Kiwi immigration revokes chefs work visa for being too fat

Kiwi immigration revokes chefs work visa for being too fat

Kiwi immigration revokes chefs work visa for being too fat

New Zealand Immigration authorities have revoked the six- year work visa of a South African chef due to his being overweight.

Migrating to another country for reasons of work is a stressful procedure at best but, once you’ve arrived and begun the process of assimilation, it’s supposed to get better. Albert Buitenhuis and his wife Marthie arrived in their new country six years ago, with the chef, as are many in his trade, overweight at 160kg, some of which was due to his just having stopped smoking.

Mr Buitenhuis happily worked and paid taxes in New Zealand until last May, applying annually for a new work visa with no problems. He even lost 30kg in weight over the years, due to the healthy diet in his new country.

Earlier this year, his regular work visa application came around and, to his horror, it was refused by NZ Immigration due to his weight. According to an immigration spokesperson, his visa, granted every year since 2007, was revoked as it was felt he had significant risk of illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

The couple are now facing deportation and losing their Christchurch home, although they are appealing the decision. His wife told the media that her husband had done nothing wrong, adding that he just loves his food, whilst the couple’s doctor said he could reduce Mr Buitenhuis’s cholesterol to an acceptable reading within six months.

New Zealand ranks as the developed world’s third most obese nation, after Mexico and the USA, with an estimated 30 per cent of its citizens classified from overweight to obese. Immigration has not explained to the couple the reason behind their sudden change of ruling after admitting him when he was even heavier and renewing his work visa annually until this year.

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