Delivering news of the grant of permanent residence to clients is one of the highlights of our work as immigration lawyers and agents. However, amidst the celebrations, it is important that clients do not overlook the message about the need to maintain an Australian re-entry visa. Occasionally, we receive a distress call from a person stranded at an overseas airport, and the defence is always “But I thought I was a permanent resident……!!”
Permanent residence provides the right to remain permanently and unconditionally in Australia. However it is only Australian citizens who have the automatic right of re-entry to Australia.
At the time that permanent residence is granted, a five year re-entry facility is also granted. Beyond this five year period, permanent residents must ensure that they maintain a valid re-entry visa, or Resident Return Visa (RRV) if they wish to travel overseas and return to Australia. If a permanent resident does not intend to travel overseas, or does not intend to do so for some time after the initial five years expires, there is no need to renew the RRV straightaway; it is not like a temporary visa that must be renewed prior to the visa expiry date.
Broadly, an RRV is renewed online and will be granted for a 5 year period if the permanent resident has resided in Australia for 2 out of the last 5 years.
If this residential requirement is not met, a permanent resident may be granted a 12 month RRV, as long as substantial business, employment, cultural or personal ties can be established. This 12 month RRV (or, if there are no such ties, the less favourable 3 month RRV) enables the permanent resident to build up his/her time in Australia and ideally, become eligible for the 5 year RRV.
Please contact your advisor with any RRV question.
DISCLAIMER This information is current as ofand subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.