Photo by Oleg_Ivanov/iStock / Getty Images

Resident Return visas 

Depending on the circumstances, obtaining a Resident Return visa can be a complicated process. We can help by providing expert advice and assistance, giving you the confidence to book your return journey.  

If you're an Australian permanent resident and your travel facility has expired, you may need to apply for a returning resident visa to allow you to re-enter Australia. What kind of returning resident visa you will get, generally depends on how long you have spent in Australia and overseas.

If you've decided it's time for you to return home, contact a member of our team for a free and confidential discussion about your eligibility for a returning residents visa. 

A Guide to Resident Return visas 

While Australian permanent residents have the right to remain in Australia indefinitely, the travel facility which attaches to permanent residency normally only lasts for five years.

The purpose of the resident return visa program, is to allow those who are or who have been Australian permanent residents (or former citizens) to travel from and return to Australia as permanent residents.

Resident Return (subclass 155)

Applicants may be eligible for this visa if they:

  • have spent a period totaling two years in the last five years in Australia as either an Australian permanent resident or citizen (the 'residence requirement').
  • have not spent two of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen, but can satisfy the case officer that they have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia, and:
    • are lodging while in Australia and can show compelling reasons for any continuous absence from Australia of more than five years;
    • are lodging while overseas, were permanent residents or citizens when they last departed Australia and can show compelling reasons for any continuous absence from Australia of more than five years;
    • are lodging while overseas, were permanent residents or citizens in the last 10 years and can show compelling reasons for absence(s) over five years;
  • have not spent two of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen, but are the partner or dependent family member of a person who holds a subclass 155 visa, or who has also applied for a Resident Return visa and satisfies the criteria for grant of the visa.

Travel facility

Applicants who are granted a subclass 155 visa are able to remain in Australia indefinitely. Applicants who have lived in Australia for at least two years of the past five years and are granted a subclass 155 will have a five year travel facility from date of grant.

Applicants who are granted a subclass 155 on the basis of substantial ties of benefit to Australia, will get a travel facility for one year from the date of the grant.

Resident Return (subclass 157)

Applicants may be able eligible for this visa if they:

  • have lawfully spent at least one day in the past five years in Australia
  • have spent less than two years in the past five years in Australia
  • have been a permanent resident or an Australian citizen for the entire period spent in Australia
  • can show a compelling and compassionate reason for having to leave Australia or, if outside Australia, for leaving when they did

If applicants have been living outside Australia for more than three continuous months immediately before applying, then they must also show that they were absent for a compelling and compassionate reason.

Travel facility

Applicants who are granted a subclass 157 are able to remain in Australia indefinitely and will have a travel facility for 3 months from the date of visa grant.