South Africa-born former England flanker Hendre Fourie has been told by immigration officials he can stay in the United Kingdom, despite voicing fears he could be deported.
The 33-year-old, who won eight caps for England, was forced to retire last week because of a shoulder injury and consequently had his contract cancelled by his club Sale.
Fourie, whose 18-month-old son Hendro was born in England, has been in the country for eight years, and also played for Rotherham and Leeds. "We have not curtailed Mr Fourie's visa at this time and he is not required to leave the UK," a UK Border Agency spokesman 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."