Question of the Week



Conditions to keep Permanent Residency in Australia

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Question asked

Dear Migration Agent,

My husband and I successfully gained Permanent Residency for Australia in Feb 2014, having lived continuously in Sydney for 4 years since 2010. At that point I was still working in Australia. However, since gaining Permanent Residency my husband and I have had to leave Australia in August 2014 to pursue careers in a TV Sports Channel in Qatar. It looks like out employer wants to keep our roles here until 2022, which will round off our time here with the FIFA World Cup.

We know the rules for keeping our Permanent Residency at the moment are that you have to live in Australia for 2 years out of every 5, with 12 of the months being continuous. Neither my husband nor I will fulfil these criteria if we are to stay in full time employment in Qatar until 2022. However, we are extremely serious about living in Australia and that this will be our country and do intend to move back once we have gathered enough savings. My brother, wife and family live in Melbourne, and I only have one other family member, which is my mum, who lives in Scotland. My husband and I have been sending our savings over to Australia. We are also in the process of moving our UK pensions over to Australia. We also intend to use our savings to buy a property in Australia in the next couple of months which we will rent out while we are here in Qatar. We are just back from a holiday in Australia and intend to return once or twice a year to see our family.

Can you tell me where we stand in terms of our Permanent Residency?

1. Will we definitely lose it if we don't return to Aus by 2017.
2. How can we keep the Permanent Residency, and keep our jobs in Qatar until 2022 which is 6 years away. Bearing in mind we have already been out of Australia for 1 year.

Thanks,

J.

Answer provided by Migration Agent

Dear J.

Thank you for your enquiry. We refer to your enquiry in relation to Australian permanent residency.

In your circumstances, you currently have Australian permanent residency that has a travel facility for up to 5 years from date of grant of permanent residency (February 2014). Once this travel facility expires, you can apply for the Resident Return Visa ('RRV') subclass 155/157 visa which is relevant to your circumstances. The Resident Return Visa will allow you and your family to retain your current status as Australian permanent residents, and to travel to and from Australia for up to 5 years.

The subclass 155 requires visa applicants to have resided in Australia for 2 out 5 years since date of grant of permanent residency. This visa is granted for up to 5 years. Where the visa applicant(s) has not spent 2 out of 5 years in Australia as a permanent resident, they may still be eligible for grant of the RRV subclass 155 visa if they have substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia. In addition, the applicant must be able to demonstrate compelling reasons for any continuous absence from Australia of more than 5 years. Alternatively, the visa applicant may be eligible to apply for the subclass 157 visa which is valid for 3 months.

The Department of Immigration currently provides the following as some of the requirements of substantial ties of benefit to Australia (which are relevant to the subclass 155 visa):

Business ties: If you are claiming business ties with Australia, you will need to provide proof of the ties and how they are of benefit to Australia. You will need to show that you have substantial ownership interests in the business and are personally involved at a senior level in the day-to-day operations and management of the business. The business activity needs to be ongoing, regular activity that is commercial in nature, has an intention to make a profit and has a system of record keeping and management that substantiates the business activity claimed.

Employment ties: To prove you have employment ties to Australia, you must show that you are currently employed, or have a formal offer of employment in Australia, or are employed overseas by an Australian organisation, or are able to show that your employment by a non-Australian organisation has a demonstrable benefit to Australia, for example, working as a representative of Australia for an international organisation.

Personal ties: Substantial personal ties may be of benefit to Australia if you are, or have been, a participating member of the Australian community and economy. Living in Australia for a substantial period of time or living overseas with an Australian citizen partner is taken into account. Proof of personal assets or family who live in Australia could also help to demonstrate personal ties if you are able to show they are both substantial and of benefit to Australia.

In your circumstances, your brother and his family residing in Melbourne, a current bank account in Australia and evidence of ownership of property in Australia can be examples of substantial ties of benefit to Australia.
Thank you and we wish you all the best

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