Based on the letter, I'd say it was a rubber-stamp situation. They put three separate reasons for the refusal:
- They just aren't giving out many permits. At the moment even renewals are being scrutinized.
- They wanted the salary to be a bit higher.
- I am unqualified for the position.
Reason 1 is legitimate. Reason 2 is nitpicky yet successfully bars me from the appeals process. Reason 3 is an outright lie. If I had no regard for internet etiquette, this next paragraph would appear in ALL CAPS:
You can imagine how ticked off I was to read that I am deemed unqualified by a government bureaucrat when the company has offered me the job, saying that I am, in fact, highly qualified for the job. You can imagine how pissed off it might make me to read that I am 'unqualified' and know there was a 3-page letter from Habitat for Humanity Ireland on my behalf detailing how my experience and abilities matched the requirements for this position perfectly. You can imagine how infuriating it is to spend weeks agonizing over the paperwork, making sure every line is correct, and attaching fifteen supplemental documents, only to see a generic response that demonstrates the application was denied without even a glance at the content of the paperwork.
In the end, I am the one left feeling like an a-hole. Habitat waited through the entire process in hopes that I could begin working for them: a total of 1.5 months. I left my temporary job at the restaurant since I planned to be starting soon. What a complete waste of all our time.
Consolation: My would-be supervisor was upset and extremely apologetic when she showed me the letter. I think she was as shocked as me. They immediately posted the job to the same non-profit job board and began looking because they didn't have a second candidate in mind. In short, MY job is still available because I was the right candidate. It feels better--albeit a little bit--to know that much.