Resident Return visa (subclasses 155 and 157)


​​​​​This visa is for:

  • current Australian permanent residents
  • some former Australian permanent residents
  • some former Australian citizens.

You will need this visa if the travel period on your current permanent visa has expired or is about to expire and you want to travel overseas and return to Australia as a permanent resident.

If your visa application is successful, you will be granted either a subclass 155 visa or subclass 157 visa.

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    Be either:
  • an Australian permanent resident whose travel facility on your permanent visa has ended or is about to end
  • a former Australian permanent resident
  • a former Australian citizen who lost or renounced your citizenship.

Length of stay



From AUD

Global processing times

​75 per cent of applications processed in 5 days

Learn about...

The process

Processing time

75 per cent of applications processed90 per cent of applications processed
​5 days​14 days

Last updated 17 May 2017 (for month ending 30 April 2017)

Processing times vary.


Residence status

You must be:

  • 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.


You must have a valid passport.


You must meet our character requirement.


You are not eligible for this visa if your last permanent visa was cancelled.

We will not accept an application if you have received a notice that your permanent business visa might be cancelled.

    You should not apply for this visa if you hold:
  • an Authority To Return (ATR) that was granted between 1 March 1976 and 31 August 1979
  • a Return Endorsement (RE) that was issued between September 1979 and 31 December 1986
  • a BF-111
Read the information at Authorities to Return and Return Endorsements.

The visas

What you can do

Both the 155 and 157 visas are permanent visas. They let you undertake all of the activities that your original permanent visa let you undertake:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while the travel facility is valid
  • apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.

How the visas differ

    The difference between the visas is the length of the travel facility:
  • Subclass 155 - up to five years from the date of grant.
  • Subclass 157 - 3 months from date of grant.

Which visa you will get

The visa you are granted depends on the information you provide in your application.

Subclass 155 visa

Subclass 157 visa


From AUD 360.

You might have to pay an additional fee if you apply on paper. This is called a Non-internet application charge.

While they usually do not occur, if there are any additional costs associated with this visa, you are responsible for them.

Estimate the cost of your application

The visa pricing estimator is an online tool that calculates the total cost of your visa.

Visa pricing estimator

Other costs

If you need to have them, you will have to pay other costs such as those for health checks, police certificates and biometrics.


You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when it is decided.

You can leave Australia before your visa is granted, but, if the travel facility on your current visa expires, the Resident Return visa must be granted before you can return as an Australian permanent resident.

How long the visas last

The subclass 155 and 157 visas are permanent visas, however, this does not mean that the visa always lasts indefinitely.

  • If you do not travel outside Australia the visa lasts indefinitely (it does not end) and you will not become unlawful when the travel facility ends
  • If you do travel outside Australia after the travel facility on the visa ends, the visa will end when you leave Australia. So it is best to apply for another Resident Return visa before you leave Australia. You can also apply from overseas.

How long the travel facility lasts

The length of the travel facility attached to your visa depends on information in your application and the visa subclass you are granted.

What to do when the travel facility ends.

There is important information for New Zealand passport holders.


You cannot include family members in your application. Each family member must complete their own application.

Your obligations

You and your family members must comply with Australian laws.

Follow these steps

  1. Before you apply

    Check your current permanent visa

      If you hold a valid permanent visa, check the travel facility on it. You only need to apply for a Resident Return visa if both of the following apply:
    • the travel facility on your permanent visa has ended or is about to end, and
    • you want to travel outside Australia and return as a permanent resident.

    Check your travel facility on your visa grant letter or use VEVO.

    Check your passport

    Make sure you hold a valid passport.

  2. Gather documents

  3. Apply

    Apply for your visa

  4. After you apply

    If you apply outside Australia

    If you do not meet the residence requirement, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia or, if applicable, leave your job or sell your home until we advise you in writing that you have been granted the visa.

    If you apply in Australia

    If the visa you currently hold might end before your Resident Return visa (subclass 155 or 157) application is decided, you should apply for a Bridging visa A, which lets you stay in Australia lawfully while your application is processed.

    A BVA (Bridging visa A) does not let you travel out of Australia and return. If you need to travel out of Australia while your application is processed, you could get a BVB (Bridging visa B).

    More information is available about bridging visas.

    Send more information or documents

    If you did not include all documents when you applied, send them as soon as you can.

    • via your ImmiAccount if you applied online (preferred)
    • email using the email address you provided in your application
    • by post.

    We must receive the documents before a decision is made on your application. We might also ask you to provide more information.

    Tell us of changes

    You need to update us if:

    • there are any changes to your circumstances, for example change of address or telephone number
    • you made a mistake on your application
    • you need to provide more information
    • if you want to withdraw your application.

Tell us of changes

How to tell us of changes

To send us forms, other documents or information:

  • if you applied online, send them via your ImmiAccount
  • if you applied on a paper form:
    • by post
    • by email using the email address you provided in your application.

Changes to your circumstances

Tell us if there are changes to your circumstances before you are granted the visa.

Changes in circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • telephone number
  • address
  • passport
  • birth of a child.

Complete Form 1022 - Notification of changes in circumstances (266 KB PDF).

Mistakes on your application

Tell us if there are any mistakes in your application.

Complete Form 1023 - Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF)

Send more information

If you did not send all documents with your application, send them as soon as you can.

We must receive the documents before a decision is made on your application. We might also ask you to provide more information.

Appoint or withdraw an authorised person

You can provide or withdraw authority for another person to act on your behalf at any time before we make a decision.

Appointments and withdrawals must be signed by every applicant who is 18 years or older and is included in the visa application.

Complete Form 956a – Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient (116KB PDF).

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your visa application at any time before we make a decision.

Complete Form 1446 - Withdrawal of a visa application (375KB PDF).

Removing your application from ImmiAccount does not withdraw it.

Estimate the cost of your visa

Will you be lodging your application online?
* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The following Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.