Returning Resident Visas

Help with applying for a visa: Contact us on (02) 8268 4000 for expert advice, preferably well ahead of the expiry of any current visa.

An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law (as certified by the Law Society of New South Wales) leads our team of migration lawyers and agents.

Craddock Murray Neumann is a law firm, which can also assist with applications to the Migration Review Tribunal and the Federal Court if a visa application is unsuccessful. (Migration agents who are not lawyers cannot assist with applications to the Federal Court).

The information on this page is applicable if you are a current Australian permanent resident; or a former Australian permanent resident.

The Subclass 155 visa:

  • is for former Australian permanent residents who wish to regain their permanent resident status;
  • is for current Australian permanent residents who wish to maintain their permanent resident status;
  • extends the travel validity facility of a permanent Australian visa; and
  • once granted, permits the holder to depart and re-enter Australia multiple times during the five-year validity of the visa.

Applicants for this visa can be either in Australia or overseas when the application is lodged. The method of application and place of lodgement will vary depending on circumstances.

To qualify for this visa you must have lived in Australia for 2 out of the last 5 years or demonstrate that you have substantial ties to Australia and that there are compelling and compassionate circumstances that justify granting you the visa. Precisely what you need to prove depends on how long you have been outside Australia.

If you cannot meet the requirements for a Five Year Resident Return Visa, you might be eligible for a Three Month Resident Return Visa.      

To be eligible for this visa, you must prove at the time of application either:

  • have spent at least one day in Australia in the last five years as an Australian citizen or permanent resident and provide compelling and compassionate reasons for departing Australia; or
  • be an immediate family member of a holder of a Resident Return Visa. 

If you are outside Australia, and you have been absent for more than three continuous months, you must provide compelling and compassionate reasons for that absence.         

The regulations for Returning Resident Visas can be complicated for those applicants who have not met the residence requirements. Consult us for expert advice. 

Former Resident Visa (Subclass 151)

This permanent visa enables former Australia permanent residents and persons who have served in the Australian Armed Forces to resettle in Australia. 

You may qualify for this visa if you have lived for nine of your first 18 years in Australia holding a permanent visa and:

  • are under 45 years old when you apply for this visa
  • have close cultural, business or personal ties with Australia
  • have never been an Australian citizen.

You may also qualify for this visa if you have served 3 months in the Australian Defence Service or were medically discharged within your first 3 months.

If you are applying for this visa from inside Australia, you must be holding an eligible visa or have held an eligible visa within twelve months of applying.

Warning: this page states the law as at as at 13.12.11. The law is complex. The law may have changed when you read this page. Contact us to confirm your rights.
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