22 Jul Pokémon Go Trainer’s Visa
Satoshi is a professional Pokémon trainer from Japan. Having obtained the Pokémon Master title recently, he was invited to represent his team Mystic at the Oceanian League final in Auckland.
Satoshi is very excited to compete at the final battle in the Auckland City Gym, as the prize money will be whooping 5 million pokecoins.
Thousands of overseas Pokémon trainers and the spectators of Oceanian League final have flocked into New Zealand, which is a natural habitat of the various Pokémons thanks to its clean and nurturing environment.
He arrives at the Auckland International Airport. Travelling with him is Mewtwo, whom he hatched from an egg gifted by Dr Willow.
Unfortunately for Satoshi, he was stopped at customs as was initially suspected of smuggling an unregistered Pokémon. He was escorted to the Immigration control area, where he was detained for 6 hours before being interviewed by an Immigration officer.
The Immigration officer at Auckland international airport questions him why he travels to NZ with a Pokemon. Satoshi honestly answers that he’s here to compete in the Oceanian League final at the Auckland City Gym and that the league organiser, Niantic, offers him free food and accommodation at Pullman Hotel nearby.
Satoshi couldn’t believe what he hears in return. The Immigration officer tells him that he is suspected of purposely breaching his ‘visitor’ visa condition by ‘working’. Satoshi says ‘Working? I never said that I intended to work!”
The immigration officer further explains that by definition under W2.2 of the INZ Operational Manual, ‘working’ is providing service in return for ‘gain or reward’, which is capable of carrying cash value; and went on to say that free food and accommodation were the classic examples of such gain or reward.
What he hears next is more astonishing. He may be refused entry permission, in which case he will be put back on the next available flight back to Tokyo. ‘What went wrong?’ Satoshi thought ‘The Team Mistic will default at the final because of me!’
Much to his relief, Satoshi is eventually allowed entry permission given the importance of the Oceanian League. Instead of a visitor visa, he is granted a ‘Specific Purpose Work Visa’ designed to facilitate entries by overseas people coming for specific purpose or event, where such gain or reward carrying cash value may be offered.