• Permanent Residents Must Spend At Least Two Years in Australia to Qualify for a Five-Year Resident Return Visa, Regardless of Ties to the Country
  • February 28, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Resident Return Visa (RRV) applicants must spend at least two years in Australia in permanent resident status within the five years immediately preceding their application to obtain an RRV valid for five years. They may qualify for an RRV valid for one year if they have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties that benefit Australia. Previously, those who did not meet the presence requirement could still qualify for a five-year RRV based on their ties to the country.

    In the wake of the new policy, which took effect February 15, the government is expected to increase its scrutiny of applicants’ ties to Australia, particularly for individuals who make this assertion in multiple RRV applications.

    There is no change for RRV applicants who meet the physical presence requirement. Those who do not qualify for either the five-year or one-year RRV may still able to obtain an RRV valid for three months if they have spent at least one day in Australia in permanent status in the five years prior to applying and can show a compelling and compassionate reason for departure.

    In general, Australian permanent residents require an RRV to maintain their status upon reentry after traveling abroad. In addition, former Australian citizens or permanent residents may apply for an RRV to obtain or reinstate permanent residence status, provided they meet additional qualifications.