Visa woe keeps Featherstone’s Taulapapa sidelined

Featherstone officials have confirmed that visa issues are keeping Misi Taulapapa from playing for the club.

The Rovers’ current administration faced challenging circumstances late last year when visas for Taulapapa and Featherstone team-mate Chris Ulugia became due for renewal.

An oversight by previous administrators at the Big Fellas Stadium resulted in both visas expiring.

Ulugia’s visa expired some time after Taulapapa’s, meaning his Tier Two Sportsperson Visa was granted back in January.

However, despite the club working tirelessly with its legal team, Taulapapa’s Tier Two Sportsperson Visa remains ‘under review’ with the Home Office.

Due to changes in government immigration legislation, Taulapapa faced further complications in regards to his application.

The club’s legal team were able to overcome the situation which arose, though the setback has resulted in a further delay to a decision being made.

General manager Davide Longo said: “Misi’s situation is extremely frustrating for everyone involved.

“We have one of our top players sat out and neither ourselves or Misi can do anything about it.

“Our lawyers are providing weekly updates, and we wait anxiously for those, but as things stand there is not one thing we can do to speed up what feels like one of the longest processes I have ever been involved in.

“I arrived at the club in November of last year and was faced with this issue, concerning both Chris and Misi, from the outset.

“How we got to this point, at this stage, is irrelevant. There is little reason to look back, though the club, moving forward, is fully compliant with the Home Office’s processes under our sponsors licence.

“We placed the applications for new visas during the latter stages of December and Chris’ was granted in January.

“Our lawyers have done all they can to get Misi back out there on the field. All we can do now is await news from the Home Office, which we hope will arrive before the middle of April.”

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