Student Visas: Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement (GTE): Political Situation: Assessment Levels?

You may have the necessary funds demonstrating you can afford to live, travel and study in Australia.

If you would like information on how to meet the financial requirement you can view a previous publication we wrote on our website here:

Demonstrating you have enough funds is only one of the criterias an applicant must meet for an Australian student visa.

One of the most common reasons why a Department of Home Affairs decision maker may refuse an Australian student visa is due to as the applicant being assessed as not meeting the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement.

Not long ago, the Department of Home Affairs used assessment levels as a means of establishing the documentary evidence required by each Applicant.

Assessment level 1 was at the top (requiring less documentary evidence ) and level 4 was at the bottom (requiring more documentary evidence).

As an integrity measure, Instrument IMMI 14/014 was repealed and such country level categorisation was removed.

All student visas (subclass 500) now generally require the same documentary evidence.

However, under Ministerial Discretion 69 the case officer will consider the political situation of the country from which the student applies from.

Point 9 of the Ministerial Discretion 69 states:

“The applicant’s circumstances in their home country

9. When considering the applicant’s circumstances in their home country, decision
makers should have regard to the following factors:

a. whether the applicant has reasonable reasons for not undertaking the study in
their home country or region if a similar course is already available there.
Decision makers should allow for any reasonable motives established by the

b. the extent of the applicant’s personal ties to their home country (for example
family, community and employment) and whether those circumstances would
serve as a significant incentive to return to their home country;

c. economic circumstances of the applicant that would present as a significant
incentive for the applicant not to return to their home country. These
circumstances may include consideration of the applicant’s circumstances
relative to the home country and to Australia;

d. military service commitments that would present as a significant incentive for
the applicant not to return to their home country; and

e. political and civil unrest in the applicant’s home country. This includes
situations of a nature that may induce the applicant to apply for a Student visa
or Student Guardian visa as means of obtaining entry to Australia for the
purpose of remaining indefinitely. Decision makers should be aware of the
changing circumstances in the applicant’s home country and the influence
these may have on an applicant’s motivations for applying for a Student visa or
a Student Guardian visa.”

There are various other considerations under Ministerial Direction 69.

It is imperative that those applying for an Australian student visa prepare their applications carefully and have regard to the Ministerial Discretion 69. Any refusal will also further impact future to applications to Australia as the Department will review the immigration history of the applicant.

The Ministerial Direction 69 can be viewed here:

Click to access direction-no-69.pdf

Written by RSG Lawyers.

Contact: Email: | Tel: (03) 9350 4440 | Web:

Footnotes are available upon request.

Does Wagga Need A Business Culture Change?

Small Businesses Under Pressure

My Firm (RSG Lawyers) has a branch office in Wagga and so I am in Wagga very often.

I have read and heard many complaints from residents in Wagga that business are constantly opening and then quickly closing.

This may be true as a number of shops on Baylis Street (the main street) remain for lease. For example, recently Ed Harry and Factorie closed their doors.

Those rightfully complaining must understand that similar patterns are also being witnessed in many other locations across Australia especially in the retail sector.

Business Culture Today

While there may be other factors effecting Wagga businesses, I feel there is a genuine need for business culture to change in Wagga to facilitate aggressive economic growth.

I recently met with a CEO of a very large Franchise, who is now a good friend, and he believed that ‘large shopping centers will no longer exist in the next 20 years’. While I felt this comment was exaggerated, I do believe this opinion is an important consideration in the strategy a business owner chooses to implement when opening a new business.

The reason lies in the ever changing behaviors of society overall.

Communication is now very quick and so consumers are now more interested in obtaining what they need or desire in the most efficient ways possible.

And there is good reason why companies such as Uber, Netflix, etc are thriving.

They have learnt to adapt to the changing needs of the new generation and new habits of society overall.

So while the population continues to increase in Wagga, the habits of consumers have shifted. It is almost guaranteed (for example) that opening a clothing store in Wagga (with no other strategy to increase sales) will fail.

Suggestions for Change

I truly believe Wagga can become a City that competes Nationally against Cities like Wollongong, Newcastle and Canberra.

However, we cannot continue on the same path and expect very different results.

Some of my suggestions are as follows:

-Wagga needs to open its doors to direct foreign investment rather than just relying upon the Federal Government for funding. This needs the Council’s support but the community could also be involved in some capacity (I will write more about this in future blogs).

-Quicker processing times for business Development Approvals to facilitate to any investment. Wagga needs to have an upfront conversation around this.

-Wagga’s National image needs a remake for an increase of tourism, investment and respect Nationally. Many people in the main Cities believe Wagga is a very small town that exists in the middle of no where (which is not true).

-More expos should take place in Wagga. For example, I am currently trying to push for an international startup festival to take place in Wagga next year.

-Multicultural communities that exists in Wagga should be more valued. They have networks in their communities in other cities in Australia and can bring investment to Wagga.

-More co-working spaces in Wagga to facilitate networking and seed funding.

By Farhan Rehman

Partner RSG Lawyers

Direct: +61 401 393 770