Returning Residents to Australia – Things to Know

What if you are a returning resident of Australia? That is possible if you are one of the following:

  • A former or current Australian permanent resident
  • Former citizen of Australia
  • Ex-member of Australian Defense Services; you need to fit the definition “defense service applicant” according to the statement in Migration Regulations 2007

Your visa options

If you are a returning resident, you are allowed to live either a permanent resident in Australia or travel from and to Australia up to 5 years starting on the date that the visa is granted. The application for your visa can be made either outside or inside the country.

You have two options to choose from. Your first option is valid when you are a permanent resident or a former permanent resident wherein your last permanent record of your visa was not canceled, or you are a former citizen of Australia that has renounced or lost your citizenship. Migration Melbourne can help you with any skilled immigration needs in Australia. Lastly, you can use this option if you want to regain or keep your status as a permanent resident of Australia. This is under the Resident Return Visa of subclasses 157 and 155.

Your second option is valid if you had spent most of your time in the country as a permanent resident of Australia before you turned 18, have not turned 45 years of age and never acquired the citizenship of Australia; or you are an ex-member of the Defense Service and have met the definition stated in the form Migration Regulations 2007. This option is also good if you wish to include a dependent member of your family and your partner in the application of your visa. This is under the subclass 151 Former Resident Visa.


The documents needed when you return to Australia depends on the status you have when you once lived in Australia. The situation can either be a citizen of Australia that are returning; and former and current permanent residents that want to return to the country as permanent residents.

Dual citizenship

Some are asking about what they can do with their dual citizenship if that is still applicable if they want to return as permanent residents. It is still possible, and you can still use your passport when you leave and return to the country. There is one exception to this is when you are a holder of the ADV or the Australian Declaratory visa. This resembles a visa, which is usually used those who have a foreign passport.

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