Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Fourie could be forced out over visa

Hendre Fourie will have to return to South Africa
Hendre Fourie will have to return to South Africa

Former England international Hendre Fourie is poised to return to South Africa because he cannot get a visa to remain in the country he represented now he is not playing professionally.

The 33-year-old, whose 18-month-old son Hendro was born in England, has been in the country for eight years, playing for Rotherham, Leeds and Sale. However, he was forced to retire last week because of a shoulder injury and consequently had his contract cancelled by the Sharks, meaning his visa is no longer valid.

"I can play for England but I can't get a passport to stay in the country," he told The Times. "If I had remained on a sports people visa for another two years, I would have got residency, but unless someone is willing to give me another contract, that is not going to happen."

He added: "My wife (Corlia) is South African, but my boy was born here and I would like to have stayed here and tried to get a teaching job. There were options to appeal but I would have had to wait another few years before I could get my permanent residency.

"It has been a red-tape nightmare and we just decided it was not worth all the hassle.

"That's the amazing thing, I am not able to claim any benefits in this country. I have always paid my taxes, have represented England, but I have to leave while you hear how they protect the rights of terrorists."

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