Skilled Migrant Category - Occupations not considered skilled
In two recent cases, the applicants were applying for residence under the skilled migrant category on the basis of employment in businesses selling kitchen, bathroom and plumbing supplies.
The first applicant worked for a large retail chain. They were employed as a retail manager for a regional branch. INZ considered their position to be at a lower skill level, citing the applicant's vacations as evidence that they were not 'pivotal' to the operation of the branch. In response our LIA argued that the vacations were during the annual close-down periods or otherwise mandated annual and parental leave as required by employment law. The client was also requested to provide additional supporting documents. INZ approved the application.
The second applicant was employed as a Marketing Specialist working for a smaller operation that was looking to expand in to a different region. INZ carried out a site visit to verify the applicant's employment and raised a concern that the applicant's position did not appear to be at the required skill level because they were involved in sales. After obtaining a copy of the site visit record, our LIA had INZ disregard the site visit record as INZ had failed to take adequate contemporaneous notes. Our LIA then argued that the assessment of tasks was not correct as INZ had failed to identify the relevant ANZSCO tasks for a Marketing Specialist and that a sales component is not incompatible with a marketing role per KB (Skilled Migrant)  NZIPT 203065 at . The client was also requested to provide additional supporting documents. INZ approved the application.
Our senior LIA also specialises in complaints to INZ regarding procedural failures;
Flawed character waiver assessment
In more than one case, our clients had their student visa applications declined due to character issues. After reviewing the clients INZ files, our LIA determined that INZ had taken irrelevant factors in to account when considering whether to grant character waivers. When our LIA complained, INZ agreed to open new applications for free and the applicants were able to successfully obtain student visas.
Flawed assessment of client's overstay circumstances
Our client had their student visa declined as they had recently overstayed the validity of their visa. The client's attempts to regularise their status in New Zealand had failed and they were now applying from off shore. After reviewing the client's INZ file our LIA discovered a number of factual errors had been made when considering relevant information. When our LIA complained INZ agreed to open a new application for free. Our client and their previous LIA were asked for additional information and they were able to successfully obtain a student visa.
The above cases highlight the value of an experienced LIA who is knowledgeable in INZ policies and processes as well as relevant case law.