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Mr Kris Kringle, better known as Santa Claus, had to face questions by an immigration officer upon landing at the Auckland international airport last night. The rather unorthodox arrival followed an unfortunate event of Santa’s reindeers falling too ill to fly his sled.

Hell-bent on his dutiful authority, the immigration officer questioned Mr Kringle of his purpose in New Zealand. Traveling visa free on his German passport, it never occurred to him that he would need another visa. ‘The usual business I guess’ he chuckled. The answer nearly put him on the next available flight back to North Pole. This would have caused an unprecedented event of no Santa gifts for the good children in New Zealand.

So, what went wrong? The question in this case is whether Mr Kringle is a visitor on a ‘lawful purpose’. The lawful purpose of a visitor include holidaying or sightseeing, visiting families or relatives or receiving medical treatments or business consultations. Mr Kringle saw a trouble coming as he could fit in none of the lawful purposes.

But which visa? Mr Kringle may wonder. It’s Specific purpose or event visa, which is designed for the three broad categories of people.

Artists or sports people and their associate personnel, who will be engaging in a private or public performance, exhibitions and competitions in New Zealand are in the first category. Corporate executives or senior managers on a short-term secondment to a New Zealand subsidiary of an international company are in the second category. In the third category are any other people, who wish to come to New Zealand for a designated purpose or event, for which they have demonstrated expertise that is beneficial to New Zealand.

There is no question mark on Mr Kringle’s expertise in sorting out the naughty kids from good ones and finding the right gifts for them. Keeping the kids behave is in no doubt beneficial to New Zealand. Mr Kringle would have definitely qualified for the visa.

Luckily for Mr Kringle, the immigration officer was one of the good kids grown up in good terms with him. Out of goodwill, the officer let him in the country. But Mr Kris Kringle has now a big bold warning recorded in the Immigration system.

“No more entries to be granted to this subject if not on a proper visa”

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