Rugby

Fourie gets UK visa reprieve

2013-01-09 10:16
Hendre Fourie (File)
London - South African-born former England international Hendre Fourie has been told by immigration officials that he does not have to leave Britain, despite fearing he was on the brink of deportation having retired with a shoulder injury.

According to The Telegraph website, officials from the UK Border Agency contacted Fourie on Tuesday after he revealed he was moving back to South Africa because he thought his working visa had been terminated on his enforced retirement.

Fourie believed he had only 60 days from the moment his club, Sale, informed the Border Agency in December that his employment had been terminated.

But the agency told him on Tuesday that the process had not been started. It also discussed options that would enable him to remain in the UK.

“We have not curtailed Mr Fourie’s visa at this time and he is not required to leave the UK,” a UK Border Agency spokesperson said.

“His employment contract with Sale Rugby Club has been terminated and his employer has rightly informed UKBA of this decision. We are considering what action to take next.

“If an individual’s circumstances change and they no longer meet the terms of their specific visa they can apply for a visa of a different type.

“Mr Fourie has been informed of the process and the various options available to him. It is entirely up to him if he chooses to explore any of them further.”

Fourie, 33, moved to England in 2005 and had hoped to embark on a new career as a teacher following his retirement.

He was capped eight times for England before retiring after two operations failed to cure a long-standing shoulder injury. He was living in Britain on a “sports people visa” that was due to expire in June.

Fourie's wife is South African, but his son was born in the UK.

Fourie was born in Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape.

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