The Weight of Responsibility

November 20, 2020
Myer Lipschitz

To encourage or discourage? That’s the question that we at IMMagine face every day when receiving preliminary questionnaires and accompanying CVs for those people thinking of having a consultation with us, and we are acutely aware of the responsibility and the potential effect in making these decisions on people’s lives.

We generally find that we need 90 minutes to adequately explain the migration options to anyone thinking of immigrating to Australia and/or New Zealand and we do so by way of consultation that is delivered via Zoom/Skype for which we charge AU$350. Pre-Covid 19 we used to hold these consultations face-to-face every six weeks in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.

We realise that many people don’t want to “waste” AU$350 in having a consultation only to be told that they don’t have a chance of qualifying for permanent residence in either country and that’s why we created the free preliminary evaluation.

Essentially anyone thinking of having a consultation with us can complete a free preliminary questionnaire on our website and attach CVs for us to peruse, and we will then advise whether we can potentially establish a suitable strategy to gain residence of Australia and/or New Zealand, and if so we will invite them to an in-depth consultation.

In a typical week we receive anything from 100 to 200 of these preliminary questionnaires and it does occupy a substantial amount of our week to peruse the questionnaires and provide preliminary email responses.

In making my decision to encourage or discourage, I’m weighing up certain variables relating to the probability of success in obtaining permanent residence in either country based on information contained in CVs and the questionnaire. Often however I am reading poorly drafted documentation that reveals very little about the applicant and even when reading well drafted CVs I’m reading them as a layperson. I often don’t know much about the role that the applicant performs or the employer and I’m (particularly as far as Australia is concerned) trying to find an occupational match in which I can obtain a positive skills assessment.

I also don’t know what the potential applicant would consider to be value in having the consultation. Would they be satisfied with something less than permanent residence such as advice regarding pathways relating to those wishing to study in Australia or New Zealand and the possibility of permanent residence which may flow on from the initial student visa?

I remember having a consultation with someone in Singapore many, many years ago and I felt almost apologetic in telling her that her options were limited to applying for student visa and then explain the pathways for her to obtain permanent residence. She was delighted with the news because she had done her own research and believed that her options were zero.

It highlights the issue of expectations. If someone has expectations that the process is easy (usually formed from anecdotes from family members or friends who immigrated several years ago) then anything less than confirmation of the ease of migration would be a disappointment. If on the other hand someone has expectations that the process is extremely difficult then any glimmer of hope would be gratefully received.

Those that have very low expectations of success would feel that $350 has been well spent in receiving advice that a pathway to Residence is possible albeit difficult. Those with high expectations of success might feel disappointed in spending $350 to receive advice that it’s a difficult process and compromises might have to be made in terms of timeframe, type of visa and likely destination.

In making the judgement call to encourage or discourage a consultation I tend to put myself in the applicant’s position and ask myself the question whether I would think that I would be receiving “value” in having the consultation. I think it could be argued that even if someone told me that I don’t have a chance of migrating that would be money well worth spending providing the advice is accurate because it prevents me from investing more time and money in pursuing the impossible.

Of course anything is possible depending upon the lengths that people are prepared to go to and I never know the level of motivation of anyone completing one of these preliminary questionnaires.

We do preface our responses in these preliminary evaluations to stipulating that the response isn’t meant to act as a comprehensive evaluation of all of the applicant’s migration options but I know that most people don’t understand the complexity and range of potential visas and do expect a definitive answer from these preliminary evaluations.

Notwithstanding all of the above the feedback we receive is that most people are grateful to receive these initial responses albeit just to tell them whether they are in the right ballpark to qualify for residence of Australia/New Zealand and can then proceed to payment of AU$350 for a detailed consultation secure in the knowledge that they are not wasting their money in doing so.

If you would like to have a preliminary evaluation of your options with regard to migration to Australia and/or New Zealand please visit the Assessments page of our website.

Till next time…

Myer Lipschitz

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