Fijian chef Ravindra Naidu's future in New Zealand is now in the hands of the Immigration Protection Tribunal, but he is hoping recent publicity and a meeting with Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew could help his cause.
The 30-year-old former five-star resort chef is desperate to remain in Timaru after coming here in November 2012. After obtaining a work visa at the beginning of 2013, he started working for the South Canterbury Returned and Services Association (RSA).
He soon discovered he could not make ends meet on part-time hours, so found another fulltime position at an established Timaru restaurant.
When he called Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to tell them he had left the RSA, he was told he was in breach of his work visa.
He subsequently applied for three visitor's visas, with all three applications declined, and he was instructed to leave New Zealand.
In May, Naidu applied for a Deportation Humanitarian Appeal with the Immigration Protection Tribunal. A tribunal spokesperson said Naidu's paper appeal could take up to one year.
"Timaru needs qualified chefs. I have had many jobs offered to me but until I know what will happen with my appeal, I can't do anything," Naidu said.
He said he had had a lot of positive feedback after his story was published in Saturday's Timaru Herald.
"People said I should have done it sooner. They have seen the distress it has caused me and are happy that I shared my story."
Naidu will meet with Goodhew on July 14.
- The Timaru Herald