Genuine Student (GS)

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) replaced with Genuine Student (GS) for student visas (sc 500)

The GTE requirement applicable to student visas (sc 500) is being replaced with a Genuine Student (GS) requirement from 23 March 2024.


As part of your application for a student visa (subclass 500), previously student visa applicants had to provide a personal statement, in English, that addresses the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement.

This statement must be submitted with your visa application and should explain that:

  • You are genuinely coming to Australia to study and not for any other reason.
  • You will only be residing in Australia for the time allowed on your visa (and not overstaying).

As announced in the Migration Strategy released on 11 December 2023, the GTE requirement applicable to student visas (sc 500) is being replaced with a Genuine Student (GS) requirement.

The new GS requirement will have target questions that will provide decision makers with an overview of the applicant and their reasons for wanting to study in Australia.

The intended questions will cover:

  • details of their current circumstances, including ties to family, community, employment and economic circumstances;
  • an explanation for the choice of course and reasons for choosing Australia as a study destination;
  • what benefits the course provides to the applicant;
  • for applicants with a study history in Australia, details of their study history;
  • for applicants holding a visa other than a Student visa, their reasons for applying for a student visa; and
  • any other relevant information the applicant wishes to provide

The GS requirement is planned to commence for student visa applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024. Student visa application lodged before 23 March 2024 will be assessed according to existing arrangements. 

The GTE requirement will be retained for Student Guardian (sc 590) visa applications. 

The student visa declaration will be amended to require applicants to confirm that they:

  • understand what it means to be a genuine student for the purposes of studying in Australia;
  • have read, understand and commit to comply with student visa conditions and to notify the Department of Home Affairs of any changes to their circumstances; and
  • understand that while post-study pathways to permanent migration are available, only a limited number of graduates will be eligible and those who are unable to remain lawfully in Australia must depart Australia.

As part of the changes Ministerial Direction 69 will be revoked and replaced by two new ministerial directions, which will reflect the intention for the GS requirement to apply after the intended commencement date of 23 March 2024; and then to ensure that the GTE assessment applies to applications that have been lodged and not yet decided before 23 March 2024.

The Department has advised that any further information will be placed on their website closer to the implementation date of 23 March 2024.

Related: More savings required, changes to concurrent COEs for international Students

Student (sc 500) English language increase

Student visa (sc 500) has an increased English requirement for applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024:

  • The minimum test score for the for the English proficiency requirement increases from International English language Testing System (IELTS) 5.5. to 6.0 (or equivalent)
  • The minimum score to undertake a packaged English Language Intenstive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) course increases from IELTS 4.5 to 5.0 (or equivalent)
  • Students undertaking recognised university foundation or pathway programs that deliver reputable English language training require a score of IELTS 5.5. (or equivalent) these recognised courses will be listed on the Department’s website.
  • For students studying English only through ELICOS, there will be no change

What evidence and information to include

We encourage applicants to provide evidence or information about:

Previous study​​

This includes:

  • Academic transcripts showing qualifications achieved
  • Name of the education provider(s)
  • Length of study
  • Certificates of attainment
Previous study in Australia​​​

This includes:

  • A complete history of study record(s) in Australia
  • Reasons for change of course and/or education providers
  • Details of information on course progress
  • Study gaps of more than 2 months during an academic year
  • Any other information the applicant considers relevant to their study record in Australia
Current employment​​

This includes:

  • Details of their current employer and company address
  • Period of employment
  • Details of position held
  • The name and contact details of someone who can confirm the circumstances of the declared employment
Circumstances in their home country or coun​try of residence

This includes:

  • The nature of the applicant’s personal ties eg. example family, community and employment. They will need to provide reasons for not studying in their home country if a similar course is available.
Economic circumstances in home country or country of residence

This includes:

  • Documents showing employment or business activities for 12 months before lodging an application
  • Potential employment offers including salary and other benefits, after course completion
  • Income tax return or bank statements

If there is political and civil unrest and military service commitments in the applicant’s home country that would present as a significant incentive for them to leave their home country, they must provide their reasons and supporting evidence.

How DOHA​​ assess GS

The GS criterion focuses on the assessment of the student’s intention to genuinely study in Australia. It considers factors including the applicant’s:

  • circumstances
  • immigration history
  • compliance with visa conditions and any other relevant matter.

This criterion acknowledges that post-study pathways are available for those who may be eligible.

Situations in their ​​​home country (or country of residence)

DOHA consider:

  • reason for not studying in their home country or region if a similar course is available there
  • the nature of the applicant’s personal ties to their home country
  • economic circumstances
  • military service commitments political and civil unrest in their home country.
Potential situation in Australia

DOHA consider:

  • level of knowledge of the proposed course and education provider
  • previous study and qualifications
  • planned living arrangements
  • financial stability.
Value​​ of the course to their future

DOHA consider:

  • if the course is consistent with their current level of education and if the course will assist them to obtain employment or improve employment prospect in their home country or another country.
  • if the course is relevant to past or proposed future employment in their home country or another country
  • expected salary and other benefits in their home country or another country obtained with the applicant’s qualifications from the proposed course of study.
Immigration ​history

DOHA consider:

  • visa and travel history for Australia and other countries
  • previous visa applications for Australia or other countries
  • visa refusals or cancellations.

If the applicant is a minor, DOHA consider the intentions of the parent, legal guardian or spouse.

Direction No. 108 

Ministerial Direction No 108 – Assessing the genuine temporary entrant criterion for Student and Student Guardian visa applications sets out the factors that must be taken into account when assessing the genuine temporary entrant criterion for Student visa applications. This Ministerial Direction is made in accordance with section 499 of the Migration Act.

In summary, these factors include:

  • the applicant’s circumstances in their home country, including the applicant’s economic situation, political and civil unrest in the applicant’s home country, the extent of the applicant’s personal ties to their home country, whether the applicant has sound reasons for not studying in their home country if a similar course is available, and military service commitments that would present as a significant incentive for the applicant not to return to their home country
  • the applicant’s potential circumstances in Australia, including the extent of the applicant’s ties with Australia that present as a strong incentive to remain in Australia, evidence that the student visa program may be used to circumvent the intention of the migration program, whether the Student visa or the Student Guardian is being used to maintain ongoing residence, the applicant’s knowledge of living in Australia,
    and whether the primary and secondary applicants have entered into a relationship of concern
  • the value of the course to the applicant’s future, including the course’s consistency with the applicant’s current education level, whether the course will assist the applicant to gain employment in their home country, relevance of the course to the applicant’s past or future employment in their home country or a third country, and remuneration and career prospects in the applicant’s home country or a third country to be gained from the
  • the applicant’s immigration history, including visa and travel history for Australia and other countries, previous visa applications for Australia or other countries, and previous travels to Australia or other countries
  • if the applicant is a minor, the intentions of a parent, legal guardian or spouse of the applicant.
  • Any other matter relevant to the applicant’s intention to stay in Australia temporarily must also be considered. These factors have been weighed up to make an overall decision. In considering whether the applicant met the genuine temporary entry criterion DHA take into account these factors, consistent with clause 500.212 and Ministerial Direction No 108. The factors were used to weigh up the applicant’s circumstances as a whole, in reaching a finding about whether they satisfy the genuine temporary entrant criterion.

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Genuine Student (GS)