Yes, the two years or five years are calculated in terms of time physically spent in Australia from the time your visa is granted. The permanent resident status granted to you is for a lifetime. What expires is your five-year travel facility called the RRV (resident return visa) to freely enter and leave Australia. At time of renewal, this is subject to you fulfilling at least two out of the recent five years of residency in Australia. So, if you did not fulfill the minimum stay, but can prove substantial ties to the country, they will grant you only a one-year travel facility instead of a five-year travel facility (until such time that you prove your stay of least two out of five years).
How is permanent residency maintained in Australia for immigrant investors?
I heard that to maintain permanent resident status, investors must spend between two and five years in Australia. What determines how many years are needed? For example, what is the difference between a two-year person or a five-year person who gets permanent residency? Is it calculated by time physically spent in Australia? Or is it something else? Please advise.
Once a person is granted permanent residency, their visa entitles them to an indefinite stay. However, their visa will only allow travel in and out of Australia for five years. After this time, if citizenship has not been obtained, the person will need to apply for a resident return 155 visa. To be granted a RRV with another five-year travel facility, the residency requirement of at least two years in the last five must have been met. If the person has resided in Australia for less than two years in the last five, they will be granted an RRV with 12 months of travel facility. And they will need to apply annually if they wish to be able to travel, until they have accrued two years of residency.
Residency, including PR, can be lost if too much time is spent out of the country without a resident return visa. Your individual visa grant should tell you what your conditions are.