A possible temporary glitch on his employer's website may have cost a Russian man his chance of a dream vacation in New Zealand.

However, Immigration New Zealand says it not convinced the man "has sufficient incentives to return to Thailand or Russia if granted a visa to visit New Zealand".

Maxim Ognev, 49, a public relations manager from Russia, had applied for a tourist visa from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) - and had included a supporting letter from his employer Rafael Club, a luxury perfume production company in Moscow.

But when an Immigration official couldn't access the website, it deemed the website "no longer exists".


The application was declined, and Ognev was told in a letter: "Given this, we cannot be satisfied that your declared current employment in Russia is credible or genuine."

The Herald could access the employer's website without any trouble.

Ognev lodged an appeal with a second letter from his employer stating it had no information about any disruptions to the company website.

But Immigration says as an applicant living outside New Zealand, he does not have an automatic right of appeal against a declined temporary visa.

"Visiting New Zealand has always been my dream," Ognev said.

"I phoned my boss and he said he did not know about the website having any technical issues, and I also checked the website and it did work perfectly."

He had lodged the application in the agency's Bangkok branch while he was on holiday in Asia.

"I am a public person and one of the best PR (public relations) specialists in Russia," Ognev said.


"I felt offended (by the decision) and feel (I've been) treated with no respect...I have travelled all around the world and never got treatment like that."

Bangkok-based INZ officer Tankamon Chaliaojittikul said in his decision that based on the evidence submitted by Ognev, it did not appear that he had strong commitments to his home country.

"We have concluded your personal circumstances may discourage you from your returning to your home country when your requested visa expires," the officer said.

"You do not therefore appear to be a bona fide applicant."

Ognev has filed a complaint against the decision and for the "unprofessional treatment" he received at the agency's branch in Bangkok.

INZ area manager Marcelle Foley said the agency has replied to the complaint.

"INZ accepts that the website in question may now be working, but it is not convinced that Mr Ognev has sufficient incentives to return to Thailand or Russia if granted a visa to visit New Zealand," Foley said.

"There is no automatic right of appeal...Mr Ognev has been advised to submit a new application if he believes there is any new and compelling information."

Foley said applications are assessed against immigration instructions applicable at the time of decision.