Letter to Representatives from Bonn, Germany
It has been several months since you received our last "Bonn Immigration Service Standards" report which was for the second quarter of 1997. I have not produced one for the third quarter as new developments made our projection of processing times too uncertain to be useful. This interim message is to provide you with an update on the case processing situation in Bonn to help you to make better decisions on how to serve your clients.
I am attaching a copy of our second quarter report for your convenience. Most of the background information still applies. I will suggest to my successor that he consider producing another edition, perhaps after the Minister makes the levels announcement :and post targets are established.
In the meantime, you should know that we have been given some new priorities. notably responsibility for a new humanitarian movement of "government sponsored refugees." Such cases must be accorded top priority. Also, our student visa and temporary worker movements appear to be about one-third higher than last year. This has :an impact on our ability to deal promptly with other immigration applications.
As a result, our processing times for "straightforward local" applications will be longer in the third and fourth quarters of 1997 than they were in the second. We will attempt to keep the times as short as in the past on those local cases where interviews can he waived; as we moved to self-assessment and a more-or-less "perfected application" system, the proportion of these cases increased.
Lead-time to interview for the independent and business categories has already slipped from the projected 6-8 months indicated in our last report; we will he calling to interview in September and C)October cases in these categories which were submitted in mid-to-late-1996. Our current objective is to bring the interview lead time on local cases down to a standard 3-5 months for all categories, but it may take a year or so to achieve this,even if human resources are added.
I am proposing to my successor that he not deal with any offshore cases until Bonn has met this objective, and is able to offer appropriate processing time to local clients; that is, that he schedule no interviews for offshore cases for the next year or so. An exception might be made for those received before the latter part of 1996.
AS you know, we do not waive interviews for offshore applicants, especially because our experience has taught that close review is often necessary for good decision making. They tend to take much longer to process even after interview, because we have found that it is important to validate information with source country missions, and elsewhere. Each one, on average, tends to consume a vastly disproportionate amount of our time, and we are- not resourced to deal with them.
Processing is quicker elsewhere, and often in the post responsible for the source country, so we must presume that if you file an offshore application in Bonn you are prepared to wait, perhaps several years, for conclusion.I hope you will advise your clients of this, too. and that neither you nor they will make representations asking for exceptional treatment. Representations, except in the rare instance where they are to relay brand-new information, primarily add to the burden and slow things down further, so I will also recommend to my successor that he make no effort for an indefinite period to respond to "reps" on offshore applications received after December 1996.
Bonn will make every effort to deal quickly with requests to transfer files to other offices.