Individuals and Travellers

Authority to return and return endorsement

Authorities to Return (ATR) and Return Endorsements (RE) are old style return visas issued to permanent residents between 1 March 1976 and 31 December 1986. Evidence was issued in the form of a stamp or label in the holder's passport and contain the words 'Authority to Return' or 'Return Endorsement'. Authorities to Return and Return Endorsements can no longer be granted but, if you were issued one it may still be valid if:

  • it has not been cancelled
  • you have returned to Australia within three years of each departure
  • you have not become an Australian citizen
  • you have not had another substantive visa granted since 1 September 1994.

If you hold an ATR or RE wet stamp in your passport, you can request evidence in the form of a BF111. You can not apply for a Resident Return visa. ​


If you hold an ATR or RE which was wet stamped in your passport between 1976 and 1986, this will not be compatible with the department's current electronic systems. As a result you may experience significant delays when you enter Australia while manual checks are made.

If you hold an ATR or RE you can have it recorded on the department's systems as a BF111. This process will make your record compatible with the Department's systems and does not alter the conditions of your visa in any way. To do so you will need to provide evidence of your ATR or RE stamp and your current passport biodata page. Complete Form 929, attach copies of this evidence and email to t​here is no charge for this service.

If you are a permanent visa holder who has never held an Authority to Return or Return Endorsement and the travel facility on your visa has expired (or will expire while you are not in Australia) you will need to apply for a Resident Return visa to be able to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident. See: Resident Return Visas Subclasses 155 and 157