Indefinite Australian Re Entry Visa

Emailed Question:

I am a travel agent and have a client with British Passport. he has a re entry visa into Aust. indefinitely but he has recently had to renew his passport.  does he have to apply for a new re entry visa for his new passport or can he just carry his expiry passport with the valid re entry visa inside.

My Answer:

As far as I am aware there is no such thing as an Indefinite re-entry Visa for Australia, however, any visa that allows entry on an old passport would be still be valid if they carry that old passport with them.  New Zealand does however have an Indefinite Returning Resident’s Visa [IRRV].
Most Visas are now electronic, and linked to the passport number.
The Resident Return Visa [RRV] is the only one that I am aware of, and a holder of a non Australian passport would need a valid RRV to be allowed into the country.  These have a maximum life of 5 years.
A Permanent Resident is permitted to remain in Australia indefinitely, but needs the RRV to leave and return.
With the statement that he has an Indefinite re-entry Visa for Australia, I would suggest clarifying with immigration.
Followed by:

People who migrated to Australia before 1987, or travelled overseas between 1 March 1976 and 31 December 1986, may have been issued with an Authority to Return (ATR) or a Return Endorsement (RE).

If they hold an Authority to Return or Return Endorsement, they should not apply for any other visa, including a Resident Return visa because, if their application is approved, this will legally cease their Authority to Return or Return Endorsement.

This is from one of the above pages:

If you get a new passport and your visa is still valid for travel, you will need to complete Form 929 – Change of address and/or passport details, and return the form to the department. The department will link your new passport details to your current visa (and other records). There is no fee for this service.
See: Form 929 – Change of address and/or passport details (253KB PDF)

Some ATR/RE holders may experience significant delays when they enter Australia while manual checks are made.


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