A Nelson woman who is being deported today says Immigration New Zealand made it overwhelmingly hard for her to try to stay.
Silke Larsen and her son are being forced to leave New Zealand despite 500 signatures and 33 letters proving their value to the Tasman region, and support from her MP.
The Danish electrical scientist has a PhD in telecommunications but was volunteering and running a berry plant business with her partner.
Larsen said she felt she was hitting her head against a brick wall when trying to qualify to stay.
"It's like whenever you communicate with Immigration New Zealand, you start afresh. You start with a new person to connect with."
Larsen said she was thankful for the community's support but said it was ridiculous she couldn't meet the department's needs.
"I've never had residency. I have applied for it and I have been declined because I don't fit into the boxes - or we don't fit into the boxes. I haven't found a way that we can apply."
She said there is little else she could have tried doing to remain here.
"If there had been anything else I could think of I would have done it. I'm good at acting and setting action on whatever needs to be done, but I haven't been able to see a way through."