The owners of a restaurant in St Heliers which had a turnover of $1.6 million last year and employs 26 staff have been denied residency because the business does not add significant benefit to New Zealand, Immigration say.

La Vista owners Nataliya Shchetkova and her husband Alex Derecha fear their family will now be forced to sell up and leave when their visa expires in six months.

The couple came to New Zealand in 2013 with their three children, to buy a fine dining restaurant. Shchetkova gave birth to twins a few months later.

The Ukrainian citizens first came to