Former Sale Sharks and England flanker Hendre Fourie is facing deportation to South Africa after being because of a shoulder injury.
The 33-year-old, who has been living in the United Kingdom for eight years, had his contract cancelled by the Sharks, meaning his visa is no longer valid.
The former Leeds and Rotherham player won eight caps for England.
"I can play for England but I can't get a passport to stay in the country," Fourie 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.
"My wife 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.
"I am not angry. We have a lot of family in South Africa, which will be good for Hendro [his 18-month-old son] but it is just frustrating the way things have worked out."