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Offshore Record Checks

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It is impossible for all missions to have expertise in the documentation, practices and environment for all countries; despite the recent downsizing, we have maintained a broadly based network of offices, in part, for this reason.

Missions face a continual challenge in maintaining the basic integrity of the immigration process in the current environment of risk management activities and reduced resources at missions abroad. Nonetheless, missions must continue to maintain the integrity of their processing through quality assurance measures. This is particularly important for missions with off-shore clientele where the desire to circumvent local expertise may be one of the factors in seeking examination outside of the client’s resident jurisdiction. It is increasingly evident that off-shore processing of immigrant and non-immigrant cases represents significant risk to the integrity of the immigration program. Managers previously have been requested to consult the mission of the applicant’s normal residence, either by email or through data links, to ascertain if records or problems exist. Interviews would most normally be conducted. Therefore, effective immediately, missions receiving off-shore applications must conduct mandatory remote CAIPS or electronic mail checks as part of the assessment process. This instruction is compulsory for all immigration applications. The decision whether to conduct checks for non-immigrant applications will vary depending upon the stated reasons for seeking a temporary authorisation outside of the applicant’s home area and the array of factors used to determine an applicant’s bona fides, including whether the individual is physically within the jurisdiction of the mission. Managers should ensure that appropriate record check procedures are in place and that this is standard practice when there is doubt or questions related to the bona fides or background of the applicant. Essentially, the processes for assessing applicants should never be minimized in a way so as to encourage the making of uninformed decisions.

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