Australia is a great country for permanent residence. Thinking about it, you just need an Australia PR to do that. But this status does not allow you a freedom to travel indefinitely in and out of the country. It only provides a freedom to do that for five years. So, a permanent resident has the freedom to move in and out of the country for just five years.
Visa subclass 155
To get an extension of the freedom to move in and out of the country beyond a period of 5 years, you need the resident return visa(visa subclass 155). This visa can be given for a period of 1 year or 5 years.
The resident return visa ensures that you continue to be a permanent resident of Australia on a certain date despite your long absence from the country in a period of 5 years. This visa is applied to your existing passport. So, if you are planning to leave Australia, for a long period and your 5 years in the permanent resident visa have expired, it’s imperative that you obtain an RRV.
To get this visa, for a, duration of 5 years, you need to fulfill the condition of residence of 2 out of 5 years before the lodging of your application.
The visa also requires that the applicant possesses a credible moral character. There are some character requirements specified under the section 501 belonging to the Migration Act 1958 that have to be met to be qualified under this visa. As an evidence of such character requirements, a police clearance certificate will have to be submitted. The applicants need to clear this character test for approval under this visa. Without such clearance, any resident return visa can’t be approved.
For getting this visa for a period of 1 year unless you are able to fulfill the previous condition, you need to prove that you have strong ties with the Australian government. This proof should be given in written together with some evidence about the ties with the Australian government in any of the 4 classes, business, personal, cultural or employment. It’s important that the details about all the ties are included in the written proof so as to present a strong application. Apart from all that, it’s also important to provide reason for your absence from Australia for a period longer than five years.
The relatives of such RRV visa applicant are also eligible for the grant of the visa. Their visas have equal validity period as that of the head of the family, however they can apply for the visa at a time that’s same as the family head or even later. The relatives can also get a visa which has a five year validity period.
Visa subclass 157
The other class of the resident return visa is subclass 157. Under this class of visa, its important that you prove your residence in Australia for a minimum period of 1 day to a maximum period of 5 years, in a 5 year period preceding your visa application. This visa is given for, a duration of 3 months.
The resident return visas(subclasses 155 and 157) are quite important for someone who has been outside Australia for a long period of time but wants to return again as a permanent resident. The applicant for this visa can also submit strong reasons as to why he should be granted this visa.
How to apply?
To obtain a RRV, you have to visit the Australian diplomatic offices which are located in Australia or overseas.
It’s important to know that if you are applying in person for the resident return visa, you are not eligible to fill the RRV form. When visiting the DIBP office in person, they also need to present the passport and incur the application costs.
Similarly, they can also send a mail to the DIBP office, concerning the passport and include the application charges. The decisions regarding such applications are taken within a day and the applications then need to go to the DIBP office to get the visa stamped on their passports. Separate applications are required for family members who also need this passport.