Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives

Returning Residents

The Resident Return visa (subclasses 155 and 157) is for current or former Australian permanent residents and former Australian citizens who want to travel overseas and return to Australia as permanent residents. The Department's office in Colombo manages citizenship by descent applications for clients in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

You might be able to be granted a subclass 155 Resident Return visa if you:

  • have spent a period totalling two years in the last five years in Australia as either an Australian permanent resident or citizen (the 'residence requirement').
  • have not spent two of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen, but can satisfy the processing officer that you have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia, and:
    • are lodging while in Australia and can show compelling reasons for any continuous absence from Australia of more than five years;
    • are lodging while overseas, were a permanent resident or citizen when you last departed Australia and can show compelling reasons for any continuous absence from Australia of more than five years;
    • are lodging while overseas, were a permanent resident or citizen in the last 10 years and can show compelling reasons for absence(s) over five years;
  • have not spent two of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen, but are the partner or dependent family member of a person who holds a subclass 155 visa, or who has also applied for a Resident Return visa and satisfies criteria for grant.

For more information about this visa, including the requirements for substantial ties of benefit to Australia, please see: Resident Return visa (subclasses 155 and 157).

Refer to our local visa checklists for guidance on the types of supporting documentation that should accompany your application.

Australian permanent residents can apply for this visa in person at the VFS AVAC in Colombo (appointments can be made at VFS Schedule an appointment) or online at: Resident Return – Start an application.