We are receiving requests by refused independent applicants for permanent residence, to assist in providing representations with a view to overturning a negative decision rendered by a visa officer.
Regrettably, certain individuals are falling outside the rather tight delays which are imposed by the Immigration Act and the Federal Court Trial Decision rules governing the judicial review process.
While we can provide written submissions which sometimes have the effect of provoking a new decision, this comfort becomes more difficult when a refused applicant allows a significant period of time to elapse before taking action or has already received a written explanation (sometimes cursory), from the visa office.
In order to contest a negative assessment by a visa officer, applicants are advised to maintain copies of all documentation in support of an application including application forms; reconstruct a summary of the interview and exchange of communication between the interviewing officer and applicant; and retain counsel at the earliest opportunity possible following the unfavourable decision.
Quite often in the case of negative decisions arising from an assessment of an independent applicant, the evaluation of alternative occupations inherent in an applicant’s work experience, is lacking. Indeed this reality is not surprising since there are at present more than 1200 occupations which are open to prospective immigrants, pursuant to the current General Occupations List. As we have recently advised, a visa officer must assess the applicant in an appropriate occupation regardless of which alternative occupations the officer has seen fit to consider.
In most cases, an effective submission to the visa office raising instances of irregularities in the assessment process will often be corrected, thus avoiding the need to avail the use of the judicial system.