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Every year, over 1.3 million people apply to visit, work, or settle in Canada. It falls to visa officers to determine who gets in – and who stays out. In the face of this enormous responsibility, how do these gatekeepers use their discretionary authority to assess eligibility, credibility, and risk?
Seeking answers to this question, Vic Satzewich conducted interviews with 128 visa officers, locally engaged staff, and immigration program managers at eleven overseas offices. He reveals how the organizational context within which they work shapes their decision making. When something in an application does not "add up" – somber photographs from a supposed wedding celebration, for example – an officer conducts follow-up interviews with the applicant.
In a world where no two visa applications are the same, and in the context of complex and shifting population movements and pressures, this is a fascinating look at how visa officers do their work.