Why is Berlin understaffed?

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Why is Berlin understaffed?


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Old 01-02-2013, 11:44 AM
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Question Why is Berlin understaffed?

I canīt help but wonder why Berlin is so understaffed...?
It certainly seems like this is the case with all the countries they accept applications from.
With the long waiting in processing time Iīm wondering if itīs always been like this?
I read a while ago they made some changes in the system and the staff couldnīt keep up.
Does anyone know if that was the case and what the changes were?
Iīm just trying to understand things better from the caseofficers point of view while working on my patience.
Iīve basically just lodged my application but I feel like Iīve been waiting a long time as it is because I had so much to take care of before I could travel to meet my partner and stay for a year.
Being apart after living together a year isnīt easy (especially during the Xmas & New Year) but I know there are so many of us here waiting and longing to be with our partners.
Maybe if we knew more about exactly what they are doing weīd be more patient.
It doesnīt seem right if 1 CO has hundreds of applications to deal with..
If thatīs the case,why donīt they hire more staff?
*feeling curious today*

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:46 PM
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Hi AJ67 -

I don't have any specific info about the Berlin post, however from my experience, the 2 most common reasons that partner/fiance visa applications lodged offshore take a long time are:

1) Application is not decision ready - application is missing docs (other than medical reports if they want you to wait for them to request these) or information.

2) The embassy or post that you lodge with is one that staggers applications throughout the year (ie, monthly allocation) so as not to exceed the yearly quota of spaces allocated to that particular embassy or post. This is far more likely to be done at second-tier (re: size) posts which includes Berlin. This can be very frustrating, as in theory a decision-ready application submitted later can be allocated for processing before a non-decision-ready application submitted much earlier. There are other priority issues usually involving matters such as domestic violence, children, medical conditions, etc that can cause some applications to be given priority over others. It can all certainly be frustrating, but you'll find many friendly folks on this forum who you can compare notes with re: processing.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkNortham View Post
Hi AJ67 -

I don't have any specific info about the Berlin post, however from my experience, the 2 most common reasons that partner/fiance visa applications lodged offshore take a long time are:

1) Application is not decision ready - application is missing docs (other than medical reports if they want you to wait for them to request these) or information.

2) The embassy or post that you lodge with is one that staggers applications throughout the year (ie, monthly allocation) so as not to exceed the yearly quota of spaces allocated to that particular embassy or post. This is far more likely to be done at second-tier (re: size) posts which includes Berlin. This can be very frustrating, as in theory a decision-ready application submitted later can be allocated for processing before a non-decision-ready application submitted much earlier. There are other priority issues usually involving matters such as domestic violence, children, medical conditions, etc that can cause some applications to be given priority over others. It can all certainly be frustrating, but you'll find many friendly folks on this forum who you can compare notes with re: processing.
I wasn't aware that Berlin was a 2nd tier post but I am fairly sure that they stagger applications/monthly allocations having watched how people had their's allocated from Berlin over the last 3 months I have been monitoring it.

I don't know how many applications they have to handle each but from what I posted tonight on the onshore waiting times, it seems that the push to have decision ready applications was too successful and now they are left with a problem whereby decision ready apps come in but pipeline/non decision ready apps from months before need to be dealt with or all of the allocation of the monthly and therefore yearly quota of visas would be given out on DR apps.

This comes back to the ministers decision on how many visas to allocate per year and nothing to do with Berlin.

So I am not entirely sure that they ARE understaffed per say...but rather we are all caught in a machine that is groaning under the pressure.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:06 PM
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Melandabdul - exactly. I used "2nd tier" in a generic sense, not aware of any official DIAC designation of such.

The other big reason why partner visa applications have slowed way down is that the tightening of the requirements fo skilled migration and employer sponsored ENS and RSMS as of 1 July has resulted in a huge increase in partner visa applications as people turn to that visa when they cannot meet (or no longer meet) the requirements for skilled and other visas. And just as you said, the system is groaning under the pressure.

A big question will be: given the increase in partner visa applications, will DIAC relieve the pressure by allocating more places for this type of visa when the numbers for the next fiscal year begin (1 July 2013)? It's going to be tough between now and then, as the spaces are allocated prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, so we're still living with an allocation made before the increases started in July, but an increase in places could go a long way towards addressing the long delays that so many have seen during the last half of 2012.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkNortham View Post
Melandabdul - exactly. I used "2nd tier" in a generic sense, not aware of any official DIAC designation of such.

The other big reason why partner visa applications have slowed way down is that the tightening of the requirements fo skilled migration and employer sponsored ENS and RSMS as of 1 July has resulted in a huge increase in partner visa applications as people turn to that visa when they cannot meet (or no longer meet) the requirements for skilled and other visas. And just as you said, the system is groaning under the pressure.

A big question will be: given the increase in partner visa applications, will DIAC relieve the pressure by allocating more places for this type of visa when the numbers for the next fiscal year begin (1 July 2013)? It's going to be tough between now and then, as the spaces are allocated prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, so we're still living with an allocation made before the increases started in July, but an increase in places could go a long way towards addressing the long delays that so many have seen during the last half of 2012.
Mark do they process the 300 and 309 differently? So are there separate quotas for each?

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:24 PM
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The 300 and 309, as well as the other partner visas all go against the family visa planning level established by DIAC prior to July of the program year (July-June). For those interested in planning levels for different types of visas, here's an informative link:

Migration Program Statistics - Statistics - Publications, Research and Statistics

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkNortham View Post
The 300 and 309, as well as the other partner visas all go against the family visa planning level established by DIAC prior to July of the program year (July-June). For those interested in planning levels for different types of visas, here's an informative link:

Migration Program Statistics - Statistics - Publications, Research and Statistics
Thanks Mark. That is a shame...I thought that there was a separate number allocated to PMV's and therefore they would be processed quicker at Berlin as there seems to be more demand for 309 than 300.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:42 PM
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That might still be true - DIAC does not publish quotas by embassy/post, so that info is not available publicly that I know of. While both 300 and partner visa applications may draw from the same overall planning level, I do know that DIAC has some specific quotas within each planning level for other types of visas (such as the family-sponsored skilled visas for Priority 5 applicants where they have now just caught up to apps submitted in Dec 2008), and may well have for individual visas within the family visas regime.

It's also possible that each post may have the ability to prioritise certain types of visas over others, and in effect create an internal quota system - it's just that this type of info is not released by DIAC or the embassies, and will tend to vary from one embassy to another I'd bet, assuming DIAC allows the embassies to do this sort of thing.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:50 PM
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That might still be true - DIAC does not publish quotas by embassy/post, so that info is not available publicly that I know of. While both 300 and partner visa applications may draw from the same overall planning level, I do know that DIAC has some specific quotas within each planning level for other types of visas (such as the family-sponsored skilled visas for Priority 5 applicants where they have now just caught up to apps submitted in Dec 2008), and may well have for individual visas within the family visas regime.

It's also possible that each post may have the ability to prioritise certain types of visas over others, and in effect create an internal quota system - it's just that this type of info is not released by DIAC or the embassies, and will tend to vary from one embassy to another I'd bet, assuming DIAC allows the embassies to do this sort of thing.
It's more wishful thinking on my part I think....however I think I do recall seeing something on the main IMMI site where there were different numbers or priorities allocated to the 309 and 300. Can't say that I recall which was which.

Anyway as I say, there is no point in struggling with it as it will be what it will be, however I really understand where AJ67 is coming from in wanting to understand the inner workings of the machine...as it does help with our ability to be patient and extend grace as we wait...and wait...and wait.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:56 PM
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We might also look at the understaffing of many processing centres from a different perspective - the processing time standards. I think a connected question is why are the processing times so long?

As we know, applicants are told that they should not expect their application to be approved before a certain amount of time has passed, being 5-6 months for low risk countries and 12 months for high risk countries. Applicants are also asked not to bother their case officers until this time has passed. If case officers know that they have all this time to assess an application, then perhaps they're not so worried about completing as many cases as possible, as quickly as possible. In such a case, the number of staff may actually be quite enough for any centre's caseload. This might also explain why files lie unopened on a desk for months on end, as has happened to a forum member who was recently approved.

But here we come to a chicken or egg scenario - are processing times long because the centres are understaffed, or are they understaffed because the processing times are so long?

Clearly somewhere there is a problem - it's got something to do either with funds available to put into the immigration system, or else it's by design. Considering that with the new fee increases this year the federal government expects to raise an extra 520 million dollars within the next four years from the immigration system, I think it's safe to say that money isn't the issue here. So perhaps all this is by design? Perhaps that's a bit too cynical?

A friend of mine several years was applying for a visa/residence in the USA and she encountered an incredibly long queue (she could actually see it because she was physically standing in at the end of it). Upon asking the harried immigration worker the reason for this, she was told that it was a deliberate decision by that government to understaff the department, in order to make the process as horrible as possible so as to deter people from applying. Even more cynical, isn't it?

~~~
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkNortham View Post
Hi AJ67 -

I don't have any specific info about the Berlin post, however from my experience, the 2 most common reasons that partner/fiance visa applications lodged offshore take a long time are:

1) Application is not decision ready - application is missing docs (other than medical reports if they want you to wait for them to request these) or information.

2) The embassy or post that you lodge with is one that staggers applications throughout the year (ie, monthly allocation) so as not to exceed the yearly quota of spaces allocated to that particular embassy or post. This is far more likely to be done at second-tier (re: size) posts which includes Berlin. This can be very frustrating, as in theory a decision-ready application submitted later can be allocated for processing before a non-decision-ready application submitted much earlier. There are other priority issues usually involving matters such as domestic violence, children, medical conditions, etc that can cause some applications to be given priority over others. It can all certainly be frustrating, but you'll find many friendly folks on this forum who you can compare notes with re: processing.
Mark, thank you very much for spending your time with us here. In light of the information contained in this post of yours above, I would be very grateful if you could give your professional opinion on the issue I express in my post here.

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