Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Sick Fijian man may not be able to re-enter NZ for transplant

Labour's immigration spokesman Dr Rajen Prasad. File photo / Richard Robinson
Labour's immigration spokesman Dr Rajen Prasad. File photo / Richard Robinson

Immigration New Zealand says if a young Fijian immigrant does not return home voluntarily tomorrow he may never be able to re-enter to New Zealand for a crucial operation.

Sanil Kumar's visa was not renewed in July and he has been given a 28-day deadline to leave New Zealand, which expires tomorrow.

Mr Kumar requires a kidney transplant, and the Labour Party has warned the Government that he could die if he was deported.

Immigration New Zealand's acting compliance operations manager Natalie Gardiner said if Mr Kumar left voluntarily he would be able to return on a temporary visa for a transplant once he had raised the funds for an operation.

But if he was deported he would be banned from returning to New Zealand for five years and could also pay any costs associated with deportation.

Labour's immigration spokesman Rajen Prasad said deporting Mr Kumar was "heartless", because he had a kidney donor in his family and was raising the $130,000 for the transplant.

"His family is meeting all his expenses and he is not seeking any resources from the Government. His only request is not to be sent home on Friday and be given a grace period for him to continue receiving dialysis treatment in New Zealand."

Immigration New Zealand said Mr Kumar had already incurred health costs of around $30,000.

Ms Gardiner said: "It's important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimise costs and demands on New Zealand's health services."

Mr Prasad said it was a life and death decision, but Immigration New Zealand confirmed that dialysis facilities were available in Fiji.

Mr Kumar's visa was not renewed because a labour market test found there were New Zealanders suitable or trainable for his job as a metal tradesman.

- APNZ

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