As soon as you start thinking about coming to Australia on a student visa, you will start hearing the acronyms GTE and SoA quite often. In short, GTE means “Genuine Temporary Entrant” and it’s the main point that the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is trying to establish before accepting or refusting your visa: they want to know if you really are coming as a student or if you have other ulterior motives such as using it as a pathway to get your PR (Permanent Residency).
Other than the general investigation conducted by the DIBP about your background and your history, the most important thing they look at and ask you about is your Statement of Purpose (SoP). In this article, we will be discussing how to write and what you need to include in your SoP to make it the best it can be.
1- Be honest and realistic
If you really are coming to study in Australia, then you must have a good reason for it, so make sure to detail these reasons. However, keep the “more is less” rule in mind: do not be over-eager with information. Share enough information to prove that you are a GTE but don’t add anything too much. Additionally, make sure that the information you discuss is realistic and not over the top. Your education agent should be able to advise you on the matter.
2- Talk about yourself and your situation in your country
In this section, you need to show the DIBP officers that you have strong ties with your country and that what you are doing (going to study in Australia) will ultimately serve you in your home country. It’s good to share specific events in the future that would require you to come back such as a job you hold, a business you are working on, or a family member’s wedding. Also discuss your economic situation and show the DIBP officer that you are well off in your country and are living a good life. If not, then your visa may be refused because you really have nothing to come back to in your country.
3- Explain your educational choice
There are three things you need to show in this section. The first thing is your reason for choosing this education provider and not another. Show the DIBP that you’ve done your research about the education provider and why you think you would fit in. And while you are doing research, we move on to the second item to include, which is your reason for choosing this specific course or major. Discuss your reasons for choosing this industry and don’t be afraid to share facts and figures that show that you’ve done your research. Also, if you can connect this research to show even more how it will help you in your own country, it would be even better. The third thing to do in this section is to compare between the education in your country and in Australia concerning the same major to explain to immigration why it is better for you to study this course in Australia and not in your home country.
4- Explain your travel and immigration history
This section is especially important for onshore students because they will need to show the DIBP that they are not just doing the course so that they could stay longer in Australia. As for offshore students, talk about where you have previously travelled and what were your main reasons for it, especially if you have studied abroad before.
5- Support, support, support
The most important thing to remember in your SoP is that talk is cheap and lies get you nowhere. Whatever you write in the SoP, you must be able to prove it. You can add reference letters from your employers, recommendations from your teachers, evidence that you have enough money to live and study in Australia, evidence of ownership of things in your home country (such as cars, land, houses, businesses, etc…), and anything else that might serve to support your claim. Your education consultant should be able to advise you on the best things to include in your SoP.
6- Write it yourself
Immigration wants to know you, not your education agent. It is common malpractice for education agents to write the SoP on behalf of the applicant, but this is bad for many reasons. First, no one knows you or your reasons better than yourself. Second, it is very easy for immigration to know that someone else wrote yur SoP for you especially if their English or way of communicating is different from yours. And third, when education agents write SoP letters for many students, immigration will know their style and will know that they are doing this, so they will be more picky with their students’ visas and will refuse them more often.
In conclusion, the SoP may be the most important document that you will be handing immigration for your visa application, so treat it with care and don’t take it lightly. If you need any help, we at Edustralia are always ready to assist you, just contact us!