Five Immediate Steps for Legal Representatives:
1) THE REFUSAL – Take a breath and read the refusal letter closely. Then put it down and read it again in an hour or two. Ensure it relates to you, client ID numbers cross reference, and that names and dates make sense. Look to see if you can find any errors of fact.
2) TIMELINE/LIMITATION PERIOD –Quickly identify the nature of the refusal, in land, overseas, citizenship, a misrepresentation? Different appeal periods apply – 15, 30 or 60 days. This is critical to understanding the timeline under which you are operating.
3) MY ERROR – Look closely and determine if you committed an error in preparing and submitting the application.
4) ADVISE CLIENT – If you are a representative, advise the client of the refusal and the areas of concern. Further advise if is this is a case wherein you will be handling the appeal or sending it out to a specialist. Timelines, potential errors and costs can be canvassed in a preliminary manner.
5) CALL THE LITIGATOR – If referring the call, act as a liaison between the litigator and your client. Understand appeal timelines, costs and immediate steps required. Ensure you have a proper record to hand off to the litigator. Ensure the litigator is well-versed in these types of appeals and has a clear plan of action. Often-times, litigators will charge a fee for this initial assessment.