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Overweight chef denied work visa?

Firegoat Jul 29, 2013 11:32 AM

This was on eater.com this morning. Apparently a South African chef that has been working in New Zealand for years was denied his work visa for being too fat. (Despite being thinner than he was when he came to the country 6 years ago. Apparently he does not meet "an acceptable standard of health."


I don't even know what to think about this one.

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  1. Firegoat Jul 29, 2013 11:34 AM

    Right below the story was another article on the upcoming show "Deep Fry Masters." Cue irony.

    1. i
      INDIANRIVERFL Jul 29, 2013 11:59 AM

      Each country sets their own standards. Which is why they are known as sovereign.

      With obesity having such an impact on health and living costs, I can understand the reasoning.

      5 Replies
      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
        Firegoat Jul 29, 2013 12:01 PM

        You should watch the attached video news interview with them. It's pretty fascinating and the news anchors also seem confused. He's actually lost a lot of weight since he's been there and has a clean bill of health. However, he believes the fact he applied for permanent residency blackballed his visa. Unfortunately they are also preventing his wife from working.

        1. re: Firegoat
          cresyd Aug 4, 2013 06:04 AM

          If he's applying for permanent residency (vs a work visa), then I could a) understand a different weigth/health status applying to the decision and b) NZ would not be the first country to make decisions within the realm of immigration decisions that lead to the fewest number of new immigrants as possible.

        2. re: INDIANRIVERFL
          Lizard Jul 30, 2013 05:12 AM

          Eh, this is a politically charged issue in many ways.

          In terms of weight issues: Obesity may not be the public health crisis so many claim it to be. It's a great moralising discourse for fuelling the diet industry and for justifying the withholding of public services, but there are many debates as to whether it is actually the cause of many health issues. (No need to fight it out, I'm just saying there's a debate and the attitudes towards fat are not necessarily justified.)

          In terms of immigration issues: NZ does not have the best record vis immigration and asylum.

          1. re: Lizard
            DeppityDawg Aug 4, 2013 07:21 AM

            Nor do they have the best record for adult obesity rates: 27.0%, not so far behind Mexico (32.8%) and the US (31.8%), the figures that made such big news earlier this summer.

            I am not necessarily ready to accept this chef's visa story at face value, either, but assuming that NZ policymakers recognize obesity as a problem for their country, I find it totally reasonable for them to decide to do something about it at different levels, including in their immigration policies.

            1. re: Lizard
              pedalfaster Aug 4, 2013 02:59 PM

              "Obesity may not be the public health crisis so many claim it to be. It's a great moralising discourse for fuelling the diet industry and for justifying the withholding of public services"

              Thanks for stating this (and actually I am ~underweight~ and have plenty of major health issues of my own!).

              Back to food and yummy-ness...

          2. Chemicalkinetics Aug 5, 2013 07:55 AM

            Ood, but like Indianriverfl said, it is their country, their rules.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              Veggo Aug 5, 2013 08:06 AM

              On the plus side, fat people are harder to kidnap.

              1. re: Veggo
                Chemicalkinetics Aug 5, 2013 08:15 AM

                Beside the weight challenge, they are just so "round". There is no good place to grab them to move them from point A to point B.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  Veggo Aug 5, 2013 08:20 AM

                  Nor do they conveniently fit in the trunk of my Corolla.

                2. re: Veggo
                  Cachetes Aug 5, 2013 08:21 AM

                  Though, it might be worth it if they are charging by the pound.

                  1. re: Cachetes
                    Veggo Aug 5, 2013 08:29 AM

                    Good point, although in most of the world where kidnapping is profitable, they are more likely to charge by the kilo.

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