Resident Return Visa

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Resident Return Visa

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

Resident Return Visas - Do you Qualify?

For many people, seeking to migrate to Australia and obtaining permanent residence status is just the start of your migration journey. With strong ties to family and friends remaining overseas, migrants often travel back and forth between countries for several years after residency is granted.

A travel facility period of five years is standard for most Australian resident visas. However, once this period ends and your travel options are limited, the pull of family and friends residing overseas can still be quite strong.

Only Australian citizens have an automatic right to enter Australia. Should an Australian resident decide to travel after their current visa travel facility period has expired, they will need to apply for an Australian Resident Return visa to ensure they can return and re-entre Australia to regain their status as an Australian permanent resident.

Some of your Questions:

Q.  What is the Resident Return Visa?

For many people seeking to migrate to Australia and obtaining permanent residence status is just the start of their migration journey. Most Australian residence visas allow a period of up to five years unrestricted travel to and from Australia from the date the visa was granted.

However, once this period ends current or former Australian permanent residents and/or Australian citizens must apply for a Resident Return Visa to be able to re-enter Australia after overseas travel.

Once approved the Resident Return Visa allows you to stay indefinitely in Australia as a permanent resident, and to travel to and from Australia for up to five years from the date it is granted. Also, the visa links to your passport. If your passport expires before your visa does, you will need to apply for a new visa to sync with the new expiration date of your new passport.

Applicants for the Resident Return visa are subject to the same character test requirements as their original residency visa application, such as a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy Australian character requirements.

Q. What do they mean by Substantial Business ties?

You will need to show proof that you have substantial ownership interests and are personally involved at a senior level in the daily operations and management of a business operating within Australia. The business must be operating with the intention to make a profit, employ a certain number of people and be commercial in nature to substantiate any business interest claim.

Q.  What do they mean by Cultural ties?

If you are claiming cultural ties to support your application for a Return Resident visa, you will need to provide proof your role is adding to Australia’s cultural life. This could include membership of any cultural associations, media articles about your sporting endeavours or artistic performances or intellectual presentations you have made, or religious pursuits that may be considered to provide a strong tie to the Australian culture.

Q. What is the difference between a 155 and 157 Resident Return visa?

In general, as a 155 Resident Return visa holder, you will be granted an additional 12 months of travel facility from the date of grant. If you are granted a 157 Resident visa your travel facility may be limited to three months from the date of grant.

However, in certain circumstances this can be extended as there is facility within the legislation for the Resident Return travel facility to be valid for up to five years from the date of grant. The period of the travel facility is decided during the application approval process, and you will be informed of the length of this period at the time of your visa approval.

Q. Are there other requirements for applicants?

If you have spent a total of two years out of the last five years in Australia as an Australian permanent resident or citizen, or have conducted a substantial business or other personal ties within Australia for two of the past five years, or have spent two of the last five years as a partner or dependent family member of a person who holds a subclass 155 visa, you may be eligible to apply for a Return Resident visa.

You may also need to prove that you have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties to Australia, to support your Australia visa application, and again meet the Australian character test requirements to regain entry into Australia on this visa.

Q.  What do they mean by Employment ties?

You must prove you are currently employed or have a formal offer of employment to an organization Australia and demonstrate the benefit to both the organization and Australia.

Q.  What do they mean by Personal ties?

If you are a participating member of the Australian community, living in Australia or living overseas with an Australian citizen partner, and can show proof of personal assets or family already residing in Australia, then you may be eligible for a Resident Return visa.


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