Maintaining Permanent Residency
All permanent visa holders have the right to remain in Australia indefinitely but if they decide to travel outside Australia, they must ensure they have the authority to return to Australia.
Permanent residency visas are granted with a 5 year multiple travel facility from date of grant. Once this 5 year multiple travel facility expires, a permanent resident who decides to travel outside Australia, would need to apply and meet the requirements to be granted a Resident Return Visa (RRV) to enable them to return to Australia.
If an applicant has spent 2 years physically in Australia in the 5 years before applying, the applicant will be granted a 5 year RRV. This authority allows the visa holder to return to Australia for the 5 year period.
If an applicant does not meet the residency requirement, they may be able to demonstrate substantial ties to be granted an RRV valid for 12 months.
Some examples of substantial ties under the current policy include:
Business Ownership - An applicant needs to have substantial ownership interests in a business and be involved at a senior level in the day to day operations and management of the business.
A person involved in the Arts at a professional level (for example, an actor in a theatre company, an opera singer in an Australian company, a musician in a band or orchestra or a published author).
A sports person who is a member of Australian sporting associations.
An applicant who is currently employed in Australia, or who has accepted a formal offer of employment in Australia, has an employment tie with Australia.
Long term residence in Australia prior to the last five years, particularly, if the applicant has spent their formative years in Australia, or studied or been employed in Australia.
Ownership of a home and/or other personal assets in Australia.
The applicant has close family members who reside in Australia and are Australian permanent residents or Australian citizens.
Applicants who are not able to meet the residency requirement of 2 years physical residence in Australia, and are yet to establish substantial ties with Australia, may be eligible for a 3 month RRV. The applicant is required to have compelling and compassionate reasons to depart Australia. Some examples of compassionate and compelling reasons may include the severe illness or death of a family member or custody proceedings.
As it becomes increasingly more difficult and expensive to become a permanent resident in Australia, it is important to understand the restrictions and limitations so you are not at risk of losing your permanent residency if you are not living in Australia as yet.