Returning residents


People holding a resident return visa (subclass 154, subclass 155, subclass 156, subclass 157, subclass 158) are permanent residents of Australia and may be eligible for social security payments, subject to meeting normal qualification and payability conditions.

A resident return visa is a permanent re-entry visa, and it is probably not the first permanent visa issued to a person, it is important to check for the original permanent visa that was granted. The original visa could have been granted in Australia (onshore) or overseas (offshore), and could depend on where the person lodged their application for permanent residence. If the original permanent visa cannot be found in the person's current or previous passports, other travel documents or online verification, the Department of Home Affairs may be able to provide the relevant information.

The date of grant of the permanent residence visa OR the date of first entry into Australia is important to establish the date of commencement of a person's residence in Australia. This date is required to ascertain a person's period or periods of residence in Australia when testing their eligibility for social security payments that have a qualifying residence requirement or a NARWP.

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.2.3 Visa subclasses 140-199 payment eligibility

Permanent residence visa granted - onshore

The start date of permanent residence in Australia is the date of grant of the permanent residence visa by the Department of Home Affairs.

Permanent residence visa granted - offshore

The start date of permanent residence in Australia is the date of first entry to Australia as the holder of a permanent visa. This date will in most cases be a date between the date the visa was granted and the date by which the visa holder should have arrived in Australia.

Last reviewed: 12 August 2019