The RRV Travel Facility.
When you are first granted a permanent resident visa, you are usually permitted a 5-year travel facility.
After 5 years, that travel facility expires, and if you wish to travel overseas, and return to Australia, 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.
A Permanent Resident visa permits you to STAY in Australia indefinitely, ie: without leaving.
You NEED a travel facility with your PR visa, to be able to re-enter Australia.
Do not leave Australia without a valid travel facility, and expect to return on a different travel visa.
The Australian Immigration website states:
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’ for details.
The effect of an Australian permanent resident being granted a temporary visa, to return to Australia after the travel facility expires, is to cancel your Permanent Resident (PR) visa.
If you find yourself outside Australia and your travel facility has expired, you should immediately apply for a new travel facility to go with your PR visa.
The travel facility is called a Resident Return visa (RRV), and will be valid for a period of between 3 months and 5 years.
You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the RRV.
With sufficient residency in Australia, you would normally be granted another 5 year travel facility (subclass 155).
However, some RRVs will give a much shorter time, for those people with under 2 years in Australia, and with no real links to the country.
A 3 month RRV (subclass 157) is possible, although that is perfectly adequate to cover a few weeks holiday overseas.
Some permanent residents that are holders of an RRV will receive a reminder that the travel facility on their permanent visa will be expiring 60 days before its expiry date. This group includes holders of the subclass 100 and 820 visas.
If you do not plan to leave Australia, you do not need an RRV.
After your first 5 years as a PR, you only need to apply for an RRV when you plan to leave Australia on holiday or business trips etc.
Many people become Australian Citizens within that first 5 years, and never have to experience an RRV.
Citizenship or RRV?
If you qualify by residency, it is cheaper to become a Citizen, than to get an RRV.
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