The opposing views about GTE (genuine temporary entrant) have been circulating around the legal circuits for a while with no interpretations are named to be definite.
One interpretation of it suggests that it is not unreasonable for a genuine temporary entrant to have a wish or plan to remain in Australia after their student visa expires, if the means for a more permanent or long-term visa becomes available.
The opposing view, however, states that any wish to remain in Australia after one’s education is complete, is in blatant contradiction with being a genuine temporary entrant. So if an applicant harbours any wish to remain, they are unqualified for being a GTE.
These contradictory views have been around for a while and judges have applied both views to different cases. As the recent case of Bajwa vs Minister for Immigration and Anor in August 2016 suggests, there is little chance of one view being announced as correct, defying the other.
The case saw the applicant’s visa application being rejected after the judge applied the argument opposing GTE applicants with a wish to stay. The applicant had an irregular educational record where, being enrolled to 21 courses after coming to Australia with a student visa, he completed only 5 of them.
Also, soon after arrival, he applied for the 457 visa. From these, the judges surmised that the applicant was not looking to finish his study to pursue a particular career, but he is actually using his student visa to try and obtain a permanent visa in Australia. It also didn’t help that in his Tribunal hearing, the applicant said that he had plans to remain in Australia for an indefinite time. All evidence pointed at the applicant placing more priority on gaining a permanent visa rather than completion of his studies and hence had no intention of staying in Australia temporarily. As such, his visa was rejected with the Department supporting the decision.
Although the case fails to decide on a definite interpretation regarding the GTE debate, there is a legal advice to be found here. If an applicant has an intention of staying in Australia with more permanency after their student visa expires, it is unadvisable to mention that in any interview or written paper available to the Department. Here, silence over the matter of future plans in the safer option, saying that the applicant wished to go back to their own country after the conclusion of their studies. Although it is not a very honest path, it is the safest one if one wishes to enter Australia with a GTE and wishes to remain further.