Author: Andrew Robertson
Registered Migration Agent
Keystone Visa and Migrations Services

Abstract:

This case study explores the immigration issues that can affect migrants applying for a temporary visa and satisfying the Genuine Temporary Entrant Criteria. The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criteria is a requirement almost all migrants will have to pass in the process of immigrating to Australia. Failing the GTE requirement can result in an upsetting visa refusal.

Man signing a contract

Summary:

An Egyptian lady aged over 65 years of age, applied for a Visitor Visa to allow her to travel to Australia to visit friends.

The visa was refused based on GTE Criteria.

A subsequent visa application was lodged addressing the GTE Criteria and was approved; a further visitor visa was also granted after the first for a subsequent visit.

Background:

The applicant applied for a Visitor Visa in the Tourist Stream a Subclass 600 – Visitor Visa which was refused based on GTE criteria.

Unfortunately, the original application was lodged by a family friend and was an incomplete application, not addressing the GTE requirements.

Legal Considerations:

Direction Number 69 – Assessing The Genuine Temporary Entrant Criterion For Student Visa And Student Guardian Visa Applications[1] sets out a number of factors the Department of Home Affairs takes into account when determining if you meet the GTE requirement.

Whilst this particularly relates to student visa and student visa guardians, it can be used to ascertain the genuineness of visitor visa applicants in applying for the temporary visitor visa and assist with the Migration Agents Submission to accompany the application.

The refusal was based on not satisfying clause 600.211 in Schedule 2 of the Migration Regulations[2]. This clause provides that the applicant genuinely intends to stay temporarily in Australia for the purpose for which the visa is granted, having regard to:

a) whether the applicant has complied substantially with the conditions to which the last substantive visa, or any subsequent bridging visa, held by the applicant was subject; and

b) whether the applicant intends to comply with the conditions to which the Subclass 600 visa would be subject; and

c) any other relevant matter.

  • Further, in the letter of refusal, the delegate stated “the applicant did not provide any of her bank account in Egypt. In the absence of evidence of savings generated through income, the applicant’s financial capacity cannot be verified, and I have concerns that the applicant may intend to travel to Australia for reasons other than a genuine temporary stay in Australia. After considering the information provided, I am not satisfied that the applicant genuinely intends to stay temporarily in Australia for the purposes set out above.”

Solution:

The most common reason for a visitor visa refusal is the failure to meet regulation 600.211.

We place significant attention on this, more than any other requirement when we prepare an application and write our submission.

The original application was lodged by a family friend and was an incomplete application, not addressing the GTE requirements, with no additional submission; therefore, we decided to reapply, addressing the shortfalls in the original application, paying attention to the regulations for GTE criteria in our submission.

Strategy Adopted:

We agreed to lodge a new Subclass 600 visitor visa application and highlight the following on the submission that accompanied the application:

  1. That the applicant has previously travelled to Australia and has had significant previous overseas travel to countries other than Australia. Much of this travel occurred some years ago and the applicant did not travel again until 2018. We explained that this was due to employment commitments, and her volunteer work, but primarily because her husband, who she is now divorced from, did not permit her to travel.

We also pointed out:

  1. That whilst the applicant’s circumstances had changed since she had significant travel, she fully complied with the immigration laws of countries she visited at the time and recently on her visit to Cyprus and Australia in 2018.
  2. It was also be noted that the applicant was granted several visas to enter the United Kingdom, and also a Schengen Visa to visa Europe, in the past and did not overstay her visa or breach any conditions.
  3. We explained that we understand that officers may have to use judicious discretion if there is a lack of recent travel history, however it is evident that the applicant has travelled and complied with visa conditions and should it have been her intention to remain in countries that had significant incentives for the applicant to remain in that country, she has not done so.

In addition:

  1. We included evidence that the applicant had been employed since 1997, and also actively volunteered since 2005 in her country, and has approved leave for the period of stay sought and will continue to be employed on her return home.

We highlighted her personal circumstances:

  1. The personal circumstances of the applicant in their home country or general conditions Egypt have not changed, and the applicant’s personal employment history and her particular circumstances have remained stable for the past 20 years in Egypt. In addition, the presence of close family members in their home country should be considered – that is, does the applicant have more close family members living in their home country than in Australia – in fact, she has no family members living in Australia.
  • The applicant owns property, and significant assets, in their home country. This includes commercial property which we attached translated documentary proof.
  • The applicant has significant property and assets as well as access to ‘adequate means of support’ for the duration of her intended visit, and we supplied bank account details.

Outcome:

Our client was granted a visitor visa and travelled to Australia to visit friends.

Upon her return to Egypt, she requested we apply for another visitor visa for her to be able to return and see more of Australia. This application was lodged and successfully determined.

Conclusion:

Many visas are refused each year in Australia and the Department of Home Affairs delegates are citing Genuine Temporary Entrant Criteria as the reason for the refusal.

It is important that GTE Criteria is addressed in all temporary visa applications.

 

Additional information can be obtained by contacting:
Keystone Visa and Migration Service
[email protected]

For professional Australia visa agent services and Australian visa enquiries, give us a call on +61 468 838 899.


[1] Migration Act (Cth) 1956  Direction Number 69 – Assessing The Genuine Temporary Entrant Criterion For Student Visa And Student Guardian Visa Applications
[2] Migration Regulations (Cth) 1994 r. 600.211.