Resident Return Visa
If you want to continue to travel overseas as a permanent resident after your visa expires, then you need to apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV). The purpose of the RRV - as outlined in the Department's guidelines - is to facilitate the re-entry into Australia of non-citizen permanent residents and to ensure that only those people who have a genuine commitment to residing in Australia, or who are contributing to Australia's well-being, retain the eligibility to return to Australia as permanent residents.
Five Year Visa
To qualify for a 5-year RRV, you must have been physically in Australia as a permanent resident for at least two years in the five years immediately before applying. The time spent in Australia is cumulative.
You can also continue to build up time after the expiry of your visa as long as you remain in Australia as a permanent resident when this expires.
One Year Visa
If you cannot show a full two years of residence, you would only be eligible for a 1-year RRV, and only if you can show that you have 'substantial ties' to Australia. This means providing evidence of your ties through:
- Job offer in Australia (employment ties)
- Ownership or management of a business in Australia (business ties)
- Financial or property assets in Australia
- Close family in Australia
- Cultural ties to Australia
You will also need to show that you have spent some time in Australia since the grant of your permanent residency. Ideally, this would be at least a few months of residence.
The Department of Immigration has significant discretion in determining whether the ties are sufficiently close for grant of the RRV. Note that if you have had more than five years absence from Australia we will need to show compelling reasons for your absence.
The requirements and processing times vary significantly between the two visa types, so it is important to check your eligibility before making any travel plans close to the expiry of your current permanent visa.