Resident Return Visa

A very interesting visa that the Department has provided for permanent residents who cannot or do not want to acquire Australian citizenship, cannot reside in Australia but want to hold their permanent resident status.

I agree that this kind of visa is not relevant for everyone, but in the post-COVID period, the request number has increased. However, not everyone understands how it works. I’ll tell you today and start, perhaps, from the beginning.

A permanent Australian visa (partner, work, professional, etc.) always has some conditions, period of entry (usually one year), and the validity of the visa is 5 years.

In the usual scenario, in these 5 years, you can apply for and receive an Australian passport and then you don’t need to think about any Australian visas anymore. However, there are limitations to second citizenship in some particular countries.

The Resident return visa becomes much-needed if a permanent resident has left Australia but wants to return or holds resident status after a five-year visa expiring period.

This visa may be issued for a different period (there are two visa subclasses 155 and 157) depending on how long the resident lived in Australia on his previous visa.


In case a permanent resident was living in Australia for a short period of time or did not live at all, he will need to provide significant reasons and arguments explaining his circumstances. After all, the officer could grant the resident status extension. Once, only this visa processing took at least 6 months. A bit uncomfortable, right?

To make it even clearer, let’s take a look at a few scenarios:

  1. You held a permanent residence visa, entered Australia and do not travel abroad after the five-year period have been expired. So you can live in Australia with no problems because your permanent visa has no limits within Australia.
  2. You have received a permanent visa and entered and lived in Australia for 2 years in total 5 years. In this case, you will receive a Returning resident visa again for 5 years. Further, you should plan your travels in the same way (staying 2 years in Australia within the next 5 years) to receive the same visa with the same conditions.
  3. If you have obtained your permanent visa and entered Australia just for one day and did not return, then to enter you will need to obtain a returning resident visa. In such cases, the visa may be granted for approximately 3 months or 1 year, so you have to enter and can stay in Australia forever. However, if you wish to leave again, you will again need to apply for a new Returning Resident visa to re-enter Australia later.

I bet you have a reasonable question “Who and how will calculate the amount of time I spent in Australia?”

I would like to assure you that everything has already been created for us by DOHA to have everything under control. By requesting International movement records, you will receive all the days of your departures and entries into Australia.

Personally, as a migration agent, I encourage clients to lead their migration case to citizenship, and then do whatever they want – move to another country or just travel around the world, but circumstances may be different. Therefore, guys, I am always ready to help you and solve your visa issues. 


Just email me at and describe your migration issues!

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