Renewing Your PR Visa in Australia: A Step-by-Step Guide

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People want to know the Australian permanent resident visa renewal steps.


A valid permanent resident visa is mandatory to live indefinitely in Australia. If your PR visa expires and you want to stay longer, you must renew it to avoid legal consequences.


If you haven’t renewed your visa before and looking for a reliable guide to understanding the renewal procedure, you are at the right place.


We will discuss the eligibility conditions to renew the permanent resident visa in Australia, the permanent resident visa renewal steps, the fees, and how to do it online.



1. What Is A Permanent Resident (PR) Visa In Australia?


A Permanent Resident (PR) visa allows you to live, work and study permanently in Australia. The most common types are family visas and a few skilled work visas.


Holding this visa entitles you to the following benefits:


  • Receive bank loans

  • Access Australian healthcare facilities

  • Sponsor your family members for permanent residency in Australia

  • Travel in and outside of Australia multiple times till the validity of the visa

  • Work in New Zealand

  • Apply for Australian citizenship


However, if you hold Australian PR and live overseas, you must fulfil the minimum stay requirement. For example, staying in Australia for 730 days out of the five years to extend your PR visa.



2. Why It Is Important To Have A Valid Visa?


It is unlawful to continue staying in Australia without holding a valid visa. If you have an expired visa, the Australian Immigration Department might take the following action against you:


  • Detain you

  • Remove you from the country and charge you for the cost incurred in this process 


To avoid the above consequences, either you leave the country or renew your visa before it expires. 



3. Do I Need To Renew My Australian Permanent Residency Visa?


You do not need to renew it for as long as you live in Australia. Things may become problematic if you must travel overseas after your permanent visa has expired.


You would not face any issues going abroad, but returning to Australia without a valid visa is a challenge. You might not be allowed to enter the Australian airport if you fail to show a current PR visa. Thus, you must ensure that your visa hasn’t expired if you wish to travel overseas.


Now the question is what to do if you intend to travel overseas after your permanent visa is expired? In such a case, you need to apply for a Resident Return Visa to be allowed to return to Australia.



4. When To Apply For Resident Return Visa (RRV) - (Subclass 155)?


You need to apply for a Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155) if you have spent most of your time outside of Australia and your existing permanent resident visa has expired or going to expire.



5. What Is The Eligibility Criteria To Renew PR In Australia?


You need to meet some requirements to become eligible to renew your Australian PR visa:




6. What Documents Do You Require For The PR Visa Renewal?


It is necessary to support your Australia permanent visa renewal application with the following:


  • Valid Passport

  • National Identification

  • Proof of good conduct

  • Police Clearance

  • Evidence of Financial Stability

  • Recent Identity Photographs

  • Evidence of Paid Base Fee

  • Sign the Values Declaration



7. What Is The Resident Return Visa (RRV) in Australia?


A resident return visa in Australia is a travel facility program under the Australian Immigration. It is your new permanent resident visa after your earlier one has expired. 


The visa permits you to travel overseas when your Australian permanent residency visa has either lapsed or terminated. Thus, having an RRV helps maintain your permanent residency status.


There are two RRV visa types:



Both visas allow you to undertake all the activities, including accessing the benefits of the original Australian permanent resident visa.



8. When Should You Apply For The RRV?


The right time to apply for an RRV visa is when the “travel facility date” of your Australian PR visa is expired or is nearing to get terminated. Apply for this visa before you leave Australia.



9. Steps To Renew Permanent Resident (PR) Visa In Australia Online


Here we have discussed the step-by-step process for permanent resident visa renewal online.


Step 1: Check your Eligibility for RRV Visa


Step 2: Gather the necessary documents that you would need at the time of your visa application. (Refer to the above list to find the list of required documents)


Step 3: Apply for the Visa online:


  1. Visit the Department of Home Affairs website

  2. Create your Immi account and login into the account

  3. Attach required documents

  4. Complete and submit the application online

  5. Pay the PR renewal fee (non-refundable)



Step 4: Wait for the Response


Once you have successfully submitted your visa renewal application, you will receive a notification about the receipt of your application.


It can take from a few weeks to months for processing. Once processed, the concerned authority contacts you regarding your application status. Meanwhile, you can track your application status by clicking here



Step 5: Visa Outcome


When the visa application is approved, the concerned team will provide you with your visa details in writing. It will include:


  • Visa grant number

  • Visa starting date

  • Visa conditions applicable 


However, if the department of immigration refuses your visa application, the same shall be notified in writing. You have the right to review the decision. 


Click here for more details on the online PR visa renewal procedure. 



10. What Determines The Duration of Your Resident Renewal Visa (RRV)?


The criterion for applying for this visa is to ensure you have stayed in Australia within the last five years. Based on how much time you have lived in Australia as a permanent resident, the visa could come in the following duration:


  • Five years: If you have lived for a minimum of two years in the five years before applying for the visa.


  • One year: If you have lived less than two years in the five years before the visa application, you can prove your bonds to Australia that are beneficial to the country, such as family, community, business, etc.


  • Three months: If you have lived for less than two years in the five years before applying for the visa and you can’t prove any substantial personal bonds to Australia that are beneficial to the country, such as family, community, and business.


Unfortunately, you are not eligible for an RRV if you have not been to Australia in the last five years.



11. What Is The Criteria To Apply For A RRV Subclass 155 And 157 Visa?


To apply for an RRV, you must fulfil the following conditions:


  • You have to be an Australian permanent resident.

  • There have to be no changes in your birth document since the time after your last PR visa.

  • To be eligible for a 155 Resident Return Visa, you must have spent at least one day in the past five years in Australia.

  • To receive a five-year 155 RRV Visa, you must have lived in Australia for at least two years in the past five years.



12. Who Can’t Apply For RRV?


As per Resident RRV Subclass 155 and 157 conditions, if you relate to any of the below conditions, you can’t apply for this visa, and your application may get rejected:


  • If your last PR visa was cancelled

  • If you have received an intimation from higher authorities about the possibility of PR visa cancellation

  • If you have held a Return Endorsement (between September 1979 to 31 December 1986) or an Authority To Return (between 1 March 1976 to 31 August 1979)



13. Subclass 155 vs 157 Visa


If you hold Subclass 155 Resident Return Visa, you can enter and leave Australia up to 5 years from the grant date. However, in the case of a 157 Resident Return Visa, it is only three months from the date of grant.



Subclass 155 Visa Is Granted To Those Who:


  • Fulfill the residency requisite (5-year travel facility)

  • Have beneficial ties in Australia (1-year travel facility)

  • Meet the grant criteria (up to 1-year travel facility) and is a family member of somebody who has applied for an RRV.



Subclass 157 Visa Is Granted To Those Who:


  • Have spent at least one day but less than two years in the past five years in Australia right before applying for the visa

  • Have Australian citizenship or were an Australian permanent resident

  • Have a solid reason to leave Australia



14. How Long Does It Take To Renew Your RRV Visa?


The time taken to process your application ranges from 22 days to 6 months.



15. What Is The Permanent Resident Visa Renewal Fee In Australia?


The PR renewal fee in Australia is AUD 405 if you apply online. Those applying offline must pay an additional $80.



16. For How Long Is The RRV Visa Valid?


Being considered permanent visas, subclass 155 and 157 visas have indefinite validity. You can continue to live legally in Australia even when the travel facility lapse. However, if you travel overseas, these visas do not last for an indefinite period.


Resident Return visas subclass 155 are valid for five years if you meet the 2-year residence requisites or hold business, employment, or personal bonds that may benefit Australia.


However, if after the expiration of the travel facility, you travel outside Australia, then your visa will end once you leave Australia.


That’s why you should renew your Resident Return visa before leaving Australia. It is also possible to apply for it from abroad.


In the case of a Resident Return visa (subclass 157), it has a validity of only three months. It is suited for those who fail to meet the 2-year residence requirement and don’t hold personal/business ties in Australia but must travel urgently outside Australia. 



17. How To Know The Visa Expiry Date And Conditions?


Checking your visa expiry date and visa conditions is simple and easy.


Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) provides a convenient platform for visa holders, education providers, employers, and other organizations to check current in-effect visa details and conditions.


Some of these details include:


  • Type of visa you currently hold

  • The visa expiry date

  • The “must not arrive after the date”

  • The period of stay 

  • Conditions – the dos and don’ts 


You can do so by visiting the VEVO websitemy VEVO app, or by checking your visa grant letter. You can download “my Vevo app” free from the Apple and Google app stores.



18. Conclusion


A valid permanent resident visa lets you study, work and live without restrictions and take advantage of Medicare benefits in Australia.


It is vital to apply for a resident return visa before leaving the country when your travel facility has expired.


So it is necessary to double-check your conditions before embarking on another trip overseas.


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