What is a Resident Return Visa (RRV)? A Resident Return visa is a travel facility for:

  • current Australian permanent residents
  • some former Australian permanent residents
  • some former Australian citizens.

You will need a Resident Return visa if the travel facility on your current visa has expired (your first granted permanent visa has a 5 year travel facility) or is about to expire and you want to travel overseas and retain your permanent resident status.

Departing Australia without a RRV may impact your permanent residency requirements for citizenship.

Persons who have been granted permission to settle in Australia permanently are usually granted a visa which allows them to depart and re-enter Australia for indefinite stay within 5 years from date of grant. Within this 5 year period, they may apply for Australian citizenship (if eligible), or continue to retain their original nationality. If they retain their original nationality, they will need to apply for a further resident return visa at or before the expiry of their initial 5 year visa should they wish to go abroad and return to Australia after the initial 5 year visa expires.

There are three types of resident return visas:

  • 5-year return (subclass 155),
  • 3-month return (subclass 157), and
  • Provisional return (subclass 159) – for non-citizens in Norfolk Island who held a Temporary Entry Permit (TEP) or General Entry Permit (GEP) on 30 June 2016 under the repealed Norfolk Island Immigration Act 1980 , or their dependent children.

Eligibility for each type would depend on the person’s circumstances, including residence requirement.

155 Resident Return Visa

The most common form of RRV allows the holder to leave and re-enter Australia at will for five years.

157 Resident Return Visa

The 157 RRV is typically reserved for those who are ineligible for a 155 RRV; it also allows the holder to leave and re-enter Australia legally, but only for a period of three months.

Who needs a Resident Return Visa?

If you are the holder of a permanent residency visa for Australia, you are permitted to remain in Australia indefinitely. However, your visa is only valid as a means of entry into the country for the first five years since your visa grant date.

If you would like to travel outside of Australia after, or towards the end of, the initial five year period, you will require an RRV.

Any family members who will also be travelling outside of Australia will also require their own RRV and separate applications must be made for each person.

If you were formerly a permanent resident of Australia and your visa has expired, you will require an RRV to re-enter Australia.

If you were formerly an Australian citizen and you either lost or renounced your citizenship, you will also require an RRV.

If your passport contains either an Authority to Return (ATR) or Return Endorsement (RE) document, you do not require a Resident Return Visa. You may have an ATR or RE if your permanent residency was granted between 1 March, 1976 and 31 December, 1986.


Typically an RRV applicant:

  • does not hold a temporary visa or bridging visa, and
  • have lived in Australia lawfully and permanently for at least 2 years in the preceding 5 years.

There maybe concessional requirements for applicants who do not meet the usual residence requirement mentioned above. The criteria applicable will depend on whether the person is in Australia or outside at time of application. Contact Us if you need further information.

If you would like to apply for a Resident Return Visa, it is recommended you begin your application at as early as possible before you intend to travel.

Applications are typically processed quickly, but we recommend allowing yourself enough time to account for any unforeseen difficulties in processing your application.

For further assistance please contact us at [email protected] or through the contact us page on this website.