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Australian citizens are the only people who have an automatic right of entry into Australia. Any holder of an Australian permanent visa has the right to remain in Australia indefinitely, but must ensure that they have the authority to return as the travel validity is usually 5 years from the date that permanent residence is granted. The Resident Return visa (subclass 155) is a permanent visa for a current or former Australian permanent resident and former Australian citizen. This particular visa will allow applicants to maintain or regain their status as an Australian permanent resident.

The Visa Application Process follows 4 steps, which include:

  • Application Checklist

The application checklist details the information and supporting documents that the applicant must provide with their application. The team at Madison Marcus would be happy to arrange consultation with you to peruse the relevant documents required and provide you with guidance throughout the process. 

  • Application information

In this step, Madison Marcus can provide applicants with the relevant information in regards to potential issues or obstacles that may affect the Resident Return visa process itself and advise on the further supporting material which may assist in the application process Applying for this visa

Applicants can apply for this visa online. Once an online application has begun, the applicant will be asked a series of questions to determine whether you are eligible to continue.

  • Processing times

Online applications are normally processed without delay. If you are required to attend an interview, the department will contact you in writing.

  • Visa Decision

Applications will usually be processed straight away, however an absence of the required documentation or lack of substantial ties may result in a decision taking longer.

If the visa is approved

The applicant will be notified by the department, the applicant’s visa and passport details will be electronically recorded on department systems.

If the visa is not approved

The applicant will be notified in writing of the reasons for the decision and will be provided with information about their review rights.

Applicants in Australia have review rights and must lodge the review application themselves.

Applicants outside Australia only have the right to seek a review if they have a parent, partner, child, brother or sister who is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident. The application for review must be lodged by the Australian relative. It cannot be lodged directly by the applicant.

There are two main resident return visas that applicants will be assessed on. These are subclass 155 Resident Return visa for 5 years and subclass 157 Resident Return visa for three months. Alternatively, if an applicant does not meet the resident requirements for subclass 155 visa but can demonstrate substantial ties of benefit to Australia, they may be eligible to be granted the visa for one year. If an applicant cannot meet the requirements of the subclass 155 visa, they will be assessed for the subclass 157 visa.

To be eligible for a Resident Return visa, the applicant must be one of the following:

  • An Australian permanent resident
  • A former Australian permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not cancelled
  • A former Australian Citizen who lost or renounced their citizenship.

For the subclass 155 visa, the applicant must have spent two of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen.

For the subclass 157 visa, the applicant must:

  • Have spent at least one day in the last five years lawfully in Australia
  • Have spent less than two years in the last five years in Australia
  • Have been a permanent resident or an Australian citizen for the entire period spent in Australia
  • Provide evidence that there is a compelling and compassionate reason for your departure

If you have been outside Australia for more than three continuous months immediately before making the application, you must also show that there is a compelling and compassionate reason for the absence.

Please feel free to schedule a consultation with us today by contacting 131 LAW [131 529] or email us at


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