Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Monday, October 10, 2016

Yes, Tell Them

Not often enough, Madam and senior FSOs have complimented posts that publish articles and even regular columns in local newspapers and on local online forums, and send consular officers to speak at local schools, clubs and events. These ventures always include a lot of information about visas. In fact, whatever the main subject, the questions afterward always concentrate on visas.

 This is not a bad, risky, or dangerous thing. It does not promote surges in visa applications. It does not promote fraud by giving away secrets. It DOES dispel misinformation: the belief that the post doesn't issue visas at all; that officers' decisions are arbitrary and capricious;, that officers are in collusion with local travel agencies, politicians and prostitutes (yes really); that officers took assignments to that country solely because they did not like the citizens and wanted to somehow disrespect and insult them.

When there is an information gap, it fills itself in with - well - non-information. If any officer has doubts, a quick glance at the visa links on the Quora web site should disabuse her of them. That quick glance will introduce the officer to the dizzying complications of visas from the recipients' points of view. It will also introduce the officer to the continuing questions and misapprehensions of actual visa holders.

If those noble posts that do their best to inform the public - and those that still fear to - would thumb (mouse) through current Quora questions, they would be able to aim their public information even more accurately. They would also dispel fear to such a degree that the applicants would be able to think and respond to questions - and perhaps even qualify for visas - rather than simply chatter in terror.

And all the more credit to those posts for that, too.

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