Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement for Student Visas

webster By Mark Webster
Wednesday, 08 March 2017

One of the most common reasons for a student visa is refused is because insufficient evidence has been provided to meet the "Genuine Temporary Entrant" or GTE requirement.

This article goes through the main factors used by Immigration in assessing this requirement and some practical guidance on how to improve your chances of getting your student visa for Australia.

Assessing the Genuine Temporary Entrant Criterion - Ministerial Direction No.69

When applying for a student visa, your intention needs to be to complete a course of study then return to use the skills you've learned in your home country.

The Minister for Immigration has laid out the factors that Department of Immigration case officers should consider are in a Ministerial Direction under Section 499 of the Migration Act. These are as follows:

  1. Circumstances in Your Home Country
  2. Your Potential Circumstances in Australia
  3. Value of the Course to Your Future
  4. Your Immigration History
  5. Intentions of the Parent, Legal Guardian or Spouse - where the Applicant is under 18
  6. Other Relevant Matters
We will go through each of these factors and some guidance on what matters might be relevant for each.

Circumstances in Your Home Country

Immigration would generally look at factors which might make you wish to not return to your home country - these could include:
  • Political or civil unrest
  • Military service commitments
  • Your economic circumstances in your home country
They will also look at factors which will encourage you to return home - for instance if you have a job in your home country, and have approved study leave. If you have a business or property assets in your home country, or close relatives this may also be considered.

Immigration may look at whether similar courses to the one you are planning to study are available in your home country - you should explain why it is that you've decided to in Australia here rather than stay in your home country.

Your Potential Circumstances in Australia

Immigration will want to know that you have good knowledge and awareness of your potential situation in Australia. For instance, they may interview you to see if you know details about your course, your university and have looked at the cost of living and where to live in Australia.

They may also look at any ties you have in Australia which may result in you not returning after your studies. This could include close relatives or a partner in Australia.

Value of the Course to Your Future

You should explain how the proposed course will assist you in your chosen career - if you can relate what you have previously studied, what you are currently doing in your work and what your career aspirations are, this is very helpful.

If you are studying in a different field to the one you have previously worked or studied in, or if you are studying at a lower level that your previous qualifications, this can cause concerns for Immigration. In this case, you should put extra effort into explaining your motivation for doing the course.

Your Immigration History

Immigration will look at your immigration history - you may wish to provide extra context if you have the following in your immigration history:
  • If you have spent a long time in Australia, Immigration may be of the view that you are seeking to extend your stay in Australia and work here.
  • If you have had previous visa refusals, particularly if you have previously applied for a permanent visa
  • Any previous issues with visa compliance - for example not completing studies on previous student visas, working in excess of work conditions, overstaying your visa

Intentions of the Parent, Legal Guardian or Spouse - where the Applicant is under 18

If a child is applying for a student visa, the parent, guardian and/or spouse should provide a statement explaining the situation and motivation for sending the child to study in Australia.

Other Relevant Matters

Immigration may take into various other factors, such as:
  • Immigration history of your relatives - for instance if they have a history of applying for refugee status in Australia
  • Inconsistencies in the information provided in the current or previous visa applications
  • Statistical information on migration fraud by nationals from your home country

Meeting the GTE Requirement

When lodging a student visa, it is very important to provide a motivation statement. This should go through your background and explain why you wish to study in Australia. You should talk about your career goals and how the studies will help you achieve them.

If you have some factors that might count against you (eg due to your immigration history), the motivation statement is a chance to address these.

You should also provide documentation to support the facts you have set out in your motivation statement - for example, you may provide a reference letter from your employer showing that you have worked in your field and will return on completion of your studies.

It is common for the Department of Immigration processing officer to call you and ask you questions about your reasons for study in Australia. You may not receive any notice of this, so it is very important that you are prepared to discuss your case and are aware of the kind of questions you may be asked.

Acacia can assist in making your student visa application and addressing the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement. If you would like our help, please book a consultation with one of our advisors to discuss your case.

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