An Australian migrant or permanent visa will allow you to remain in Australia permanently if you are in Australia. However, the visa will have a travel facility that is only valid for a defined period.
It is in your interests to apply for a Resident Return visa before you leave Australia, because if there are any difficulties, you have the right to remain here indefinitely.
If you are outside Australia and the travel facility on your migrant or permanent visa or your last resident return visa has expired you will need to apply for a Resident Return visa in order to return to Australia. Difficulties can arise if you have not lived in Australia for more than 2 years out of the last 5 years.
In straight-forward cases a Resident Return visa is granted with a validity of 5 years. In other cases a Resident Return visa may be granted for 1 year or 3 months.
If you no longer have permanent resident status in Australia but you spent at least half of the first 18 years in Australia as a Australian permanent resident you may qualify for a Former Resident (subclass 151) visa. This visa can also be granted to people who have completed at least 3 months of service in the Australian armed forces prior to 19 January 1981.
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