Student Visa Refusal #1 Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement student visas- What is it?
The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement is defined by the administrative guideline called Direction Number 69.
The Direction is a rule book for case officers deciding on student visa applications.
The GTE test is applied to applications made overseas or from within Australia.
The same rules are applied in review cases at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) when student visas are refused.
NOTE: The GTE Test applies to
- First time applications for student visa (assessment of applications from ‘high risk countries’ is more strict)
- Subsequent applications for student visa
- Application late stage ‘Natural Justice Letter’ responses
- Student Guardian applicants
- Application failure and review at Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
The rules are divided into different sections, namely,
- Your intentions for coming to Australia (migration history and circumstances in home country);
- Your chosen course of study (relevant to your past and future? Nature of the course selected, etc).
- Your circumstances in Australia (financial, social, work intentions, etc).
- (if applying for guardian visa with a minor) a collection of the issues above.
These tests are applied to student visa applications in the following ways.
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement student visas – Intentions in coming to or remaining in Australia
The GTE requirements test is country and applicant specific. The local country context is assessed against other actual or potential applicants in your home country and/or region.
Home country study alternatives
In most cases there are identical programs and courses of study available in your home country. The reasons for choosing Australia to study when there are similar options in home country are considered.
To protect your application against this aspect of the GTE test, simply highlight the benefits of studying in Australia. For example, provide a Statement of Genuine Intent to Study with your application. In it, point out advantages of political, economic, professional, social and cultural aspects of Australian life and how this knowledge gained in Australia will assist your learning in broader ways than if you studied in home country.
If you are to write a Statement of Genuine Intent to Study be sure to provide examples. Fort example, ‘I will be studying commercial cookery’, you can point out that Australian food and safety/hygiene laws improve the business fundamentals of a restaurant business. This knowledge can be compared and contrasted with your home country. In the long term, this will greatly improve your business understanding in running or managing a commercial cooking business, such as a restaurant or catering business.
In other cases where identical courses are not offered in home country, or courses with a significantly lower quality threshold are offered, pointing this out will assist your application.
Evidence of non-existence of comparable courses should be given with application. Also, evidence of lesser quality courses in the same field can also be supplied. These additional pieces of evidence will make the application stronger.
The GTE requirement test often fails where case officers consider economic incentives in Australia are greater than remaining in home country. The GTE requirement test is designed to stop applicants using the student visa program to work in Australia. The signs that case officers look for are whether applicants are attempting to enter Australia to support family in home country, whether economic conditions are very poor, such that the applicant is attempting to come to Australia to find work opportunities.
Case officers will be looking for evidence that the applicant is well supported in home country. They will also assess the income potential of the applicant in home country. Evidence should be provided of financial capacity of family and/or one’s own savings and assets. Employment history and an overview of employment opportunities will also help to strengthen the application (where possible).
The opposite is true if you have strong reasons to return to home country, or a third country, on completion of studies. Showing you have good reasons to leave Australia for business, career, employment or general economic reasons, will help with meeting GTE requirement easily.
The political situation in home country is a factor that can lead to failure of the GTE requirement test. Applicants from countries that are politically unstable, such as those experiencing civil war, military coup and other forms of civil unrest will be carefully scrutinised, The case officer will be looking for signs that the visa applicant may use the student visa to stay long term in Australia, and not wishing to return. It is important that this is addressed through Statement of Genuine Intent to Study by pointing out how the situation in home country will not impact personally. For example, that the political unrest does not affect their part of the country, or that one’s social and family environment are not greatly affected by the troubles.
Military service obligations in home country are considered negatively. It is important that if you have military service obligation, that you explain why you need to study before completing this service. For example, to keep the knowledge of prior studies fresh and to improve upon your prior learning. Also, there may be advantages in improved English to studying in Australia before military service is entered into.
Family and friends already in Australia are generally viewed as positive for visa applicants. There are situations however where this may not be favourable. In the GTE requirement test, strong family and social ties can be a liability. It is important to show that strong incentive exists to return home or to go to a third country on completion of studies.
Examples of evidence to be provided with application to meet this aspect of the GTE requirement is to show motivation to return home, despite those strong links in Australia. For example, romantic relationship in home country, strong participation in social or sporting activities at home, etc.
In the opposite case, strong family ties in home country are positive for meeting the GTE requirement. These relationships should be described in a Statement of Genuine Intent to Study that will accompany your application.
Case officers are also guided under Direction 69 to assess applications for secondary applicants that are ‘contrived’. That is, a student visa application made with a secondary applicant who requires ongoing residence in Australia, or who wishes to come to Australia as secondary applicant for the purposes of gaining access only. The test is designed to look for relationships that are not real, but are made on application.
Evidence of genuine relationship between primary applicant secondary applicant (and dependants) is very important. The evidence requirement follows the rules of partner visa applications, where the following are assessed
- Financial aspects in the relationship, such as shared purchases and mutual or one way financial support;
- Social aspects of the relationship, such as common friends and whether the families of both parties are aware of relationship;
- Household arrangements, such as whether the couple have lived together, and if so, the shared responsibilities of household maintenance;
- Nature of commitment to each other, such as length of relationship, future plans, degree and depth of regular communication, etc.
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement student visas-
Your chosen course of study
The course of study will be assessed under Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement for student visas. The course will be considered against your past studies.
Case officers will look for consistency with past studies. If no consistencies exist, they will then look for how the course of study will benefit your future plans.
It is not unusual for people to improve their career skills, so this may not be a big problem for many applicants.
Case officers will also look for a fit between your career aspirations in the proposed course of study. This is also the same for applicants who have business ambitions. The important thing to remember is to justify the course for future goals and aspirations.
To best prepare for this part of the GTE submission is to explain in as much detail as possible, one’s plans, goals and pathways and how study in Australia can assist.
Evidence to support this will also be highly advantageous.
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement student visas – Circumstances relevant to your stay in Australia
Case officers are instructed to assess the depth of knowledge and/or understanding of life in Australia in relation to their proposed study. This will assess a basic level of knowledge and understanding of living arrangements, travel to and from place of study and aspects of the course in which they are enrolled.
By assessing the understanding of the visa applicant of the above topics, case officers will decide whether sufficient research has been undertaken by the visa applicant, and that the applicant is truly committed to a plan of study. This may be supported with a brief telephone interview with the applicant, however this is not a common occurrence.
It is important that for applications that may seem weak on face value, that lots of research is undertaken by the visa applicant to be fully aware of the course and the study context. For most applications, however, this will not be important.
Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement student visas – Some final points
To review basic eligibility for this visa, Department of Immigration and Border Protection provides adequate background.