Ronnie Booysen was within a couple of months of being employed long enough to have his application for permanent residency approved.
But one day earlier this year the South African was surprised when he arrived at Eden Motor Group (EMG) and found the cars being loaded onto a truck as the business had unexpectedly closed.
A condition of becoming a permanent resident is remaining in the same workplace for a 24-month period and because EMG shut its doors it meant he had to find a new job and start all over again or risk deportation back to South Africa.
Fortunately he and his son Stephan found employment at Tarra Motors in Bega, along with three other former workers from EMG, where he now fills the same position he had in Eden.
"You're devastated when this happens, but then you get a call from someone like John [Stylianou, Tarra Motor's dealerprincipal] - it just picked me up," Ronnie said.
"It made me feel that when something bad happens, someone is there to help things work out again."
Sponsored by the Bega dealership Ronnie has reapplied for a two-year skilled sponsored visa, and when he completes that he can apply for permanent residency which could take another 13 months to approve.
But he said unfortunately he may be too old to be approved as a permanent resident, as there is a cut-off for those older than 45.
Ronnie, his wife Elsa and Stephan travelled the world before choosing Australia as the place they want to spend the rest of their lives in.
"We love South Africa and it's a wild and beautiful part of the world," Ronnie said.
"However, due to the current political and economic situation there, our family seeks the stability, security and opportunities Australia offers."
Stephan will become a qualified mechanic at the end of the year and hopes to apply for his own visa, then permanent residency and citizenship.
"It will give him a future, which is what it's about," Ronnie said.
A member of Pambula Rotary Club and Pambula Baptist Church, Ronnie loves the Bega Valley and has made many connections within the community.
Stephan also works part time with NRMA Roadside Assistance and Elsa is a diversional therapist at Bimbimbie Village in Merimbula.
It is the family's desire to continue to live in Tura.
The other former EMG employees now working at Tarra Motors are Sam Williams, Daniel Williams and Scott Cusack.
"They all bring their own important skills to the organisation," Tarra Motors director Gudrun Stylianou said.
"We're a community and it's important to support each other when a local business closes."