South West Wales

Ex-soldier from Neyland 'hopeful' over UK visa bid

Sam and Seini Cataki Image copyright Sam Cataki

An ex-soldier said he was "hopeful" of being allowed to stay in the UK after getting his job back.

Sam Cataki, 36, who lives in Neyland, Pembrokeshire, lost his job on Wednesday after his application for UK citizenship was refused.

The Fijian father, who served in the Army for 12 years, has been told he can work again while his case is considered by the Home Office.

Mr Cataki said without the community's help he would have lost his job.

A petition set up in support of Mr Cataki has attracted nearly 30,000 signatures.

Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said he had been reassured by the UK government Mr Cataki's application was being treated "with urgency".

Mr Cataki who has a one-year-old and a five-year-old, lost his job at the Milford Haven Port Authority on Wednesday when his visa application was turned down.

He said while his job had been re-instated, he was still anxious about waiting for the final decision.

Before he left the Army in 2013, Mr Cataki said he applied for citizenship in the UK but believes he was rejected because of three points on his driving licence.

'Still waiting'

Mr Cataki had been working in Milford Haven for two years and said the situation was also putting his wife Seini's visa status at risk.

"I am really hopeful now the job has been re-instated, but the thing is we still do not know if they are going to reject it," he said.

"Every time we have to find the money again - it has cost just under £6,000 for myself and my wife's visas.

"If it wasn't for the media attention and the help of Stephen Crabb I would have just lost my job, that would be it."

Mr Crabb has been assisting Mr Cataki since 2014 and raised his case with Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis.

He said: "This is positive news for Sam, his family and the people of Neyland who have shown strong support for Sam.

"Hopefully the whole matter will be resolved very shortly."

Related Topics

More on this story