Only Australian citizens can enter and leave Australia freely. Non-citizens do not have an automatic right of entry to the Country. Visas have been designed for this purpose, where non-citizens are given permits to enter and stay in the country for a specified period of time. However, most permanent visas come with a travel validity, i.e., you can travel abroad and re-enter Australia on the allotted visa for a specified period of time only. If and would like to return to Australia, you are required to have a visa to re-enter the country.
Normally, most permanent residents are allotted a travel facility of up to five years from the date of the visa grant. On the expiry of this travel facility or if it is about to expire, one must obtain a resident return visa to be allowed to re-enter Australia.
In Australia, subclasses 155 and 157, more popular as the RRVs (Resident Return Visa) are re-entry visas allowing the visa holder to travel to another country and return to the Australian migration zone. The visa holder can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as they wish during the validity of their visa. The validity of an RRVs may range from 3 months up to 5 years. Former Permanent Residents whose previous Permanent Residency visa was cancelled are not eligible to apply for a Resident Return Visa. It should be noted that, if you remain in Australia beyond the validity period, your permanent residence will not expire, only your ability to depart and then re-enter Australia as a permanent resident is affected. Subclass 151 is also a popular visa category under the Resident Return program; this visa facilitates the returning back of former residents (to Australia) who have given up on their permanent residency. A former resident of Australia can apply for a Returning Resident visa or the subclass 151 visa if they intend to return back and settle in Australia.
One cannot include one’s family members in an RRV application. Each family member is required to make their own application. To be eligible to apply for an RRV, one must be a foreign national holding a valid passport and must be either:
An applicant becomes ineligible for this visa if their last permanent visa was cancelled.
Apart from the above criteria, the applicants are required to demonstrate a specified minimum stay in Australia as a permanent resident to obtain this visa. There are RRVs with travel facilities that can be granted, and each one is for a different duration.
Subclass 155 Five Year Resident Return Visa
Subclass 155 is commonly called an Australian Resident Return visa. This visa category is specifically designed for the holders of the permanent visa in the Country. As a permanent visa has five years of travel validity, it supports the permanent visa holder to travel to and from the Country for five years. However, beyond the initial five years, the permanent residence of the visa holder does not expire. The ability to travel to and from the Country is affected after completion of the initial five years. Hence, to facilitate travelling easement, a resident return subclass 155 visa is required.
To obtain an RRV with a five-year travel facility, the essential criteria is that one must have spent at least two years out of their last five years in Australia as the holder of a permanent visa.
If one does not meet this residence requirement, they may be eligible for an RRV with a travel facility for up to 1 year. Additionally, the applicants are required to demonstrate having substantial ties to Australia that are beneficial to Australia.
Substantial ties can be related to any of the following:
Permanent residents who have stayed for less than two years in Australia and who cannot demonstrate that they have substantial ties beneficial to Australia may be eligible for an RRV with a three-month validity. For instance, one may have settled in Australia when nearing the end of the travel facility on their visa and need to travel overseas before they have established substantial ties.
Subclass 157 Three Month Resident Return Visa
Subclass 157 is a permanent visa that facilitates the holder of this visa to travel to and from from the country for three months from the date this visa is granted to the permanent residents. The applicant can apply for an Australian Resident Return visa either from inside or outside of the country.
Subclass 151 Former Resident Visa
This visa is framed expressly for the Country’s former permanent residents and those who have served in the Australian Defence Force. The main aim behind the formulation of this immigration category is to allow the eligible applicants’ resettlement to Australia. An applicant can apply for this visa via these two routes: the long residence route and the defence service route.
As a Long Residence applicant, one must:
Have spent at least nine out of eighteen years in Australia as a holder of a permanent visa and be under 45 years of age. The individual should have maintained significant ties, such as cultural or business connections with the country.
As a Defense Service applicant, one must:
Have completed not less than three months of service in Australian Defense.
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