I am a permanent resident. What documents do I need to come back into Australia?

If you are a permanent resident, and you want to travel outside Australia, you must make sure you can return.

Normally, as a permanent resident, your visa will let you leave and come back into Australia for up to five years from the date it was granted. After five years, if you want to leave and return to Australia as a permanent resident, you must hold a Five Year Resident Return visa.

You can apply for a Five Year Resident Return Visa online.

If you migrated to Australia before 1987 or travelled outside Australia between 1 March 1976 and 31 December 1986, your passport might have been stamped with an Authority to Return or a Return Endorsement.

An Authority to Return or Return Endorsement could still be valid if:

  • it has not been cancelled
  • you have returned to Australia within three years of each departure
  • you have not become an Australian citizen
  • you have not had another substantive visa granted since 1 September 1994.

If you hold an Authority to Return or Return Endorsement, you should not apply for a Resident Return visa. If you apply for a Resident Return visa and your application is approved, the new visa will cancel your Authority to Return or Return Endorsement.

If you do not hold a valid return visa you could be refused entry to Australia or have your entry delayed until your identity and claim to enter Australia are checked.

Frequently Asked Questions