New Zealand citizens

Travelling overseas

Permanent visas, including the RRV, do not cease if you remain in Australia.

If you travel outside Australia after the travel facility on a permanent visa ends, or you are overseas when it ends, the visa will cease and you will no longer be an Australian permanent resident.

As a New Zealand citizen, this is unlikely to prevent you returning to Australia as you may be eligible for grant of a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV) when you next enter Australia. It can, however, affect your eligibility to apply for Australian citizenship if you are intending to do so.

If you want to retain your status as an Australian permanent resident, when travelling overseas, it is important that you keep the travel facility on your permanent visa valid. In addition, we suggest that when you return you tell the immigration officer at the border if you hold a permanent visa.

Note: an RRV granted to a New Zealand Citizen for the first and second time will generally have a 12 month travel facility only.

If you lose your status as an Australian permanent resident you will need to apply for, and be granted, an RRV to regain it.

Character requirements for visa holders who do not meet the RRV residence requirement

To meet the RRV residence requirement a person must have spent a total of at least two of the last five years in Australia as an Australian permanent resident.

Applicants who do not meet the residence requirement, are generally required to provide an Australian Federal Police (AFP), National Police or foreign penal clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy character requirements.

This rule often applies to New Zealand citizens who are applying for their first RRV if they have been residing in Australia on a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV). Obtaining this evidence prior to lodging an RRV application will help reduce processing time.