If you’re a permanent resident visa holder, you should check the validity of your travel facility before arranging travel overseas. A travel facility allows a permanent visa holder to re-enter Australia, typically within five years from the date your permanent visa was granted. After 5 years, your travel facility expires.
As an Australian permanent resident, you do not have an automatic right to return to Australia from overseas.
Your right of re-entry to Australia will depend on the validity of your travel facility on your permanent visa. Your travel facility is listed in both your visa grant notification letter, and in visa information provided by VEVO. Further information on understanding your travel validity is available in ‘Travel facility on your permanent visa’.
If you migrated to Australia before 1987, and travelled outside Australia between 1 March 1976 and 31 December 1986, your passport may have been wet stamped to prove that you hold an Authority to Return or Return Endorsement. Please see ‘Authority to Return or Return Endorsement’ for further information.
Travel facility on your permanent visa
When you are granted a permanent visa, you are usually permitted a 5-year travel facility. This means you can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you like in the 5 years from the date your permanent visa was granted, as long as your visa remains valid.
After 5 years, your travel facility expires. You will need to apply for and be granted either:
- a Resident Return visa – if you wish to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident
- Australian citizenship – if you wish to travel as an Australian citizen.
If you enter Australia on a temporary visa when the travel facility on your permanent visa has expired, this will have an adverse impact on you. See ‘Resident Return visa’ below for details.
If you are not eligible for either of the above and wish to return to Australia as a permanent resident, you may have to apply again for a permanent visa, such as a Former Resident visa, a family visa or a skilled visa.
You can check when your travel facility ends in VEVO.
Travel Facility Expiry Reminder (TFER)
The TFER service aims to remind certain permanent residents that the travel facility on their permanent visa is expiring in 60 days. The functionality is currently limited to visa holders of the following:
- Partner visa (100)
- Employer Nomination Scheme visa (856)
- Skilled sponsored visa (176)
- Partner visa (801)
These reminders are only sent via email to visa holders who do not have a pending RRV application, and have their personal email addresses recorded in our system. For dependants of these visas, with no email address recorded, the primary applicant’s personal email address is used instead.
Resident Return visa
If you wish to return to Australia as a permanent resident from any overseas travel, you may need to apply for and be granted a Resident Return visa (subclass 155 or subclass 157) if:
- the travel facility on your permanent visa has either already expired or will expire while you are outside Australia
- you are a former Australian permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not cancelled
- you are a former Australian citizen who lost or renounced your citizenship.
If you intend to arrive in Australia without a valid visa, your entry will be denied (unless you are an Australian citizen).
Your permanent resident status will only be reinstated if your application for a Resident Return visa is granted. If your Resident Return visa application is refused, you may have to consider applying again for another permanent visa, such as a Former Resident visa, a family visa or a skilled visa. You will be provided with information regarding your eligibility for any merits review processes.
Any family members who are permanent residents travelling outside of Australia will need to apply for their own Resident Return visas.
Returning to Australia without a permanent visa that has a valid travel facility (for example, entering Australia on an ETA or visitor visa) may impact both your:
- entitlements as a permanent resident
- ability to satisfy the permanent residence requirements when applying for Australian citizenship or when applying for another Resident Return visa.
If you are in Australia as a permanent resident, you do not need to apply for a Resident Return visa if you do not wish to travel following the expiry of your permanent visa’s travel facility.
Check your visa’s travel facility at VEVO (Visa Entitlement Verification Online)
For further information, please visit Subclasses 155 and 157 Resident Return visa