Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) and Student Visas | Armstrong Legal

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This article was written by Sally Crosswell

Sally Crosswell has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Communication and a Master of International and Community Development. She also completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law. A former journalist, Sally has a keen interest in human rights law.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) and Student Visas


A Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity test to ensure that a student visa is to be used for education and not as a way to gain permanent residence in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs requires a GTE statement as part of any student visa application.

GTE assessment

The department must consider six factors in determining whether a student visa applicant is a genuine temporary applicant. These are:

  • the applicant’s circumstances in their home country;
  • the applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia;
  • the value of the course to the applicant’s future;
  • the applicant’s immigration history;
  • if the applicant is a minor, the intent of the parent or guardian;
  • any other relevant matters.

The applicant’s circumstances in their home country

Factors considered under this topic include whether there is an equivalent course available in the applicant’s home country and any reason(s) for not studying there. Decision makers will also look at the extent of the applicant’s ties to their home country and whether these would be an incentive to return. The applicant’s economic situation in their home country, any military service commitments, and political and civil unrest in that country could present as significant incentives for the applicant not to return to their home country.

The applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia

Factors considered under this topic include the applicant’s ties to Australia, such as whether there is a secondary applicant and whether there may be a contrived relationship between the primary and secondary applicant. The applicant’s knowledge and level of research about living in Australia, their education provider, and their course may also be relevant.

The value of the course to the applicant’s future

Decision makers will look at whether the applicant’s proposed course is consistent with their current level of education, and whether it will improve the applicant’s job prospects in their home country or a third country. The remuneration expected from employment in the home country, compared to Australia, after gaining the proposed qualification, may also be a consideration.

The applicant’s immigration history

This history includes visas and travel history, such as visa applications for Australia and other countries and the outcomes of those; compliance with visa conditions; and compliance with migration laws in other countries.

If the applicant is a minor

If the primary or secondary applicant is a minor, decision makers should consider the intentions of a parent, legal guardian or spouse.

Other matters

Other factors which could be considered include:

  • reports on migration fraud and immigration compliance which show a need for further scrutiny;
  • the applicant or a relative having an immigration history of concern;
  • inconsistencies in the visa application.

Evidence and information

A GTE statement to the department can include proof of previous study, current employment, or ties to a home country. Acceptable documents include academic transcripts, bank statements and income tax returns.

Student Visa Subclass 500

The GTE requirement is one of several criteria which must be met for a person to obtain a student visa. The applicant must also:

  • be aged 6 or older;
  • be enrolled in a course of study and provide confirmation of enrolment;
  • if aged under 18, have adequate welfare arrangements in place in Australia;
  • meet English language requirements;
  • have adequate health insurance;
  • have adequate money for the stay;
  • pass the department’s character test;
  • meet the department’s health requirement;
  • sign an Australian Values Statement;
  • have paid any debt owing to the Federal Government;
  • have not had a visa cancelled or visa application refused;
  • show granting of the visa is in the best interests of a child.

A student visa allows the holder to study in Australia, travel in and out of the country, and work up to 40 hours a fortnight after the course starts. The visa can allow a person to study for up to 5 years, with the length of stay dependent on the length of the course. A family member can be included in the application if the member is the applicant’s partner, or a child of the applicant or their partner, if the child is unmarried and aged under 18.

Conditions

The student visa can have conditions attached to it, such as the holder must:

  • maintain satisfactory attendance in the course;
  • maintain adequate arrangements to educate school-aged dependants;
  • inform the education provider of a change of address within 7 days;
  • not be involved in activities that are disruptive or violent to the community or a group in the community;
  • not change a graduate course without permission from the department.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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