Traveling overseas while on 309 visa

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Traveling overseas while on 309 visa


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Old 08-19-2011, 01:41 PM
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Traveling overseas while on 309 visa

I'm currently on a 309 visa and have been in Australia since March 2010. I have to return to the states for a short while in Sept 2011-- I'd say just a visit, but I am not sure how long it is going to take as I am having to care for my Grandma with Alzheimer's. I can't find any information about how long you can be out of Australia without abandoning status. For example, my husband is an American green card holder, and he can only be out of the States for a year at a time unless he applies for a travel document. I found an Australian return visa that I am guessing allows you to be out of the country for 5 years here without abandoning status, but I will not be gone that long. (I'd of course love to be gone that long as it would mean she'd have lived another 5 years, but it just isn't going to happen) I should be coming due for my 100 visa about 6 months after I leave and I am not sure where I will be at the time. Does anyone know how long you are allowed to leave the country on a 309 or 100 visa without needing a visa to get back into the country?
Thanks


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Old 08-19-2011, 02:11 PM
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Hi,

You can travel outside of Australia on your 309 visa for as long as you want. You can be outside or inside Australia when they assess you for permanent residence (100). Once you have the subclass 100 you'll be able to apply for citizenship one year later.

For citizenship, normally you have to have been living in Australia for 3 years on a substantive visa + 1 year as a permanent resident. However, there is a waiver, in which time spent outside of Australia can be counted as time spent in Australia if you have been living with your Australian partner or can show that you have sufficient ties to Australia:
Australian Citizenship – Variation to the residence requirement
Ministerial discretions
If you have spent time outside Australia as a permanent resident with your spouse or partner, or are the surviving spouse or partner of an Australian citizen and have a close and continuing association with Australia, then that period of time may be treated as time spent in Australia.

What I'm saying is that one year after you've gotten the subclass 100, you should apply for citizenship. That way, you won't have to worry about resident return visas.

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