Persuasion. The most effortful labor there is.

I often send for entire Department of Immigration and Border Protection files where a person has, after attempting a visa application themselves, had their application refused.  I also need to do this even when a person was represented by a Registered Migration Agent/Immigration lawyer so that I can see what went wrong with the original application.  Having the entire file in front of you means you can see how your case officer has structured their reasoning about your case  in their decision making process.  If you ever had a visa refused, in every instance you would want to know exactly why because a visa application is always about something of primary importance.

One day I saw in a Departmental file the work of a highly paid Immigration Lawyer.  I was dumbstruck. I simply couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  A page and a half cover letter representing the client.  And more than half of this was just ‘copy and paste’ relevant legislation.  The submission wasn’t wrong – it addressed all the mandatory criteria for grant if visa. But that was it. Where was the persuasive argument?? Where was compelling  the case officer to understand that they were dealing with honest applicants?? The visa was refused and all the clients money down the drain.

You have to be persuasive in a visa application. Absolutely. Here is a quote I like, I’ll then link it to the visa application process.

“One might even say that moving minds [persuading others] – our own as well as others- is among the most effortful labor there is” (Popova n.d.)

ABSOLUTELY!! How on earth can we expect a case officer, delegated to process thousands upon thousands of visa applications, to be convinced to grant a visa based on a cover letter that merely ticks off a basic checklist of standard visa criteria? No effortful labor could I find in this letter. No persuasive argument. None.  In many cases a case officer will grant a visa with their decision based upon such an application.  However more often the visa will be refused.  Now, having seen the type of policy case officers must give regard to when making a decision, I think that is fair enough.

In my opinion, any chance of any visa application being granted hinges upon whether or not a case officer finds the applicant to be genuine. In my further opinion it is dishonest for a representive attempt to  show your case officer that you are genuine by writing a brief cover letter – especially if you come from a country where the Department’s ‘risk-tiering’ system places you in a position where your application must face a much higher level of scrutiny.

I couldn’t look in the mirror if I ever were to send off such an application.   I see that I need to present to your case officer your full story. To construct a letter that carefully convinces and persuades your case officer to say, ‘yes’, to  approve your visa.  I need to work my way through your life story and future plans picking out even the teeniest, tinyest detail (as far as you are comfortable) and match it up with the appropriate visa criteria. Then I’ll wring out as tightly as possible everything from your life story and future plans that could add to persuading  your case officer that you are in fact genuine.

Each application I do requires the most effortful labor I know in my working life. I make no apologies, I won’t be completing your visa application in a hurry. It’s not possible, in my opinion, to perfect the type of persuasion necessary for your particular story in a short amount of time.  For me, having honesty and maintaining integrety as your representative is more important than a fast result. Underpinning this is my commitment to ensure I do all I can, whatever it takes, however long it takes, relentlessly advocating, to get your visa granted.

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