The Government is planning to introduce citizenship changes into the Parliament by the end of 2017 requiring Permanent Residents to reside for four years. However, all proposed changes that pass in the Parliament will apply to citizenship applications received on or after 20 April 2017.
Anyone granted RRV who re-enters Australia beyond the Must Not Arrive After date on their Visa Grant Notice will become an SCV-holder again. They must reapply for RRV and reside for another year as a permanent resident before applying for citizenship. (Four years if the citizenship changes are passed).
Being granted a Resident Return Visa (RRV) makes you are a Permanent Resident and allows you to reside in Australia indefinitely. Please be aware that:
- RRV has a 12 month travel capacity, valid until the Must Not Arrive After date on your Visa Grant Notice
- you can be outside of Australia for a up to 90 days during the 12 months, with some work-related exceptions
- you must renew your RRV online if you are travelling overseas after the initial 12 months (allow 3 to 8 days)
- if necessary, you can renew your RRV online before re-entering Australia
- after residing in Australia, as a permanent resident, for two years you will be granted a five-year travel capacity when renewing your RRV
New Zealanders re-entering Australia without renewing their RRV will be issued a Special Category Visa. This will delay or prevent them from applying for citizenship. Even if you have a valid travel facility, ask the Immigration official to confirm you hold a permanent visa.
If you become an SCV-holder again, then reapply for RRV, the proposed citizenship changes could see you having to reside for another four years before applying for citizenship.
You can check your visa status using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)
Example Visa Grant Notice indicating the travel capacity information:
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