How to Recover Permanent Residency after a Long Absence?

Do you think permanent residency in Australia is permanent? While this is partially true, a person who is granted a permanent visa is in fact granted two distinct but related rights, the right to remain indefinitely in Australia and the right to re-enter Australia. Since Australian permanent resident is not the same as an Australian citizen, it’s crucial to understand the following details to know your rights and entitlements.

Case #1

According to our migration lawyer in Perth, the persons who are granted the right to re-enter Australia can hold their permanent residency status only for five years, and it needs to be renewed. You do not have to renew your residential state if you obtain Australian citizenship subsequently. Anyhow, in order to renew the re-entry right, you have to apply for Resident Return Visa or RRV. But, if the person does not intend to travel, and they are in Australia or return to Australia before the expiry of the right of re-entry, they may access the first right of remaining in Australia indefinitely and therefore live in Australia permanently without more.

Case #2

A person who has been absent from Australia for a significant period of time and who has allowed their right of re-entry to lapse can recover their lost permanent residency rights. You can retrieve the permanent residency by applying for Resident Return Visa or RRV.

Moreover, if you have been absent from Australia for more than five years, you will need to show that you have compelling reasons for this absence. These reasons may include,

– Severe illness or death of an overseas family member

– Work or study commitments

– Living overseas with an Australian citizen partner

– Complex or lengthy medical treatment preventing travel

– Legal proceedings such as the sale of property, custody, or contractual obligations

– Natural disasters or political uprising preventing travel

– Significant personal events, for example, waiting up to 12 months for a child to complete their education

If a person is eligible for an RRV, members of their family unit can also apply for RRVs. This would include your spouse and any dependent children. Even the person has a 5 –year RRV, the duration of the family unit members’ RRVs would generally be 12 months. If the RRV of the concerned person is expiring sooner than this, then the family unit members’ RRVs will expire on the same date as the person.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are wondering whether your Australian permanent residency will be lost or how to retrieve the residency after a long absence, talk to your migration lawyer in Perth for more information. Contact us if you are in need of superannuation lawyer in Perth or tax lawyer in Perth.

The author of this article is a leading migration lawyer in Perth with over a decade of experience in practising law. In this article, he explains how to recover permanent residency after a long absence from Australia. Visit for more information.

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