Christmas comes but once a year……..
……and many of us are very glad it’s only once!
Every year we have a flood of applicants wanting…….yes……you guessed it. They want their sweetheart with them for Christmas. No one wants their two front teeth. They want their Filipina lady by their side at Christmas time.
And every year the closer we get to Christmas we see the stress levels rise in those who are anxiously waiting for the visas to be granted, and they contact us wanting answers, and wanting us to do something to make it happen.
Simple reality is this:
A visa application takes X-amount of time to be processed at the Embassy in Manila. That X-amount of time is multiplied by the number of visa applications lodged. Once that number increases beyond the number of physical work-hours available (due to the number of Case Officers available in the temporary visa section in the Embassy) then it starts to take longer.
Tourist visa applications have been taking longer than usual for the last few months. The Embassy appear to be short of staff in that section. They don’t inform us of things like that, but we have been observing tourist visa grants being processed by Case Officers who normally work in the permanent visa section. We’ve never seen that happen before, so obviously they are understaffed to begin with. Add Christmas to that (ie. as I explained before, EVERYONE wants their beloved with them for Christmas, which means a lot more applications), and the situation gets worse.
The same people who apply for visas for Christmas also turn up at Myer before Christmas and discover larger crowds than usual.
If your visa application is taking longer than you expected, it’s because of simple mathematics. More work-hours required to deal with a large number of applications than there are available man-hours to process them. It is NOT a sign of something going wrong, or of your application “falling under a filing cabinet” as is sometimes suggested to us.
Your application may or may not be processed before Christmas, and there is NOTHING we can do about it. There is very little logic in the argument that goes “Our client Mr Blogs wants his girlfriend/fiancee/wife with him at Christmas time, so please push aside someone further up the queue (who also wants his sweetheart there for Christmas) in order to prioritise Mr Blogs!”
So please be patient, and hopefully they will get through the backlog soon. And please don’t give us a hard time over it. There is nothing we can do.