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As an integrity measure, Instrument IMMI 14/014 was repealed and such country level categorisation was removed.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

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