Another successful appeal from our immigration experts’ team is the case of the client who applied for the residence visa as a Travel Agency Manager. The client applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category in November 2018 when the opportunities for travelling were on different level to the level when this case was decided by INZ in 2020.  The Covid-19 pandemic has an extraordinary impact on travel agencies in New Zealand and elsewhere which caused that the number and range of international travel facilities significantly reduced. 

INZ declined the client’s application because it found that his employment as the branch manager of a travel agency did not substantially match the ANZSCO description, including core tasks of a Travel Agency Manager. It is necessary to note that INZ was satisfied that the client performed 5 of the 7 tasks required of a Travel Agency manager. This was evidently a substantial number of tasks, and had a holistic approach been taken by the INZ it would have been clear that the role was a substantial match and the application should have been approved, particularly considering the context of his employment.  However, despite of those facts, INZ was concerned that he did not sufficiently organise and control the operations of travel agency. 

We have collated a significant amount of evidence to proof that the client performs each of the tasks required in light of his role. Although, travel industry is not like any other retail businesses as they do not deal in physical stock, rather they are selling airline tickets and holiday packages. INZ imposed an overly onerous interpretation of the ANZSCO duties in the context of a travel agency business due the way that travel agencies operate. However, the INZ has taken unnecessarily narrow interpretation of those tasks and taken the role far beyond what was originally envisaged by the ANZSCO.

The Tribunal found that INZ did not have appropriate regard to the evidence produced by the client and that employment is substantial match with the ANZSCO description, including core tasks. The Tribunal noted that INZ at the time of its decision did not appear to take account of the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on international travel conditions at the time even though it is common knowledge that from March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic had an extraordinary impact on travel agencies.

The processing of the client’s application was therefore unfair and incorrect, and it was returned to INZ for a fresh assessment.