Australia Resident Return Visa (Class BB) (Subclass 155)
Australia Resident Return Visa or RRV Subclass 155 visa is a permanent visa for all Australia permanent residents whose first permanent visa, regardless of the visa subclass, has ceased after 5 years of visa grant.
As an Australia permanent resident, you are required to hold a valid visa to return to Australia. All permanent visas are valid for 5 years, including Resident Return (Subclass 155) Visa.
If you don’t travel outside of Australia, you would not be worried if your permanent visa has expired. However, if you spent most of your time outside of Australia, you would need to apply for Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155) to return to Australia if your current permanent resident visa is about to expire or has expired.
You may also apply for Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155) if you have lost or renounced your Australian citizenship or you are a former Australian permanent resident because your permanent resident visa has expired, but not cancelled.
How do you qualify?
If you hold a permanent visa but spent most of your time overseas, you must have resided in Australia for a total of at least 2 years in the least 5 years. If not, you must be a former holder of a permanent resident visa or a permanent entry permit but you were not a holder of a temporary visa, other than an eTA Subclass 601 visa, or a Border Subclass 773 visa (click here to learn more about Border visa), or an eTA Subclass 956 (Business Entrant Long Validity) visa, or an eTA Subclass 976 (Visitor) visa, or an eTA Subclass 977 (Business Entrant Short Validity) visa held at the same time with the permanent resident visa or the permanent entry permit or a bridging visa.
What if I do not meet the 2 in 5 years residency requirement?
If you have spent a significant time away from Australia and you do not meet the 2 years in 5 years residency requirement, the Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs) may refuse your application for Australia Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155). However, if you have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties with Australia which are of benefit to Australia, and you have not been absent for a continuous period of 5 or more years before applying for RRV Subclass 155 visa, unless there are compelling reasons for your prolong absence, and you held a permanent resident visa or last departed Australia as an Australian permanent resident or last departed Australia as an Australian citizen but, has later lost or renounced your citizenship. Or you were an Australian citizen, or a permanent resident and less than 10 years before applying for Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155), and you have not been absent from Australia for a period of, or periods that total, more than 5 years from the date you last departed Australia to the date of applying for the visa, unless there are compelling reasons for the absence.
If you have family members living in Australia as Australian citizens or permanent residents who hold or satisfy the criteria for the grant of Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155), this may assist your own application even if you do not meet the 2 years in 5 years residency requirement.
If you lodge an application for Australia Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155) in Australia, you can be in or outside Australia when the visa is granted. However, if you are outside of Australia when the visa application is lodged, you must also be outside of Australia when the visa is granted.
The Australia Resident Return Visa is usually valid for 5 years if you satisfy the 2 years in 5 years residency requirement, or 1 year if you do not satisfied the 2 years in 5 years residency requirement but you have substantial ties of benefit to Australia.
If you do not meet the criteria for the grant of Australia Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155), the Department of Immigration may grant you a Resident Return (Class BB) (Subclass 157) visa which is valid for 3 months if you were lawfully present in Australia as a permanent resident for more than 1 day in the period of 5 years before applying. You must also show that there are compelling and compassionate reasons for living outside of Australia for an extended period. Click here to learn more.
You should be aware that your permanent visa can be cancelled for a number of reasons, click here to learn more.
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you decide if you are eligible to apply for Australia Resident Return Visa (click here to find out how an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent can help you). You may also refer to our FAQs for answers regarding visa application or visa cancellation by clicking here.
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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.