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Chef's long wait in bid to stay in NZ
Saturday, July 05, 2014

Update: 12:32PM IT could be a long, agonising year for Fijian Ravindra Naidu, who is waiting to hear if he is allowed to remain in New Zealand.

The qualified chef has been living in Timaru since November 2012 and is desperate to resolve his immigration woes.

"I am very nervous I will be given my marching orders," he said.

After originally arriving in New Zealand to visit family, Naidu found employment with the South Canterbury Returned and Services Association (RSA).

On minimum wage and part-time hours, he was encouraged to find work elsewhere.

He found another job as a chef for an established Timaru restaurant and contacted Immigration New Zealand (INZ), only to discover he was in breach of his work visa.

"I thought I had followed all their rules, so I was shocked when they told me I had something that could affect my stay here."

Following the advice of INZ and an immigration consultant, Naidu spent the next five months applying for permission to stay here - resulting finally in a Humanitarian Appeal Against Deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, which is administered by the Ministry of Justice.

A ministry spokesperson said due to a "large number of applications", Naidu's appeal could take up to 12 months.

In that time he is not allowed to work.

Not denying he made a mistake, Naidu claims he never received documentation with his work visa.

"I get a different person every time I call immigration . . . as far as I'm concerned I have done everything they ask of me."

Naidu's sister Saleshni Burke, 37, a New Zealand resident and nurse at Timaru Hospital, is gutted for her brother.

"I can see when he's stressed, he doesn't eat or drink," Burke said.

"All he wants to do is work and support his family."

Naidu does not want to be a burden on his sister and her husband, financially or emotionally.

A INZ spokesperson told The Timaru Herald yesterday Naidu was required to contact them immediately if he "lost his job, was made redundant or chose to leave his job".

Last financial year INZ issued 168,480 work visas, of which 158,542 were approved and 9938 declined.

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