Time is running out for Ujjal Ghosh, who will have to leave New Zealand in September.

His family view him as being unsuccessful, and his brother and sister in South India have told him it would be better for him to show his "dead face" to save the family from disgrace, than return home.

"They tell me not to show my living face. It's better to kill yourself than come back unsuccessful."

Faced with having to return home in September because he cannot get New Zealand residency, Ujjal says he's depressed and there is no enjoyment in his life.

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"I come from a poor family and my father sold his house to pay for my study fees. He wanted me to study in Australia but I wanted to come to New Zealand."

Ujjal's story starts in 2006 when he came to New Zealand to study business administration with the University of Ballarat through the NZ International Campus in Lower Hutt.

A Kiwi consultant went to Kolkata and sold Ujjal and others an opportunity to study in New Zealand. In return they would be eligible to obtain residency on graduation, Ujjal said.

The fees were $24,000. Despite having gained a masters degree, for the past 12 years Ujjal has not been able to secure a high-paying position.

Instead he has worked in retail. Now the threshold for a work visa has increased and his retail position pays $1.40 below the required level. His employers say they cannot increase his wages to meet the threshold.

Ujjal says his approaches to Immigration have been unsuccessful because he does not meet the requirements of a "skilled migrant". He feels bitter and let down.

Ujjal knows of others who he says cheated the system, and have obtained residency.

"They say to me, why don't you get a Kiwi girl and then get a partnership and you will get residency. Others tell me to work in an Indian restaurant like they did. They got residency because they said they were on a manager's wage.

"But I won't do that because I follow the Christian values."

Ujjal's life is uncertain, and he's desperate for a better outcome than having to return to India and bring disgrace to his family.

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