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Genuine temporary entrant requirement for An Australian Student Visa

According to the Department of Home affairs (previously Department of Immigration and Border Protection), the “genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity measure to ensure that the student visa programme is used as intended and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia. The GTE requirement’s purpose is not to exclude those students who, wish to develop the skills required by the Australian labour market and apply to obtain permanent residence after studying (add link to website content). But, this is not necessarily how the GTE requirement is applied.
As we can, the stated purpose of the GTE is to prevent an ongoing residency in Australia. However, as an applicant for a Student Visa – even your first ever student visa – and you are outside of Australia, you still need to show you are coming to Australia temporarily to gain a quality education. Hence, as with many directions found within the immigration program, what is stated publicly is not necessarily what is intended.
When assessing the GTE requirement – on or offshore, for your first or multiple student visas or following another temporary visa – the Department will consider a broad range of information against four key criteria. These criteria are:

  1. Your circumstances – Home Country
  2. Your immigration history
  3. Secondary applicant(s)
  4. Other relevant matters

Within these broad categories the Department would look at why you want to study in Australia, your employment options, previous education performance and what you know about Australia and your selected education provider and program. Your previous travel history and, in particular your Australian visa history, is of great interest to the Department. Your family status is also considered, and this includes if you are a dependent child – your parents situation and understanding of your course becomes a factor – and if you are married be it with or without children will also be considered including periods of separation and or the motives of your spouse. The GTE is therefore a complex undertaking.

In respect to family members, it is not uncommon for secondary applicants to be refused visas while primary applicants are granted visas. The core issue to be aware of with family members is that their reasons for coming must be consistent with that of the primary applicant’s education goals.

The final criteria of the GTE – Other Relevant Matters – is perhaps the most difficult to respond too – noting your GTE statement needs to address all criteria and most of the questions contained within these criteria. Why is it so? Simply because it is such a broad and difficult to define criteria. What does this really mean is a question we are regularly asked. And, the answer is sometimes disturbing.

The core issue is that it ‘other relevant matters’ can mean anything that the case officer decides is important. They will for example consider statistical data for the country of nationality of that visa applicant; a persons’ age and study history (somewhat contradictory criterion given the emphasis in Australian education to promote life-long learning including re-training and skilling); the actual education provider risk profile (all education providers are assigned a risk factor by the Department based on that providers students record of academic outcome and visa applicant refusal rate). However, the Case Officer is also able to make a ‘subjective’ interpretation of effectively how an application ‘feels’ to them.

So, while a student visa is a relatively straightforward visa application, understanding and addressing the GTE – especially if you have some of the pre-conceived risk factors as identified by the Department – your GTE statement is likely to be complex matter. Therefore, it is the best to apply for a Student Visa with a professional advice provided by a Migration Agent. If you intend to lodge a student visa application, you are encouraged to contact our Agents at Modern Migration Australia for more information on the process as a whole or on how, based on your particular circumstances, you can best address the Genuine Temporary Entrant criterion and provide the Department with a comprehensive and coherent statement that affirms your desire to study and live temporarily in Australia

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