Chef Albert Buitenhuis has lost 60 pounds since moving to Christchurch, New Zealand, six years ago, but immigration officials have told him he's going to have to leave because he's too fat for New Zealand.
“The irony is that at the moment he weighs less than when we first arrived in New Zealand and also less than in his first medical, which was accepted by (immigration authorities),” Buitenhuis' wife told The Sun. “We applied year after year and there were no issues. They never mentioned Albert's weight or his health once and he was a lot heavier then.”
New Zealand has a high obesity rate, with 26 percent of the population estimated to be overweight. While Buitenhuis, who is originally from South Africa, has lost a large amount of weight already, it's not enough for the officials in charge of his visa status.
Immigration officials have refused to allow the chef to renew his work visa, saying that at 280 pounds, he simply weighs too much, and they have concerns that his weight could lead to health problems that could wind up costing New Zealand's health services an excessive amount of money.
“It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimize costs and demands on New Zealand's health services,” a spokesperson said, citing diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease as illnesses Buitenhuis could possibly come up with that New Zealand did not want to pay for.