Jump to content

You're currently viewing the forum as a Guest
register-now-button_orig.png
and join in with discussions   
ask migration questions
message other members

..and much much more!

kimsteele

Resident Return Visa - do I need one?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

Apologies if I've missed a similar thread in the past! I have PR that I acquired from my partner visa 801 in 2014. After 9 months of being granted PR, my partner ended up getting sent overseas for work, and we have now lived abroad for just over 4 years. My travel facility has recently expired on my PR, and I have not met the 2 year "live in Australia" requirement that would allow me to get a 5 year RRV. Currently we do not know when we will return to Australia to live; it could be next year, it could be 10 years from now. Everything is totally dependent on his job, and we may even need to move to another country for his work in the future. We return to Australia about 3 or 4 times a year to visit family and friends, and plan to continue to do so. 

My question is, do I need to apply for an RRV or should I just enter Australia on a visitors visa from now on, and apply for an RRV when we know we will move back to the country? Is it possible to get an RRV if I've been traveling on a tourist visa (which possibly could be for many years), or will I need to re-apply for PR? I called immigration a couple times and got different answers; one person said that I should not travel on a tourist visa as it will override my PR and I'd have to reapply but my application would become a lot more difficult. Another person said it's fine to travel on a tourist visa, and just to apply for an RRV when I know I'll be returning (whenever that is). I also read that there is a Former Resident Visa (151) and a family visa that I might be apply to apply for in the future if I let my RRV lapse, could that be an option?

I just don't want to do anything that will jeopardise my ability to live in Australia in the future with my partner (soon to be husband), but the biggest challenge is not knowing when we'd relocate. I don't know how reasonable it would be to keep applying for an RRV if I'm only granted 1 year at a time (or even 3 months!) year after year. 

Thank you for your help, I am totally lost on this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, kimsteele said:

Hi everyone,

Apologies if I've missed a similar thread in the past! I have PR that I acquired from my partner visa 801 in 2014. After 9 months of being granted PR, my partner ended up getting sent overseas for work, and we have now lived abroad for just over 4 years. My travel facility has recently expired on my PR, and I have not met the 2 year "live in Australia" requirement that would allow me to get a 5 year RRV. Currently we do not know when we will return to Australia to live; it could be next year, it could be 10 years from now. Everything is totally dependent on his job, and we may even need to move to another country for his work in the future. We return to Australia about 3 or 4 times a year to visit family and friends, and plan to continue to do so. 

My question is, do I need to apply for an RRV or should I just enter Australia on a visitors visa from now on, and apply for an RRV when we know we will move back to the country?

Don't trust what Immigration tells you on the phone, because you're just talking to an operator in front of a screen and they don't have the authority or the experience - as you've found, when you ring up, you're likely to get a different answer each time. 

Consulting a good migration agent will cost money, but given the importance of getting it right, it's worth the investment. 

You're quite right to be concerned, as it's not as simple as waiting until you're ready to return to get a RRV.  The longer you stay out of the country, the harder it will be to prove "strong ties" to Australia, and therefore the greater the risk of refusal.  After all, if your ties were genuinely strong, you wouldn't be able to live abroad for so many years!   You don't have "compelling reasons" for your absence,  either - work is not a compelling reason, as your husband could easily work in Australia (it might not be as well paid or as good for his career, but that's not a consideration). 

Having an Australian partner, and family and friends in Australia, is a big plus.  Worst case scenario, I guess you will just have to apply for the partner visa all over again when you're ready to return.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the reply! Yes, you totally are right about immigration! I've had them say many times "let me check with my supervisor and get back to you" and put me on hold (so much holding) after questions I've asked, so I know now this is well beyond their scope. 

My fiance's job (the company he works for is also Australian, not sure if that matters at all?) actually cannot be completed from within Australia which is why he is working at their office over here. I suppose it's technically possible he could quit his job and get a different one within Australia but that is out of the question if he wants to continue on his career path. Still not sure if that is considered "compelling reasons" by their definition though! 

I'm not concerned about applying for an RRV now, but more just about the future. Say they grant me a 1 year RRV, I guess it's possible that if I keep reapplying after it expires then they may just give me a 3 month or none at all? 

Is it possible to travel on a tourist visa and then apply for an RRV years later? Also, will us getting married make a difference to the type of visa I could apply for instead of an RRV? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have been out of Australia for four years, they may not grant you a 5 year one, but instead a shorter one, so make sure you read the paperwork carefully if you do get one. My friend, who had spent significant time outside of Australia, thought she had been granted a 5 year RRV, but when she was returning from holiday one time, tried to board a flight at KL airport and was denied because they said she had an expired visa. She did manage to get back to Aus, but only after multiple calls to immigration and a long few hours spent in KL airport after having to miss multiple flights whilst sorting it out. So just be wary! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, kimsteele said:

I suppose it's technically possible he could quit his job and get a different one within Australia but that is out of the question if he wants to continue on his career path. Still not sure if that is considered "compelling reasons" by their definition though! 

I'm not concerned about applying for an RRV now, but more just about the future. Say they grant me a 1 year RRV, I guess it's possible that if I keep reapplying after it expires then they may just give me a 3 month or none at all? 

Is it possible to travel on a tourist visa and then apply for an RRV years later? Also, will us getting married make a difference to the type of visa I could apply for instead of an RRV? 

I have the same concern about applying for a RRV again and again.  Normally if you're not residing in Australia and you apply for a RRV, they grant it to allow you to come back and settle - not so you can continue living overseas and pop back and forth.  So they may take a dim view if they grant the first one and you don't use it for that purpose.  If you didn't have an Australian spouse then I'd say you'd quickly run out of luck and would get refused after the first one or two.  

Like I said, I think you need to talk to an agent. Having an Australian partner who works for an Australian company may make all the difference in Immigration's attitude, who knows.  Or you may be better off to let your PR lapse, travel on tourist visas until you're ready to return, then go through the partner visa process again from scratch.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe apply for Citizenship and ask for a Ministerial exemption:

If you are outside Australia when we decide your application

The minister may count some periods you have spent outside Australia as lawful residence in Australia:

  • If you have spent time outside Australia as a permanent resident with your Australian citizen spouse or partner.

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen/permanent-resident#Eligibility

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, kimsteele said:

I'm not concerned about applying for an RRV now, but more just about the future. Say they grant me a 1 year RRV, I guess it's possible that if I keep reapplying after it expires then they may just give me a 3 month or none at all? 

Is it possible to travel on a tourist visa and then apply for an RRV years later? Also, will us getting married make a difference to the type of visa I could apply for instead of an RRV? 

It is possible to travel on a visitor visa and apply for an RRV subsequently, but generally I would recommend keeping your RRV current at all times where possible (see below). As the rules currently stand you would be granted a one year RRV. The three month one is a completely different animal and has a different set of eligibility criteria - it is not "third prize" after a 5 year or one year RRV. Things do get more complex if you have not held a permanent visa for more than 5 years. Getting married is not relevant.

3 hours ago, Peach said:

If you have spent time outside Australia as a permanent resident with your Australian citizen spouse or partner.

... and that is one of the key issues - as the OP's permanent visa has expired and she is offshore, she is no longer considered a "permanent resident". If she holds a valid RRV, that restarts permanent residence, even if offshore.


____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I have the same concern about applying for a RRV again and again.  Normally if you're not residing in Australia and you apply for a RRV, they grant it to allow you to come back and settle - not so you can continue living overseas and pop back and forth.  So they may take a dim view if they grant the first one and you don't use it for that purpose.  If you didn't have an Australian spouse then I'd say you'd quickly run out of luck and would get refused after the first one or two.  

Like I said, I think you need to talk to an agent. Having an Australian partner who works for an Australian company may make all the difference in Immigration's attitude, who knows.  Or you may be better off to let your PR lapse, travel on tourist visas until you're ready to return, then go through the partner visa process again from scratch.  

Ah yes, that's what I was wondering/afraid of... I feel confident about this application but am worried about subsequent ones if it turns out that we continue to live abroad for many more years. 

I did speak to a migration agent but they have been a bit vague on this topic, but offered to help me apply for the RRV. I don't think I need help to apply for it, but just wish they could help advise about my whole situation. I really don't want to jeopardise my future with visas if I miss this one up somehow. Would they even allow me to travel on a tourist visa to Australia, or would I need to get an RRV? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, paulhand said:

It is possible to travel on a visitor visa and apply for an RRV subsequently, but generally I would recommend keeping your RRV current at all times where possible (see below). As the rules currently stand you would be granted a one year RRV. The three month one is a completely different animal and has a different set of eligibility criteria - it is not "third prize" after a 5 year or one year RRV. Things do get more complex if you have not held a permanent visa for more than 5 years. Getting married is not relevant.

Thank you for the advice. I would definitely try and keep it active as long as I can, but I'm worried that in the future they will choose not to grant me one (or only give me 3 months) if I continue to live away from Australia, which is possible. If I had to renew every 3 months I don't know how long I could keep it up (both on my end, and on theirs). As Marisawright said, the RRV seems to be more a visa to give me the chance to move back to Australia and get settled during that time, not to continue living overseas, so that's why I'm concerned as I would be using my RRV as a way not to let my PR expire since I cannot move back to Australia yet. That's why I was considering just traveling on a tourist visa and reapplying for an RRV when we are ready to move back. I'm just very lost as to what would happen if I were to do that. It says if I'm denied I may need to apply for a Former Resident visa, or family visa. I guess that's not the worst situation, but it is definitely not ideal. 

49 minutes ago, paulhand said:

... and that is one of the key issues - as the OP's permanent visa has expired and she is offshore, she is no longer considered a "permanent resident". If she holds a valid RRV, that restarts permanent residence, even if offshore.

I plan to apply for an RRV soon; would I be able to apply for citizenship after that? Ideally I would love to get citizenship. I had always been planning to apply for it when I would be eligible, but now I'm not sure if I am. In total I was living in Australia for just over 4 years, including 10 months (sorry I miscalculated earlier) with a PR before moving abroad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, kimsteele said:

 I don't think I need help to apply for it, but just wish they could help advise about my whole situation. I really don't want to jeopardise my future with visas if I miss this one up somehow. Would they even allow me to travel on a tourist visa to Australia, or would I need to get an RRV? 

Paul is an agent, so there's a limit to how much free advice he will offer on a forum (which is fair enough).   

Given the importance of this decision, I'd suggest paying him for a full consultation.  After all, how much does this matter to you?   That way you will feel more secure. 

I wouldn't underestimate the value of an agent in preparing your RRV application, either.  You know yourself, on paper you fail the criteria to get a RRV, so you need someone who knows exactly what wording will persuade Immigration to give you the best possible result. 

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, kimsteele said:

Thank you for the advice. I would definitely try and keep it active as long as I can, but I'm worried that in the future they will choose not to grant me one (or only give me 3 months) if I continue to live away from Australia, which is possible. If I had to renew every 3 months I don't know how long I could keep it up (both on my end, and on theirs). As Marisawright said, the RRV seems to be more a visa to give me the chance to move back to Australia and get settled during that time, not to continue living overseas, so that's why I'm concerned as I would be using my RRV as a way not to let my PR expire since I cannot move back to Australia yet. That's why I was considering just traveling on a tourist visa and reapplying for an RRV when we are ready to move back. I'm just very lost as to what would happen if I were to do that. It says if I'm denied I may need to apply for a Former Resident visa, or family visa. I guess that's not the worst situation, but it is definitely not ideal. 

I plan to apply for an RRV soon; would I be able to apply for citizenship after that? Ideally I would love to get citizenship. I had always been planning to apply for it when I would be eligible, but now I'm not sure if I am. In total I was living in Australia for just over 4 years, including 10 months (sorry I miscalculated earlier) with a PR before moving abroad. 

You won't be renewing every three months - as I said, that is a different animal, and is actually the RRV used to allow people without significant ties to move back to Australia. The citizenship issue is complex, particularly now your PR visa has expired, and beyond the scope of a forum. If you get in touch, I promise I won't be vague!


____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×