Renewing Permanent Residency – 155 & 157 Resident Return Visas

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Is your Australian permanent residency visa about to expire? Or has it expired already? Do you need to apply for a visa in order to travel overseas and return to Australia? You may be able to apply for a Subclass 155 Resident Return visa (link to online 155 visa application form).

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International travel with permanent residency visas

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Generally speaking, once you are granted an Australian permanent residency visa, this visa will allow you to travel in and out of Australia for a period of 5 years from the date of grant. This is referred to as your ‘international travel facility’. This does not mean that you are only allowed to lawfully remain in Australia for 5 years. As a permanent resident, you are allowed to lawfully remain in Australia indefinitely As a permanent resident, you are allowed to lawfully remain in Australia indefinitely as a permanent resident as long as you arrive in Australia before your current permanent residency visa expires.

However, the travel facility on your permanent residency visa does expire after 5 years from when you are granted permanent residency. If you want to travel overseas after your travel facility has expired, then you will need obtain a Subclass 155 Resident Return Visa (“RRV”) (assuming that you have not obtained Australian citizenship in the meantime).

Depending on your situation, if you are granted a RRV, it will either be valid for 5 years or 1 year (although there is also a Subclass 157 Resident Return Visa which is valid for 3 months – see explanation below).

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Main eligibility requirements for 155 visa

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The key eligibility requirements for the Subclass 155 and 157 Resident Return visas are outlined below:

  • 155 visa which is valid for 5 years – in the last 5 years that precedes the lodgement of your RRV application, you have been in Australia as a permanent resident for at least 2 years out of the 5. You must satisfy this requirement to obtain a 155 RRV that is valid for 5 years
  • 155 visa which is valid for 1 year – you have been in Australia for at least 1 day in the last 5 years as the holder of a permanent residency visa and you have substantial, business, cultural, employment and/or personal ties to Australia which are of benefit to Australia (explained below)
  • 155 visa which is valid for 1 year – since the grant of your permanent residency visa, you have been absent from Australia for a period of 5 years of more, there are compelling reasons for your absence (explained below) and you have substantial, business, cultural, employment and/or personal ties to Australia which are of benefit to Australia
  • 157 visa which is valid for 3 months – you have been in Australia for at least 1 day in the last 5 years as the holder of a permanent residency visa and ‘compelling and compassionate reasons’ that caused your last departure from Australia OR if you are in Australia and need to travel, you can show a compelling and compassionate reason for having to leave Australia

 

Mandatory requirement for all Resident Return visa applicants

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In order to apply for a RRV, you must be either:

  1. An Australian permanent resident (i.e. hold a permanent residency visa)
  2. A former Australian citizen who has lost or renounced Australian citizenship
  3. A former Australian permanent resident, other than a former Australian permanent resident whose most recent permanent visa was cancelled

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Resident Return visa – valid for 5 years

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You must satisfy this requirement to obtain a Subclass 155 Resident Return visa that is valid for 5 years – in the last 5 years that precedes the lodgement of your RRV application, you have been in Australia as a permanent resident for at least 2 years out of the 5.

Two years is defined as 730 days in total. You do not have to complete two consecutive years of residence in Australia. You can accumulate the required two years over the 5 year period that precedes the lodgement of your application.

You can only count the time that you have spent in Australia as a permanent resident or Australian citizen (i.e. you cannot count any time that you held a temporary visa or a bridging visa towards the 2 years). You can count both your date of arrival and departure from Australia, assuming that these dates are different days.

You must satisfy the above requirement in order to obtain a Subclass 155 Resident Return visa that is valid for 5 years. There are no exemptions that will get you around satisfying this requirement. You may be able to obtain a RRV with 1 year of international travel facility if you cannot satisfy this requirement.

Perhaps it is easier to explain this requirement with an example: the international travel facility of your current permanent residency visa is about to expire on 30 January 2014. You decide to be safe and apply for an RRV on 1 January 2014. The relevant five year period that precedes the lodgement of the application is from 1 January 2009 to 1 January 2014. During that period, have you spent at least 730 days in Australia as the holder of a permanent residency visa? If so, then you can apply for an RRV with 5 years of international travel facility.

If you do satisfy this requirement, then you can apply for your RRV online. You can lodge your application while you are inside of Australia, or outside of Australia. The process should be pretty straight forward, and the Department should be able to grant the visa within days or weeks of lodgement.

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Resident Return visa – valid for 1 year

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If you have been in Australia for less than 2 years in the 5 year period that precedes the lodgement of your application, then you may be able to obtain a RRV with 1 year of international travel facility if you meet the below eligibility requirements:

  1. You have been physically present in Australia, however you have been in Australia for less than 2 years during the 5 year period that precedes the lodgement of your application
  2. You have not been absent from Australia for a continuous period of 5 years or more since the grant of your permanent residency visa
  3. You currently hold an Australian permanent residency visa or last departed Australia as an Australian permanent resident or last departed Australia as an Australian citizen, but has subsequently lost or renounced Australian citizenship OR You were an Australian citizen, or an Australian permanent resident, less than 10 years before the application, and you have not been absent from Australia for a period of, or periods that total, more than 5 years in the period from the date that you last departed Australia as an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident to the date of the application, unless there are compelling reasons for the absence.
  4. You have substantial, business, cultural, employment and/or personal ties to Australia which are of benefit to Australia

If you need to show substantial ties to Australia, then you need to submit evidence to demonstrate this.

If you do not meet the second requirement because you have been absent from Australia for a continuous period of 5 years or more since the grant of your permanent residency visa, then you will need to demonstrate ‘compelling reasons’ for your absence (further explanation below).

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Substantial ties requirement

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You can show substantial ties by having business, cultural, employment and/or personal ties.

The Department’s policy does recognise that the longer that you have been away from Australia, the more difficult it may be for you to establish ‘substantial ties’.

Extract from the Department’s policy: In general, it becomes increasingly difficult to demonstrate substantial ties of benefit over extended periods of absence. This is in part because the longer the period of absence the more difficult it is to continue to maintain ties of sufficient import to be considered ‘substantial’.

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Employment ties

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If you have an employment opportunity in Australia, then you may be able to establish ‘substantial ties’ on this basis. The nature of the work is a relevant consideration (i.e. is it permanent, temporary or contract? Is it full-time, part-time or casual?). Policy states that ‘casual work would not normally be considered to be a substantial tie unless the applicant had been living in Australia for a significant period in the last 2 years’.

The Department can consider the following in assessing whether your employment ties is of benefit to Australia:

  1. Whether the role aligns with your qualifications and experience
  2. Whether the role is due to commence immediately
  3. Whether you can demonstrate an intention to stay in Australia for the long term by providing evidence such as a lease agreement, or enrolling your children in school

The Department will also need to consider the ‘genuineness’ of your claim of employment ties (to stop people from forming fraudulent employment ties in order to apply for a RRV).

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Personal ties

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The Department’s policy in relation to substantial personal ties: Substantial personal ties may be of benefit to Australia in the sense that the applicant is, or has been, a participating member of the Australian community and economy, and that their ties enrich the lives of individual Australian residents and citizens.

Policy also states that allowing you to live with your family can be considered to be of benefit to Australia if there is evidence that you and your family have imminent plans to live in Australia permanently. The following examples are given:

  1. If your partner is an Australian citizen and you’re living with your partner outside of Australia. Policy states that this situation ‘should be given considerable weight’
  2. If you’re living overseas with your family and your family includes children (or a child) who are under 18 and are Australian citizens, and you provide evidence to show that you have immediate plans to return to Australia. Policy states that ‘this tie should be given considerable weight’
  3. If you are an Australian citizen and your child is an Australian permanent resident and you need to apply for a RRV for your child. If your child is living outside of Australia with you, policy states this situation ‘should be given considerable weight’ in establishing substantial ties for your child’s RRV application

Other basis for personal ties that are mentioned in The Department’s policy include:

  1. If you have a history of long term residence in Australia prior to the last 5 years, particularly if you have spent your formative years in Australia or has spent a significant amount of time in Australia since first being granted a permanent visa. The longer that you’ve been in Australia since you were granted permanent residency, the more weight is placed on this factor
  2. Personal assets in Australia such as a family home or single investment property. However, whether this personal tie is of benefit to Australia is dependent on whether it is occupied, for example, by a close family member or actively being rented
  3. Having close family members who are Australian citizens or permanent residents and these family members have substantial residence in Australia (I assume that The Department’s policy means that your family members have been living in Australia for a substantial period of time)

With personal ties, if you can show an intention to make Australia your home and you intend to reside here permanently, then you should include evidence that demonstrates this.

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Business ties

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Under The Department’s policy, the applicant needs to ‘to have substantial ownership interests in a business and be involved in the management of the business, however they do not need to have physical residence in Australia. This business should be an Australian business or a branch of a business which has connections with Australia’.

When The Department assesses whether your business ties are of benefit to Australia, your case officer can consider the following (and of course, you’ll need to provide supporting evidence):

  • Your business has led to the creation of employment opportunities in Australia, or for Australian citizens or permanent residents outside of Australia
  • Whether your business generates revenue in or for Australia
  • Size of the business
  • Whether your business enhances links with other countries
  • Whether your business has resulted in the transfer of Australian knowledge and/or technologies offshore and/or evidence of introducing new technologies into Australia.

The above list of considerations is not an exhaustive list. If you have business ties to Australia (i.e. you have substantial ownership interests in a business), then you should have a think about the benefits and relationships that your business is delivering to Australia and Australians, and whether you can evidence these benefits and relationships.

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Cultural ties

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Below is The Department’s policy extract in relation to what constitutes cultural ties:

A substantial cultural tie of benefit to Australia may exist if the applicant’s cultural pursuits are conducted at a professional level or with a degree of public recognition. Some examples of persons who may have substantial cultural ties include, but are not limited to:

  • A person who is accepted as a member of a cultural community within Australia who is actively involved in traditional activities
  • A person involved in the Arts at a professional level
  • Members of religious communities in Australia or
  • Sports persons or professional support staff who are members of Australian sporting associations.

Evidence to support a claim of cultural ties of benefit to Australia may include:

  • Publications
  • Contracts
  • Evidence of membership of cultural associations
  • Newspaper articles
  • Programs from concerts, etc.

As a general observation it is likely that the reasons claimed as cultural ties would be consistent with the basis for the grant of their original permanent visa.

We are sorry but if you leave a comment listing all our connections and ask whether your connections are sufficient, we will not be able to provide you with an answer. We cannot provide you with definite advice as unless we have completed an assessment. We need to have a thorough understanding of all your connections with Australia before we can provide you with definite and useful advice.

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Compelling reasons for absence from Australia

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If you have been absent from Australia for a continuous period of 5 years or more since the grant of your permanent residency visa, then you will need to demonstrate ‘compelling reasons’ for your absence.

The Department’s policy guidelines do provide examples in relation to what may constitute ‘compelling reasons’. Examples include severe illness or death of an overseas family member or been caught up in a natural disaster, political uprising or other similar event. It is not always easy to demonstrate compelling reasons. And generally speaking, ‘every day’ reason for not being in Australia such as work or study commitments are not considered to be ‘compelling’.

Satisfying your case officer that there are ‘compelling reasons’ for your absence can be difficult, and whether your case officer accepts your reasons is discretionary. So if you want to retain the right to travel in and out of Australia as a permanent resident, then we would strongly suggest that you try and avoid this situation where you are absent from Australia for a continuous period of 5 years or more since the grant of your permanent residency visa.

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Subclass 157 – 3 month Resident Return visa

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If you cannot obtain a 155 visa, you may be able to apply for the Subclass 157 Resident Return visa. Specifically, if you do not have any substantial ties with Australia, you may still be able to apply for the 157 visa because you do not need to demonstrate substantial ties with Australia for this visa.

If you are granted this visa, then it is valid for a period of 3 months. This is a permanent residency visa, and you will be allowed to remain in Australia indefinitely if you return to Australia as the holder of this visa.

In order to obtain this visa, you need to demonstrate that:

  1. In the 5 year period that precedes the lodgement of the application, you have been lawfully present in Australia for at least 1 day as an Australian permanent resident or citizen (you cannot rely on time spent in Australia under a temporary or bridging visa in order to satisfy this requirement)
  2. There are ‘compelling and compassionate reasons’ that caused your last departure from Australia OR if you are in Australia and need to travel, you can show a compelling and compassionate reason for having to leave Australia

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How we can help

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Please Contact Us if you require our assistance.

Our Client Testimonials reflect:

  • the excellence of our work
  • our willingness take on the difficult cases and achieve the outcomes that our clients want
  • our willingness to cater our services to the precise needs of our clients, including working outside of normal business hours and providing limited assistance where needed such as  helping to resolve a specific issue or issues with a particular application
  • our ability to assist business and private clients from all over Australia and the world! We are based in Sydney NSW, however, we have assisted business and private clients from all over Australia and the world. We have never had issues with assisting clients that we don’t get to meet in person

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Frequently asked questions

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  1. Q: Can I apply for the RRV even though my permanent residency visa has expired?
    A: As explained above, you can still meet the eligibility requirements for a RRV even if your permanent residency visa has expired
  2. Q: Do I need to be in Australia at the time of lodgement?
    A: Generally speaking, no
  3. Q: Should I apply for a RRV before my current permanent residency visa expires?
    A: You can if you want. If it is granted, then the new RRV will replace whatever substantive visa that you were holding
  4. Q: Is there any limit on the number of RRV that I can be granted?
    A: No
  5. Q: If my application is refused, can I apply again?
    A: Yes, but the result may be the same unless you change your application in some way
  6. Q: If I outline my reasons for being away from Australia, can you confirm whether these will be sufficient for ‘compelling reasons for absence’?
    A: See above response

 

* Subject to completion of assessment, and confirmation that we can assist with the application.

678 thoughts on “Renewing Permanent Residency – 155 & 157 Resident Return Visas

  1. Gianna Robbers

    Dear Peng,
    I was wondering how can I prove that I have spent exactly 730 days physically in Australia? I frequently travel inside and outside the country. Will I need to submit travel documents or bookings together with my 5-year return permanent visa application? I had to renew passport and hence lost many travel stamps from my old passport. Therefore, I only have travel bookings left as prove of my travels.
    Thank you for your help in advance.
    Kind regards
    Gianna

    Reply
  2. Cherry Mae

    Good day Peng!

    I recently applied for an RRV on Sept. 22. I have submitted copies of my passport and identification through IMMI however they are not certified copies. Will this be a ground for refusal?
    Thank you in advance. And I am worried because it is already 21 days after I applied but still the status on my application only shows received.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Cherry,
      Clear scanned copies are usually fine for supporting documents. Your case officer should let you know if certified copies are required, or you can upload these now after lodgement via your Immiaccount.
      PC

      Reply
  3. Mridula

    Dear Peng,

    Our ( my husband, kid and me) Australian PR expired on 12 October 2017.But we couldn’t meet the 2 year residence requirement by that time. My husband came here on April 2016 and my kid and me on November 2016. My husband working here as a full-time permanent employee in a company and my kid studying in school.
    Can you please tell me whether we will get a 5yr valid RRV, if we all apply now? If we apply in April, after my husband fulfill the 2 years resistance requirement, do we all get a 5years valid RRV?

    Thanks
    Mridula

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Mridula,
      You can only get the 5 year visa if you lodge after satisfying the 2/5 year residency requirement as explained in the above post.
      PC

      Reply
  4. Jim Fuller

    Hello Peng,
    Can you assist with requesting an application for rrv to be expedited on compelling and compassionate grounds? Mainly due to booking a business trip and not knowing that i would require such a long waiting time for approval after submitting the application.

    current rrv expired 17 aug
    trip booked on 21 aug for depart 13 oct (tomorrow!!!)
    new rrv applied for on 25 sept, no status updATE YET.

    can you help???

    thanks,
    jim

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Jim,
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
    2. George S

      HI Jim, have your got your RRV applied? My case is same…24 days and still counting…let me know your case and I will inform you mine so that at least we could count on each other as we are in similar situation

      Reply
  5. Keith

    Dear Peng,

    My family of 5 all having a 1 year RRV till mid Feb’2018 except my youngest daughter’s (8 yrs old) RRV expired on 21st Sept 2017. I applied to renew/extend her RRV on 8th Sept 17 hoping it will be granted before it expired but till today, 8th Oct 17, still pending. Prior to application, she has been in Australia for about 5 weeks over last 1 year. Correct me if I’m not wrong, they will considerate if her parents have a RRV.

    If she is not granted a RRV, what can I do next? Plan to return by end of the year. Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Dee

    Hi Peng,

    I am an international student who had a PR back in 2001 but due to some decisions that my parents took, I had to leave the country when I was 2 years and 3 months old. I stayed in Australia for 6 months and my PR was available till November 2005. My parents did not renew the PR after that due to some medical reasons. Is there by any chance I can apply for an RRV based on the fact that I want to stay in the country and could not make that decision for myself back then.

    Thanks and cheers,
    Dee

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Dee,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  7. Zen

    Hi Peng
    My previous 1 year RR visa travel facility had expired 2 year ago (expiry date 6 Oct 2015).
    I have been outside Australia since then (In Malaysia from 1 Oct 2015 till now). I don’t reapply for a new RR visa travel facility since the last expiry on 6 Oct 2015.
    As of today, I had also fulfilled the 2 out of the last 5 years physical residence in Australia (resided in Australia between 1 July 2013 to 30 Sep 2015).
    Can I still get a 5 year RR visa if I apply online today while outside Australia?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Zen,
      You can get a 5 year visa if you satisfy the 2/5 year residency requirement, even if you are currently outside of Australia.
      PC

      Reply
  8. Lalitha

    Hi
    Our PR expired in November 2005. During the five years period my husband stayed for 2 months in Sydney and I stayed here for 6 months. Currently we are in Australia and my kids are studying here. My husband is in 457. Before coming here in Feb my husband applied for RRv which got rejected . The reason being 1. We did not stay here for 2 years 2. The last time my husband left Australia he was in a business visa. It is already 12 years since our PR expired and do you think if I reapply for RRv in my name is there any possibility of getting it. Since my age is already 46 I m unable to apply for PR now. My only compelling reason was I had bladder tuberculosis in 2008 which took some years for treatment and recovery. Can my daughter who is 18 now apply separately for RRv. International student fees are very expensive and without RRv it is difficult. Pl provide your suggestion . My question is who can apply RRv so that the outcome will be positive.
    Regards

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Lalitha,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  9. Lay

    Dear Peng,
    My husband lodged his RRV subclass 155 in 5/9. Todate the status on his application is still “to be assessed”. He has to leave Australia in a few days for work matters. Will his leaving affect the processing of his RRV? I suppose he will have to wait till his RRV be approved to return. Am I correct? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Lay,
      He can be outside of Australia when the application is decided.
      He does need a valid visa to return to Australia.
      PC

      Reply
  10. Lok Loong Muk

    Dear PC,
    I come under Subclass 155 and have been staying in Australia past 9 months. My RRV expired mid Sep 2017 and I submitted my RRV application on 11 Sep and to date (30 Sep) it is still pending. I had to leave Australia before my RRV application outcome was finalized, which means I now have to have an approved RRV before I can return to Australia. I am confident I satisfy the requirements to attain at least a 1 year RRV but it’s the timing that I am concern with now as I am due to return by 6 Oct. The question I have is, are there any options I can pursue to return to Australia while my RRV outcome is pending? E.g. by Bridging Visa? ETA? Would these options entail any negative impact on my RRV application? Appreciate your advise please. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Lok,
      You can return to Australia on a visitor visa if you wish – don’t think that this will affect the outcome for your application.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Sam

        Hi Peng,
        Just in the same situation as the person above, before applying the processing period was 4-8days then when applied it said 6-11 days and when I checked back the website , it said 6-21 days, do this processing times still apply to the visas ? I’m so confused. Thanks in advance.

        Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          Yes the Department’s processing time for 155 visas has increased – seems to be around 3-6 weeks.
          PC

          Reply
        2. Bel

          Hi Peng and Sam,
          Im in the same situation like everyone else who have submitted their RRV application almost a month ago and yet to hear any outcome, and im due to travel soon. Is anyone there know any contact number that we can call to follow up and get further advise what to do to enable us to come back to Australia legally (and also back to work) while waiting for the visa to be granted? Any input from Peng or anyone else is highly appreciated.

          Thank you

          Reply
          1. Peng Cheng Post author

            Hi Bel,
            Yes unfortunately there are a lot of people in this situation. There isn’t much that you can do unfortunately but you can call the Department can follow-up.
            PC

    2. Adrian

      Hi Peng

      Thanks for answering our questions.

      My current 155 visa expired on 21 Sep. I applied for my 155 visa on 18 Sep as it previously only took me 2 days to have it approved. The visa still hasn’t been granted up until today.
      I am travelling overseas for holiday on 22 Oct and planning to return to work on 5 Nov .
      Would you recommend me to apply for an ETA now or later (in case the ETA processing time has increased dramatically like the 155)?

      Reply
        1. Adrian

          Thanks Peng.

          Just wondering if I apply for an ETA, would that supersede my 155 RRV application or even my permanent residency?

          Cheers
          Adrian

          Reply
          1. Chelsea Chan

            Hi Adrian,

            We got the same issue. Have you got your RRV now? Just wondering how long will it usually takes. I lodge mine Sept 30 and I haven’t heard anything yet.

            Thanks!

          2. Peng Cheng Post author

            Sorry I’d need to check.
            Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
            PC

          3. Adrian

            Thanks for your help and your offer Peng.

            I will wait for one more week and see what DIBP will do for me regarding my app first.

            Thanks again Peng.

          4. Adrian

            And I will let you know when I am granted the visa Chelsea.
            Let me know if you have got yours too please. 🙂

          5. Cherry Mae

            Hi Adrian. I just want to ask if your visa is approved already??
            I lodged mine on Sept. 22 and still dont have news about.
            Hope you dont mind me asking. Thank you

          6. Adrian

            No my RRV still hasn’t been granted.
            It has almost been 30 days since I lodged my application. Not great. 🙁

          1. George S

            Hi Cherry,
            I think it only makes sense for us to wait patiently…My RRV I lodged on 23/Sep and still waiting. I thought of following up but I will wait for now at least for a month to pass as it sounds like normal processing time now ( Adrian’s case also shows the same). Website also says 90% of the applications approved in 28 days now..

            Let me know if yours got approved and I will let you know when I get mine approved 🙂
            That would give some idea about processing times to keep each other informed

          2. George S

            Hi Cherry, glad to hear your RRV is also now approved..Guess yours took 32 days and its quite normal as per other info we see here.

          3. George S

            Hi Cherry/Adrian,

            I got my RRV approved today…31 days processing time,
            Please keep this blog active for our next renewals 🙂
            wishing us good luck..Long live Australia …

          1. Cherry Mae

            Hi George. I like to inform you that I just got my RRV today..
            Lodged it on 22nd of September ang got it today, Oct. 23. Hope you have yours very soon..

  11. Irene Johnson

    Hi Peng….so confused how to re new my 155 visa…read all info but once trying to apply..cannot go futher..anyway I can apply in person ..please help..

    Reply
  12. Joy

    Dear Peng,

    I am out of Australia at the moment.
    My current one year 155 RRV will expire in March 2018. If I apply for another one year 155 RRV in January 2018, and if it is refused in Feb 2018, then does that mean my current visa until March 2018 will be cancelled or can I still travel to Australia before the end of my current visa ?

    Thank you for your advice.

    Reply
  13. ioni

    Hi Peng,
    Thank you for this forum.
    I have a question about expired PR visas, RRv visa and my residency eligibility to apply for citizenship.
    I was granted a PR visa in May 2012, but forgot to apply for a RRV before I travelled overseas in Jul 2017 (which is past the 5 year period allowed to travel with a PR visa). On my way back to Australia, I was not allowed to check-in at the overseas airport, but when the airport offical called Australian Border Services office, the Border Officer checked my records (i have lived and held a permanent job in Australia for most of that 5 years, except for holidays overseas) and granted me an override and allowed me to come to Perth. At the Perth airport, I was granted a Border 773 visa and asked to apply for a RRV within 30 days. I did that and now have a RRV given for 5 years. My question is this:
    I tried to lodge my citizenship application online and found that I can’t as the new RRV states that I was given PR in July 2017. Can you tell me how long I will have to wait before I will be allowed to lodge a citizenship application?
    Also, does coming into Australia on a border visa, make me an unlawful non-citizen?
    Thank you for your time and help.
    Ioni

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Ioni,
      You aren’t unlawful if you came on a valid visa.
      Sorry but you’ll need to contact the Department if you satisfy the citizenship requirements and you are having issues with their application process.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
    2. SR

      Hi Ioni,
      I’m in exactly the same boat as you.
      I contacted Department but they wouldn’t give advice on what to do. I am looking into the 6 ministerial discretions but I’m not sure if any of them apply in this situation.
      Have you found the answer to your question? ie how long to wait before lodging citizenship application?

      Reply
  14. sarb

    HI PENG
    I am going to apply online for RRV. Presently out of Australia . My stay in Aus was only for few days in last 5 years. My immediate family has now started living in AUS.
    I have filled online form in IMMI account , but this form does not ask any information about family ties. I worry , in the absence of this proof, department may decide negative.
    or they will ask my family ties later on before deciding the application.
    Pls clarify

    Reply
  15. Austin

    Hi Pang

    My mum and I were granted contributary parent visa 2013 and pr expire on 2018. I live in australia all time and my mum only spent around 69 days in australia due to look after my dad in home country.
    Can I apply 5 years RRV on my own even though my mum(was main applicant) not fulfill residency req.
    Can my mum apply 1 year RRV every year to keep her PR valid before each PR expiry? She can come every year for 2-3 months.
    Thank so much for your info.
    Really good article for visa 155 I was looking for !!!! perfect !!

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Austin,
      You can apply for your 5 year visa if you satisfy the 2/5 year requirement.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your mother’s visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  16. Lin

    Hi Peng, if I don’t have very compelling reasons for being absent from Australia in the last 5 years, does applying for a rrv anyway and getting rejected impact my chances of success for applying for a new visa? Or should I just apply for a new visa immediately?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Lin,
      Rejection because you don’t have compelling reasons for a 155 visa won’t affect your future visa application.
      PC

      Reply
  17. Hanna

    Hello Peng,
    My family got here in Australia in 2007 and was granted PR in 2008 for 5 years. Before the PR expired my Mum, my brother and myself became citizens, with the exception of my Dad, who renewed his PR in 2013. A month after his PR got renewed for a second time, he left for India to take care of his mother. He only got back to Australia in September 2017 and his PR is expiring on 11th February 2018. After he renewed his PR, he has only stayed for less than 2 years in Australia with RRV 155 subclass, but in total he has stayed for 4 years and 9 months. In the time he was in Australia, he had a permanent job in the local government hospital. We both are students and my younger brother is under 15. Hence my questions are:
    – Is he eligible for the 5 year renewal of his visa, since his wife and children are citizens of Australia and his son under 15 years of age and is a student?
    – Is he only eligible for the 1 year renewal of his visa?
    – If he is granted the 1 year visa, is he allowed to travel overseas for more than 2 months in emergencies?
    – After the 1 year visa is granted, and if he stays in Australia for that whole year, what is the next option for him to reside in Australia? How does this change if he decides to leave Australia in that 1 year time period?
    I await your reply.
    Thank you,
    Hanna

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Hanna,
      I’m sorry these such broad questions aren’t appropriate for these comment fields.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need assistance.
      PC

      Reply
  18. Kyoko

    Hi Peng,

    Thank you for the information on the website.
    I still have one question.
    I am currently living in UK but I was continuously living in Australia till December 2015. My 5 years RRV expires in January 2018.
    Do I still get another 5 years RRV even if I lodge the application after the current RRV expires, for example lodge the application in October 2018 as long as I can satisfy the 2/5 year requirement?
    Or is it better to lodge the application before the current one expires?
    Many thanks,
    Kyoko

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Kyoko,
      You can lodge your application when you satisfy the 2/5 year requirement if you wish, including after your current visa expires if you are currently in Australia.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Kyoko

        Thanks very much for your reply.

        What if I am not in Australia when I lodge my application, after my current one expires?

        I don’t have any plan of going back to Oz just yet and I am thinking of applying for the next 5 year RRV from UK about 8 months after my current one expires. I will still be able to satisfy 2/5 year requirement.

        I really appreciate your time. Many thanks.

        Regards, Kyoko

        Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          You would get a 5 year visa even if you lodge your application when you are outside of Australia, as long as you satisfy the relevant visa requirements.
          PC

          Reply
  19. Munya

    Hi Peng

    I have just applied to renew my 5 year RRV, 2 of my kids are also on a visa, do i have to apply for each of them seperate or can be included on my visa otherwise i have to pay $365 each which will end up being costly

    Reply
  20. Javen

    Dear Peng,

    My wife is holding a vaild RRV, and my daughter is Australia Citizen. Both of them are living to Australia now. My RRV is expired and I have some business reason to leave Aus on Sep7. So I submitted my RRV application on Aug29, I thought the review process will be quick and i should be able to get my new RRV before Sep7. also my flight is booked on Sep19. Somehow, at this moment, over 14 days, I still not get any feedback from RRV proccessing center.

    I checked my last RRV grant letter, it says:
    “If you leave Australia after the expiry date of your travel facility, without being granted another RRV or permanent visa with a valid travel facility, you will not be able to return to Australia as a permanent resident.”

    I totally shocked now, does it mean I lost my PR? How about my wife and kid in Australia?

    Thank you so much for your great help!

    Best Regards,

    Javen

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Javen,
      The Department can approve your application when you are outside of Australia. You would have permanent residency visa status again once your new visa is approved.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Loke Siew Yiap

        Hi Peng,
        Thank you for answering all our questions. I have a similar problem, my RRV expires on Sep19. I have lodged my application on Aug28 but no news until now. (I didn’t fulfil the 2 out of 5years but my family did). Currently I am outside Australia.

        If my RRV is not approved by Sep19 and I am outside Australia, I cannot return to Australia. Can I appeal the decision or re-submit application from outside Australia?

        BTW, a question to all others – anyone here received their RRV(1year) this month Sept, how long did it take?
        Thanks
        Loke

        Reply
  21. Sandika

    Dear Peng,

    Thank you for the website, the information is very helpful. I have a quick question, I am currently on 155 visa for 1 year, do you know what is the requirements if I want to get 155 visa for 5 years?

    Cheers!

    Reply
  22. Rach

    Hi Peng,
    Hope you are well. I am a PR and have a “Skilled – Independent (VB 885) visa” and it is about to expired in December 4th. I wish to renew my PR with the same benefit i.e. work full time, 5 years PR, travel in and out of Australia etc.
    Do i apply for a Subclass 155 Resident Return Visa? if so, will i get the same benefits (as described above) ?
    Many thanks Peng 🙂
    Cheers
    Rach

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      ​Hi Rach,
      You can apply for the 155 visa – see above post for requirements.
      This visa is like any other permanent residency visa in terms of your rights.
      PC

      Reply
  23. Kim

    Dear Peng,

    I m a pemanent resident in Aus. However I have been overseas for more than 2 years, what if I still manage to accumulate that 2 years requirement within this 5 year period, am I still eligible for 155 rrv( valid for 5 years)?

    Reply
  24. Jiten Taluja

    Hi Peng – My family (parents and sister) came as a PR in 1984 but left Australia after 1.5 years in 1986. My mom is no more and I would like my father (now 70 years) and sister (now 37 years and dependent on my father/me) to come back on RRV. I live with my family (wife, 2 kids) in Australia sine last 7 years and I am a Citizen. Please advise of a possibility to get RRV and under which clause (5yr, 1year) they will come under?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Jiten,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  25. Terry Ong

    Hi Peng,

    Can an onshore RRV application be done at the Border office? What is the processing time for such application “by person”

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Terry,
      I don’t think that accept applications at Department offices anymore, but you can contact your office to confirm.
      PC

      Reply
  26. Sam

    Hi, may I know once I apply for a 155 whilst in Australia , do I need to be in in aus at the time of decision being made ? I’ve bought a flight ticket 2 weeks after the lodgement date but worried the decision wont be made on time. The website says 4-8 days.

    Reply
    1. Vivian

      Hi Sam,
      Have you received your RRV yet ?
      my husband encounters the same problem. He submitted his RRV application with full supportings in Aug 21 but so far still marked as “recieved”.
      We will be attending a wedding next week and so worried about it. So we wonder how long you’ve got the RRV.
      Many thanks .

      Reply
        1. Loke Siew Yiap

          Hi Sam,
          When exactly did you submit your application? From your first posting Aug20, it should be a few weeks before that, right? I submitted my on Aug28 but the status still says “received and will be assessed”. What does your immiAccount status shows?

          The DIBP website says applications that don’t fulfil the 2 out 5years, will take up to 30days to process.

          Have you tried to asking them to expedite showing your air-ticket?
          Just want to know your case just to figure out what to expect for my case because I am outside Australia and plan to return end of the month.

          Many thanks
          Loke

          Reply
    2. kumar

      hi sam,

      pretty much a lot of us are in the same situation like you . could you please share what was the outcome of your process. did you end up leaving Australia or postpone your travel plans. Please share your experience so that it benefits a lot of us.

      Reply
  27. Leo

    Hi Peng,

    If my Australia PR has expired, and I travelled to Australia with visitor visa to lodge onshore RRV application. Can I leave Australia with the visitor visa and waiting for RRV approval outside Australia?

    Reply
  28. Albert Cheng

    Hi Peng, your website and answers are very informative. Thanks very much for taking the time.

    I have a small question. I don’t meet the 2 or 5 year requirement but there is a high likelihood of getting a 1 year RRV or at very least 3mth RRV.

    My original class 175 visa expires in mid September 2018. I have put in my application for a 155 RRV last week but have not heard back.

    My Q i) on an off-chance my RRV is rejected, will this override and shorten the expiry of my original class 175 entry date which is mid September 2018. Or can I still leave Australia and be back by before mid September and ii) the department website states 4 days as a usually approval period.. In your experience… in a slightly more complicated case, how long has it taken for an application that is lodge while the applicant is onshore. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Albert,
      Refusal shouldn’t affect your current visa.
      Department can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks or longer to make a decision for complex applications.
      PC

      Reply
  29. Han

    Dear Peng

    I am currently waiting for my 1 year 155 visa renew while inside Australia, my last 155 visa is already expired, which i know that my travel facility period will ends once i leave.

    just wondering what happen if I leave Australia while the application is still been processing. will that affect the decision on the visa i am applying at the moment? and how will that affect my PR statue?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Han,
      You won’t have PR status if you are outside of Australia and don’t have a PR visa to return. You would be a former permanent resident – you can regain your status if the Department grants you another PR visa like the 155.
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice about whether this affects your application just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  30. Song

    Dear Peng

    I am in the exact situation as Helly, just wondering will the case officer be aware that I need to travel overseas in a few days? because at them moment I still haven’t receive any replies from case officer yet and I am worried if my visa can be come back in time.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Song,
      I don’t think that your case officer would be aware, unless you informed the Department as part of your visa application with your supporting documents (i.e. flight ticket).
      PC

      Reply
  31. Helly

    Dear Peng,
    Following on my earlier question and reading the circumstances of others above, pending our RRV approval, if were outside the country and needed to come into Australia urgently, how could we do this?. Taking the example of my husband who is now overseas and will not be able to come because his PR visa is about to expire in a few days and the RRV is still pending. Does he apply a tourist visa? Will it cancel out our PR and RRV application? This is very troubling. KInd regards , Helly

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      For the 155 visa, if the applicant is outside of Australia at the time of application, then they need to be outside of Australia at the time of decision.
      He can come on a visitor visa but the Department can’t approve his current 155 visa application if he is in Australia – he may need to lodge a new application after he arrives.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Arwin

        Hi Peng,

        After my 5yr RRV expired, I applied and got my last 155 (1 Year) in Jan 2014. After it expired, I came into Australia with tourist visa 600 in 2015 and now 2017. Is it true that my PR has got relinquished because I applied tourist visa? I would like to make an appointment with you if I still have chance in reinstating my 155. Thanks

        Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          Hi Arwin,
          You would need to get a permanent residency visa again to have PR status.
          Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
          PC

          Reply
  32. VS

    Hello Peng- i was the main applicant for SN 190 visa expiring in July 2020. Based on this my family also was given PR.
    Now iam not able to move to Australia but want to relocate my family and kids.

    Question- After spending more than 2 years in Australia can my wife apply for RRV even if iam not eligible as a main applicant?

    Regards
    VS

    Reply
  33. Dewi

    Dear Peng,
    I have the same case with others about RRV processing time. I had applied RRV since 17 th July 2017 and until now I still don’t have any reply from about my renewal RRV.
    I have read your information that the process are slow regarding of changes on July.
    I just wondering how long it will take times that i should wait because i have to go on Sept 2017 for start the new job in Sydney (I am now outside from Australia). And also i want to ask if i do want to know that my visas proceed, could you let me know where i should ask regarding my RRV so I can follow up my Visa.
    I thank you for your kind assistance and best regards

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Dewi,
      Department’s processing time is very slow due to staff cut-backs – processing time can be around 1-3 weeks.
      You can contact the Department to follow-up if you wish – 131 881 if calling from Australia.
      PC

      Reply
  34. Harry

    Hi Peng
    Can i apply for RRV 1 year (If 2 yr condition not fulfilled) if i own a house in Australia?
    If my PR(5Yr) lapse, Within how many months can we apply for RRV?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  35. Claire

    Hi peng

    They received my application last August 3 but until now I don’t receive any confirmation from Immigration but when i renew my son PR last May he grant visa just for 2 days after they received the application do i need to contact the immigration?
    Cheers, claire

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Claire,
      Department’s processing time is very slow due to staff cut-backs – processing time can be around 1-3 weeks.
      You can contact the Department to follow-up if you wish.
      PC

      Reply
  36. Sisilia

    Hi Peng,

    I want to apply for my Dad RRV visa he is been holding this for quite sometime now but he have to renew every year, if he is not here yet can you submit the application? Do the immigration people will process it ?
    I heard its take quite a long time this time with the processing time.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Sisilia,
      Yes your father can lodge a 155 visa even if he is outside of Australia – please see above post for requirements.
      PC

      Reply
  37. Amir

    Hi,
    My PR (175) visa was expired on Oct 2015 and I applied for RRV the next month, but the application was refused. Now it is more than 5 years since I leave Australia. If I am a permanent resident yet? If it is possible to apply RRV again? If not, should I apply for any type of the PR visa (189 or 190) again?
    My wife is going to apply for visa subclass 189 and I’ll be included in her case as her partner (She has never held an Australian visa). How my previous visa will effect on her application?
    Thank you for your consideration.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      ​Hi Amir,​​
      Please see above post for RRV requirements.
      You can apply for general skilled migration if you can’t satisfy the requirements for the RRV.
      ​​Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  38. Dan

    Hi Peng,

    I got my PR (Class 175) in Nov 2010 and have been in Australia since Jan 2015 (2.5 years). My 5 years has expired now.
    if I am applying for RRV, should it be 155 or 157 ?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Dan,
      You can apply for the 155 visa – in any case, both the 155 and 157 visa have the same online form.
      PC

      Reply
  39. Shareef

    Hi Peng,

    I am Australian Citizen and my wife she is a permanent residence. So my question is my wife visa expires on early next year and she is about to fly overseas in next few day and she will be back to Australia before her visa expires. Whats the next visa I have to apply for her or is there any visa renewal process for permanent residency visa? Her visa subclass is EN186. Your quick response is appreciable. Thanks

    Regards,
    Shareef

    Reply
  40. Helly

    Dear Peng,
    We are a family of 4 with PR (sponsored by SA) which expires in August 2017. We arrived in Jan 2016 and thus have spent less than 2 years in Australia. My husband works overseas and visits us for a couple of weeks. He had submitted his RRV application 3 weeks ago while in Australia. After more than 2 weeks, we were asked for more information showing ties. We have placed evidence of ties such as childrens’ school, our home and an investment property as well as having bank accounts. In a few days, he has to leave to return to work. My question is:

    – why is it taking a long time – shoud we be worried?
    – can the approval be given if my husband leaves Australia?
    – my husband was the primary applicant when applying for the PR. Does this matter?
    – should me (wife) and my 2 children also apply for the RRV to support my husband’s application? – although we are not going to travel until December, which we thought to apply in October once we have firmed up plans for travel. And even by October we would not have met the 2 years rule and thus will need to apply for RRV.

    Thank you Peng in advance.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Helly,
      Department can decide the application when he is outside of Australia.
      He should be able to get a 1 year visa if he has immediate family living in Australia.
      Department’s processing time slowed down a lot after July changes.
      You can contact your case officer if you want to follow-up.
      PC

      Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          ​Hi John,
          Providing passport, birth certificate and driver’s licence for example would prove that.
          PC

          Reply
      1. Kenneth Hui

        Dear Peng,

        I am on a similar situation as my online application was submitted on July 16 but still with the status “received” without further update.
        I have my RRV renewal on a yearly basis since 2014 as my spouse and son is living in Australia whereas I need to work overseas to support the living.
        In my past experience, the RRV will be granted within 6-7 days after the submission, I wonder what is the issue to the processing time slowed down a lot after the July changes. Are the changes of July really an impact to Visa applications?

        Cheers and thanks for the information.
        KH

        Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          ​Hi Kenneth,
          Yes the Department’s processing time is very slow at the moment after the July changes.
          The requirements for the 1 year 155 visa haven’t changed – you should be able to get this visa if you have provided evidence of your family ties.
          PC

          Reply
      2. Helly

        Dear Peng,
        Thank you for responding to my query. Its a relief to know that the reason for the delay is because of the July changes. We have not yet got any response. We thought not to contact the case officer for fear that it may anger or irritate them.
        Thank you again Peng

        Reply

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