Try to keep it brief. I'm an Australian citizen from birth. My husband arrived in Australia from the UK when he was 3yrs on in the late 60's. We met in Oz, were married in Oz in 1988. He never naturalised and always had 5yr RRV. We left in 1998 - 2000 to live & work in the UK as his parent & sister had moved back in 1996. We came back to Australia 2000 - 2002 as we'd had our son over in the UK (he is dual citizen) and I wanted to be closer to my parents. Sadly in the 2yrs we were back my health was awful. I contracted meningitis twice and was very unwell. In 2002 due to my health we moved back to the UK. Sadly my husbands RRV expired in 2002 and we've never reapplied.
We have lived in the UK ever since however I feel the compelling reason for being away from Oz is my health. I, nor my many doctors understood what was wrong then but we do now, and I was right to leave Oz. I'd suffered a skull fracture from a car accident, that resulted in a CSF leak hence why I've had meningitis 4 times (3 in OZ). I was misdiagnosed in Oz (these things happen) and it was only rectified in 2009 in the UK when I had brain surgery to correct the fracture. After the surgery & recovery I thought, I'm fixed so we can go back to OZ but life & commitments such as sons schooling, husbands mothers death, husbands grandfather with dementia needing a carer, husbands fathers death kept us here in the UK and has brought us to where we are now.
Since his Dads recent death and the fact my parents are getting on in age plus we have more family in Oz than in the UK we'd like to move back. My husbands sister is an Australian citizen from birth, she lives in the UK. He has an aunt & a cousin in Australia, he is close with his aunt as it was her father with dementia we cared for. I have my mother & father, brother, sister-in-law and 3 nieces / nephews, 2 aunts, 2 uncles & 5 cousins living in Australia.
My husband did his schooling, apprenticeship and worked full time in Australia from 1984 - 2002 (aside from the 2yrs we lived in the UK). We hold no property in Oz. I'm just sad we didn't sort this before we left but I recall it was a difficult time with a toddler & health issues. I'm sad for hubby as in our eyes he is an Aussie.
In short does he have any chance of a 155 RRV renewal based on the above compelling reasons and on the family ties we have there? Does any of his previous life in Oz count?
OR will he need to apply for a partner visa? I think we would likely go the 309, I understand we can apply from the UK? Will him having been a resident assist this application and / or make it faster?
TIA for reading,