Australian Resident Return Visa

Australian Resident Return Visa

Published on 30 August 2021
Last updated on 14 March 2024

You can become a permanent resident of Australia by applying for and being granted a permanent visa that allows you to remain in Australia indefinitely.

People can become a permanent resident of Australia in different ways. Three common ways of becoming a permanent resident are through gaining:

  • a family-stream permanent visa
  • a work-stream permanent visa
  • business or investor-stream permanent visa


1. What are the “benefits” of a permanent resident visa

As a permanent resident of Australia, you generally can:

  • remain in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Australia’s national health scheme – Medicare
  • apply for bank loans to buy property
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible
  • travel to and from Australia for as long as your travel facility permits, see Overseas travel as a permanent resident.
  • attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
  • work in New Zealand

Note: If you hold a permanent visa, but you are not residing in Australia, your eligibility for the above may be affected.


2. What is travel facility and validity?

As an Australian permanent resident, you do not have an automatic right to return to Australia from overseas.

When you are granted a permanent visa, you are usually permitted a 5-year travel facility. This means you can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you like in the 5 years from the date your permanent visa was granted, as long as your visa remains valid. After 5 years, your travel facility expires. You can check when your travel facility ends in VEVO.


3. What if my travel facility is about to expire or have expired?

  • If you are in Australia and do not need to travel abroad, you do not need to apply for a Resident Return Visa (“RRV”).
  • If you are planning to go overseas and wish to re-enter or return to Australia as a Permanent Resident, you have to apply for an RRV.

RRV is a visa that allows you to travel to and from Australia as a permanent resident until the travel validity of your visa expires RRV. The travel validity of your visa depends on your circumstances.

If you hold an RRV, you should be aware of your travel validity’s expiry date. You can check this on VEVO. You will not be sent reminders as to you when your travel facility is about to expire. If you need to travel, you should apply for a new RRV before your existing travel validity expires in order to avoid delays.


4. Which RRV should I apply for?

The type of RRV you will be granted depends on the length of time you have been in Australia prior to the visa application. Please see below table for further details:


Australian Resident Return Visa


Substantial ties” must be both substantial and of benefit to Australia. They include:

  • business ties
  • cultural ties
  • employment ties
  • personal ties

Processing times

Generally, applications that:

  • meet the residence requirements will be processed within 5 working days from lodgement
  • do not meet the residence requirement will take longer to process. For example, this can be 12 weeks from lodgement

Ascent Lawyers’ experienced and qualified immigration lawyers can assist you in preparing and drafting relevant documentation for you to successfully obtain your RRV.


5. Can a permanent resident visa be cancelled in Australia?

Yes! The immigration department has the authority to cancel all kinds of visas including permanent visas.

Common reasons for PR cancellations include:

  • The information provided when applying for permanent residency is incorrect or false. (example: relationship with partner is not genuine)
  • Circumstances which permitted the grant of the visa no longer exist (example: applicant has not worked for 2 years for employer nomination scheme visa)
  • The PR applicant committed a serious criminal offence

If your PR is about to be cancelled or has been cancelled, contact us now to solve your issues!

Disclaimer: Ascent Lawyers owns all copyright in the text. This article is of a general nature and should not be regarded as legal advice or relied on for assistance in any particular circumstance or emergency situation. To obtain legal advice in relation to your own circumstances, please contact us for consultation.

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