English Not Necessary for a Sales Manager in Chinatown applying for an ENS Visa


A Sales and Production Manager for Chinatown Duty Free in Melbourne proved exceptional circumstances in not having vocational English when 99% of the customers and suppliers were Chinese.

The time of application criteria for the subclass  856 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa in paragraph 856.213 (c)(ii). requires that:

(ii) …. unless exceptional circumstances apply, the applicant:

(B)      has vocational English.


In Li 071861181 [2008] MRTA 1301 (15.12.08) the MRT found exceptional circumstances existed:


The applicant has worked as Sales and Production Manager for Chinatown Duty Free shop for more than 4 years, in a full time position for which he was sponsored for a subclass 457 visa. The evidence of Tony Jia was that 99% of the customers are Chinese, and so are most of the suppliers, to fulfil his duties the applicant needs to be able to speak Cantonese or Mandarin. The evidence given by the applicant is that he speaks both of these languages. Tony Jia said that the improvement in sales, turnover and profits in recent years has largely been attributable to the performance of the applicant as Sales Production Manager. The applicant has experience with the Chinese way of doing business and in particular negotiations with suppliers. He has cultural sensitivities experience, public relations and marketing skills which are crucial and essential to his nominators business. Tony Jia said he was extremely satisfied with the way the applicant has performed his duties and that is why his company is now making the nomination. In these circumstances the Tribunal finds that exceptional circumstances exist for the nominated position of Supply and Production Manger with the nominating employer and that it is appropriate in this case to waive the requirement for Vocational English under cl. 856.213 (c)(ii). Accordingly 856.213 is met.

Barbara Davidson