Australia has historically been a popular holiday destination for travellers across the globe. While Australia is currently regaining its tourism momentum post-pandemic, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has in-turn become increasingly vigilant against travellers looking to visit Australia without genuine visitation intentions.
To ensure that the integrity of its immigration system is maintained, the Australian government has become more stringent assessing the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirements for those applying for visitor visas (Subclass 600) to Australia, as well as some other visas such as student visas.
The GTE requirement is a -key aspect of the Australian visitor visa application process. Its main purpose is to ensure that individuals seeking entry into the country on visitor visas are doing so for genuine temporary purposes, such as tourism, business meetings, medical treatment, or family visits. This requirement prevents individuals from using visitor visas as a way to enter Australia with the intention of staying permanently, working illegally, or engaging in activities that are inconsistent with the visa’s purpose.
Key Factors Assessed under GTE
When assessing an applicant’s eligibility based on the GTE requirement, Australian immigration authorities consider a variety of factors to determine if the applicant’s intentions align with the temporary nature of the visa. Some of these factors include:
- Personal Circumstances: The Department examine an applicant’s ties to their home country, such as family, employment, assets, and social connections. Strong connections to their home country indicate a likelihood of the applicant returning after their intended stay.
- Circumstances in Home Country: The Department also heavily considers other factors in the applicant’s home country that may be outside of their control, such as the political, social and economic situation in their home country. An assessing officer will also consider whether the applicant’s country of citizenship is a country whose nationals represent a higher or lower risk of non-compliance with visa conditions.
A case officer will review the laws of the country an individual is intending to visit from, and make an assessment of whether there is a real chance that the applicant will not want to return home at the end of their visit to Australia.
- Circumstances in Australia: An assessing officer will consider an applicant’s ties to Australia, and consider whether their ties to Australia outweighs their ties to their home country. If a visa applicant has more familial, employment or other ties to Australia, the Department case officer will likely conclude that an individual will not return to their home country after their visit in Australia.
- Purpose of Visit: The purpose of the visit and its alignment with the activities permitted under the specific visitor visa category are evaluated. For instance, if the purpose is tourism, the Department will expect the applicant to have a clear travel itinerary. If there is any reason for the case officer to believe the applicant will work, study or engage in activities that do not align with the purpose of their visa, the application will be denied.
- Travel History: Past international travel history, including adherence to visa conditions in other countries with similar migration laws to Australia, can influence the assessment. A consistent history of complying with visa conditions is favourable.
- Immigration History: If an applicant has previously visited or lived in Australia, their compliance with visa conditions during previous visits is considered with substantial weight.
No single consideration outweighs all other considerations, as a Department case officer will make a holistic assessment of an applicant’s circumstances. Some considerations will be given more weight than others on a case-by-case basis.
It is important for visitor visa applicants to ensure that they consider the above criteria when making an application for an Australian Visitor visa. While an applicant may have their visitor visa refused on GTE grounds, a new application can be lodged. A new application may be successful if an individual can show strong evidence of the GTE criteria and that their circumstances have changed since the last application.
If you require assistance with a visitor visa application to Australia, contact our office.