Navigating the Residency Maze: The Resident Return Visa
Permanent Residency Visas for Australia come with a 5-year multiple travel facility, allowing visa holders to travel to and from Australia without requiring an additional visa during this period. Once the multiple travel facility expires, or is nearing expiration, Australian Permanent Residents must obtain a resident return visa (RRV) to maintain their permanent residency status and travel privileges.
To be eligible for an RRV, applicants must meet a residency requirement, having spent at least 2 years in Australia as permanent residents in the 5 years preceding the application. If the residency requirement is met, and there have been no changes to the applicant's name and date of birth since the last visa was granted, the application process is straightforward, and online submission is possible. In most cases, the visa can be automatically granted for a new 5-year period.
If the residency requirement is not met, applicants can still apply for an RRV by demonstrating substantial ties to Australia in personal, business, employment, or cultural aspects. Examples of substantial ties include substantial ownership and active involvement in a business, engagement in intellectual, artistic, sporting, or religious pursuits contributing to Australia's cultural life, current employment or a formal job offer in Australia, employment outside Australia by an Australian organization, or employment by a non-Australian organization that clearly benefits Australia.
For RRVs based on substantial ties, the visa is granted for a maximum of 12 months. However, it's important to note that processing times for applications based on substantial ties have significantly increased, with some cases taking more than 6 months. Therefore, it is advisable to seek advice well in advance of travel and travel facility expiration. Travelling without a valid RRV may impact return travel to Australia and eligibility for citizenship.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case-specific information or advice, please get in touch with SCA Connect.