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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Engaging with Visa Solutions Australia was one of the best decisions we have made since starting our operations in Australia. Expanding from the UK into Australia it was vital that we established a team who could carry our culture and expertise forward which sets us apart from our competition. They carry the same values as ourselves as they certainly put the customer first by providing timely, honest and clear advice meaning they have become a strategic partner for Waterstons The team at VSA have went above and beyond and we will be continuing our working relationship for years to come.

Matthew ThomasWaterstons

Very many thanks for this partner visa. A huge surprise at how quick this has been (just over three months after initial submission) and especially getting permanent residency as well as temporary when I didn't even realise we had gone to that stage yet!! I've been delighted with the service you and Nathalie have provided, as before with my visitor visas. Your considerable help and guidance have been invaluable, from our initial meeting in Como right through to your congratulatory phone call today. If we'd tried to apply for the visa without your involvement I'm sure we would still be struggling to make sense of what was required. I would have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone with a visa requirement and will use you again if and when I need any further help.

Charles (and Tania)

Dan, I would like to thank you and your team on behalf of Alumni for the great support we have received from Visa Solutions, particularly working under rushed conditions during the holiday period. Nathalie and Lina were very patient and professional throughout in dealing with our changing circumstances and multiple requests for information and support. We would recommend Visa Solutions to others without hesitation, and are looking forward to a successful conclusion for our one remaining application.

Alix GriceAlumni Services

Thanks VSA – sounds like a win-win all round! I would like to add that this outcome could not have been achieved without your attention in this matter, firstly in your initial follow-up; and then in the detailed documents and response when requested yesterday. This is an example of the professionalism which enhances our working relationship with RMAs, and ultimately benefits our clients. Thanks again.


Firstly, me and my family are very grateful for the work and effort you extended to me during the period of the processing our Residence Visa. From the initial contact, I had been assisted wisely on the options that I have to take up to the very challenging part of securing my Chinese Police Clearance, where I described it as if I was pressed against the wall already. You were always there when I needed most of your assistance. You all put in extra effort to assist and guide me through till the goal of our visa was achieved and that makes your service a very special one.

Carlo Camon

Thanks VSA team! Excellent work and thanks for informing us immediately. Thanks for your effort all. Cheers!

Steve, Moved to Australia in 2015

VSA were a joy to work with during my migration to Australia. During the start they were kind enough to give us an understanding of the application process and the options available to us. With VSA's help I got my visa on time and without any complications!

Arnie Verghese

VSA have helped me immensely, to fulfil my dream of migrating to Australia. Working with them made the entire experience smooth, which is why I also ended up working with VSA for my partners fiancé visa.

Anjali Rajshekhar

The process is long and throughout I asked a lot of detailed questions which were answered promptly and my dedicated agent and support staff provided great guidance throughout this journey. l was provided with accurate information in a timely fashion and guidance where required. When ever I needed support my agent was on hand to help out, I could rely on my agent. My experience was, Visa Solutions has a great support team and is professionally managed. I have no reservations in recommending Visa Solutions, money well spent and suggest a chat with them to see if they can help.


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Thank you again for your excellent service and support. In my opinion you went above and beyond the norm.

Frank Zenke

Have arrived in Perth last week for my course. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for helping me getting the visa.

Elaine Lau

I would like to thank you deeply VSA for your help and was wonderful meeting you all and witnessing true professionals at work.

Mike CookVisa Solutions Australia

Thanks so much to the VSA team. You made us so happy.

Marites Wycoco

A big thanks to all the team at Visa Solutions. It's been almost two years since I first contacted the Perth office and received lots of valuable advice over the phone. I had no hesitation in using your services when the time arose, and very glad that we did. Very happy with your services and putting up with our many questions.

Michael Alley

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