Just like most legal contracts, a student visa also has an expiry date. The duration of the visa, in most cases, would cover the duration of the course. Sometimes, due to various circumstances, the course may take longer than intended to finish and in such cases a student must apply for an extension of their student visa. You might also want to apply for an extension if you are finishing your studies soon and want to study further by enrolling to a new course.
Applying for an extension might be as challenging as applying for a new visa. One of the most important eligibility criteria for student visa extension is the GTE requirement.
What is GTE?
GTE stands for Genuine Temporary Entrant. The DIBP checks every student’s application to make sure that the applicant’s sole intention to live in Australia is to study. Each student is expected to satisfy this criteria by attaching a personal statement to his/her application. The following key takeaways, among others, are expected from the statement.
1. Reasons for choosing the course of study
Students should give a clear explanation for why they have chosen a particular course. This explanation should also outline how this course is relevant to their ambitions. They should convince the department that the chosen course is the best fit to achieve their ambitions.
2. Reason for choosing the institution
The DIBP checks if the student’s reason for opting to study in the institution of interest is genuine. This explanation should highlight how the chosen institution is better than other Australian institutions, and how it is the best choice for the desired course of study. Students can mention about how the effectiveness of the course structure and how the institution’s way of teaching and assessment interests them.
3. Why Australia?
This explanation is the most important part of the whole document. Students are expected to give a satisfactory explanation about why they think Australia—out of all other countries—is the best to pursue the course. Students should write why Australia is better than their home countries when it comes to education. They can write about Australia’s quality of education, variety in courses, industrial and multicultural exposure during studies and the like.
4. Is the course relevant to the education background or employment?
It is also important that the course chosen is relevant to the student’s previous education or employment. If the course is generic, a management course for example, the student should convince the department that the course is directly or indirectly aligned to his/her ambitions, previous education or employment.
5. How is the course relevant to the student’s long-term goals?
Studying in Australia can be expensive, and students are expected to have a clear understanding of why they choose to study here. This can be addressed by writing about your ambitions and how studying in Australia will help you achieve specific skills that are vital for your future endeavours. Students should also convince the department that they are committed to their goals.
The above-mentioned points are the most important ones. Including all these points in the GTE letter only makes the application stronger and does not ensure the grant of the extension/visa. It should be noted that a GTE letter should be a formal letter addressed to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and should be attached along with the visa application.
Giving a satisfactory explanation might be tricky, particularly if the student has not been in good conduct with the department before. Hence, it’s always recommended to consult an expert migration agent in this regard.
For more information, log in to www.ceca.com.au