Australia’s student visa programme was recently restructured, compressing 8 different student visa subclasses down to just 2 – Student visa (subclass 500) and Student Guardian visa (subclass 590). The new Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) has brought significant change to the way visas are applied for and processed. Previously, separate assessment levels were assigned to the applicant’s country of origin and the student visa subclass they were applying for based on perceived levels of immigration risk. Now, immigration risk is determined with a combination of ‘country immigration risk’ and ‘education provider immigration risk’ in a ‘single immigration risk framework’ . The immigration risk allocated to countries and education providers are not published. This framework decides who needs and who doesn’t need to provide evidence of financial capacity to fund the applicant’s stay and study, and their English language ability. Read more about the changes here.
One of the reasons for this new framework to remain unpublished is to reduce the risks of students who are not ‘genuine’ targeting particular education providers. The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) condition is a foundational element to the SSVF, exists to filter out applicants who may be abusing the system by using study as a means to stay on in Australia. Other visa pathways for long term stay exists for those who are eligible and thus no d remain in Australia temporarily, notwithstanding the potential for this intention to change over time to an intention to remain in Australia for an extended period or permanently.”
There are 6 factors that the DIBP uses to assess if an applicant has genuine intention on being a temporary entrant:
- Circumstances in home country
- Potential circumstances in Australia
Value of the course to applicant’s future
Applicant’s immigration history
Where the applicant is a minor, intentions of parent, legal guardian or spouse
Other relevant matters
The assessing factors for the immigration risk may sound familiar beside that of the GTE, but the GTE is assessed separately. One may be considered ‘low’ immigration risk, or may prove that they are of ‘low’ immigration risk with a store of funds and a good standard of English, but may not pass the GTE requirement.
Circumstances in home country
If the world has the misfortune of Trump taking presidency, applicants from the USA would probably be looked at with more scrutiny. Who wouldn’t be running away! Jokes aside, if the applicant’s country of origin is suffering from a bad economy, political instability, has compulsory military service commitments or other circumstances that signal to the DIBP that the applicant may not want to return to their home country and may be using the student visa as a means to an end.
Potential circumstances in Australia
From the situation you come home to the situation you will be in. Potential circumstances looks at the incentives the applicant might have to stay in Australia. This may include familial ties, anything that stands out to appear that the applicant is only using the student visa as a route to a long term visa, if the applicant is already here on another visa that is expiring and could be using study visa to buy them time in Australia.
Value of course to applicant’s future
If the applicant is enrolled in a course that doesn’t seem to value add to their future, in that it does not align in with previous study or employment, and/or that the divergence from their current path seems to lead to one that promises a lower remuneration in their home country, the DIBP may query the applicant’s motivation to study in Australia. Of course changing one’s career path should not and does not mean one should fail the GTE requirement; the applicant’s case is always considered as a whole.
Any previous immigration black marks are sure to invite additional eyes. Previous visa applications and refusals, non-compliance with visa conditions, multiple short courses (over a long period of time), long extensions on their student visa being unable to finish their course, multiple visa applications or all of the above in another country are sure to grab the DIBP’s attention.
Applicant is a minor
Where the applicant is a minor, the intentions of the parents, legal guardian or spouse of the applicant will be examined.
Of course if you are a GTE and have any circumstances that has been listed as red flags for the DIBP, it does not mean that you will be refused a visa. These are potential causes for concern. If your intentions are true, you should not have to worry. Every case is is looked at considering all factors, it isn’t a checklist type situation. The DIBP also understands that one might have intent to apply for permanent residency on completion of their course and this is not x, however one still needs to have genuine intention in studying to gain an education. Study cannot be used simply as a long-winding pathway to residency.
Every applicant is required to fulfil the GTE requirement. The DIBP will accept a statement that you intend to genuinely stay in Australia temporarily. We recommend that you also explain the reasons for your choice in Australia and how your choice in course is relevant to your future. Examples of other evidence can include employment in the last 12 months, materials such as financial statements showing sufficient funds for study and living, alongside evidence of access to those funds, evidence of a job offer on the return home, evidence of financial or personal ties to the applicant’s home country, documents from previous study, letters from an employer explaining the need for skill development or evidence of professional outcomes following a shift in the applicant’s career direction (non-exhaustive).
Senior Migration Agent, Australian Immigration Law Services