now only or should I wait till I get my RRV. Please suggest.

    Suchet Handa

    1. ABCDiamond

      I would begin the application ASAP. You mention you have 6 months to reside and work? An RRV is only for Permanent Resident Visa holders.

  19. Suchet Handa


    My name is suchet handa. I am a PR since September 2007. My PR is expiring in September 2012. I left Australia in two months after getting my PR. Now I have 6 months remaining and I want to go back to Australia to renew my PR. I do not have as compelling reasons as required by the Australian immigration. Do you think or have any case study whereby the PR was renewed in such a case. Please suggest.
    Thanks & Regards

    1. ABCDiamond

      The Australian Government grant a certain number of Permanent Residencies each year for people who want to live and work here in Australia.

      Other people who have applied, and want to be here, are still on waiting lists.

      The main criteria for the standard 5 year RRV is: You must have spent two of the last five years in Australia.

      Do you have a compelling reason to give to immigration, to keep your PR status at the cost of someone who actually wants to be here, not being able to get PR themselves ?

      That will be the thinking of the case officer, but if you can prove something to explain why you have not used your PR as intended, then they may allow it; otherwise, the best you will get will be a 3 month RRV.

  20. Gary

    I am outside Australia at present and my PR visa has expired. I spent less that 2 years (1 year 8 months) in Australia during the 5 year validity of my visa. I want to return to Australia and I do have compelling reasons to return.
    Q. Should I apply for the 3 month RRV or the 5 year RRV?

    1. ABCDiamond

      Obviously without knowing the “compelling reasons” I can’t say with any certainty how the Immigration department might react.

      However, I would also add the third option, to apply for PR again, to your list. It may be something you may need to consider.

      When I was in your shoes, my compelling reasons included, having lived in Australia for 10 of the previous 14 years, having an Australian wife, and an Australian child, and a House in Australia. I still had to go through hoops to get my PR back.

      If your reasons are good enough, and only Immigration will judge that, then you should be OK, with an interview or two, and a load of paperwork. I came back on a Tourist Visa, and applied locally while I was back. I preferred to be here, and have the hassle, rather than doing it from afar.

      I wish you good luck.

  21. Ronan


    I have a Permenant Residency visa but will only been living in Australia for 6 months of the 5 year visa. My brother is an australian citizen.

    Is this good enough for me to get another Residency visa after this one (which is up soon)??

    1. ABCDiamond

      For a Five year Resident Return visa: You must have spent two of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident, or prove substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia. OR provide evidence of compelling reasons for your absence over the five years. I assume that the 2 years they mention is equal to a total of 24 months, during the last 5 year period.

      For a Three month Resident Return visa: You must have spent at least one day in the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or an Australian citizen and provide evidence of compelling and compassionate reasons for your departure.

      A brother with citizenship will not be sufficient. My sister with citizenship was not for me, when I had the same problem. My Australian wife and child were though, although it entailed a couple of interviews at immigration. At first they wanted me to re-apply for PR.

      1. Ronan

        Thank you,

        I had thought this was the case but was not sure what “substantial personal ties of benefit to Australia” meant as it sounds very undefined. I thought maybe a brother with citizenship might do the trick but this does not seem to be the case.

        Thanks again for your help,

        It looks like its back to square one unless I can figure out what a “compelling reasons for my absence over the five years” might be or what constitutes a “compelling and compassionate reasons for my departure”.

        If anyone knows, let me know but I think I’m all out of luck???

  22. lindsey mooney

    Hi, I am a British Citizen who has lived in Australia for 46 years I have a return visa which expires next year, Just wanted to know where I lodge the application for a renewal. I live at the Gold Coast Queensland, Can I lodge on a website or do I need to go into an office.

    Lindsey Mooney

    1. ABCDiamond

      This can be done online: http://www.immi.gov.au/migrants/residents/155/apply-online.htm

      Personal applications can be done, but your nearest office is 299 Adelaide Street, Brisbane.
      The Gold Coast Regional office at Southport closed on 1 July 2011.

      Mine has expired, and I think it may be worth considering becoming an Australian now, and get an Aussie Passport.

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