For years, Anton Poon has been quietly working away in Canberra on his dream of becoming a well-established sculptor in Australia.
Despite a promising career ahead of him, the Hong Kong-born artist who has made Canberra his home for 14 years may miss out on permanent residency; after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's "Australians first" visa changes last week.
The talent he displayed as an Australian National University student has seen one of his works acquired by the university's Drill Hall Gallery and another awarded at the Sculpture in the Paddock at Yass last year.
Mr Poon was this week hoping to lodge some key documents in his bid to get a permanent 190 visa to continue his work in the capital, while he completes a stint at Canberra Grammar School as a volunteer sculptor-in-residence from May this year.
But after the removal of more than 200 categories of profession from the 457 visa skilled occupations list, Mr Poon is facing having to leave his "second home" in the capital for Hong Kong when his current 417 working holiday maker visa expires late this year.
Those changes last week removed the profession of "sculptor" from key occupations lists that apply not only to the 457 visa, but also existing and prospective visa applicants for 186, 187, 189, 190 and 489 visa categories, applications which take months to complete.
"The residency was basically offered to me because of my work on my Masters (of Arts) last year at ANU, so it's not official employment, but they've give me a space to continue my work and I imagine I'd be volunteering and helping the students with their work," he said.
While Mr Poon understood he was not an Australian citizen, and it was the government's decision on who could stay in Australia, since he moved to Canberra as a 13-year-old boy, he had tried to give back to the country that gave him a home.
"I've studied and been working not just to get qualified and established as a sculptor, but because I felt that I had something to offer and I should help contribute to Australia in the way the country has for me," he said.
"I've already completed a skills assessment as a sculptor and met all the conditions, and I was preparing to lodge a full application this week, but now I don't know what I'll do."
"Everything's still a bit confusing and I'm a bit disappointed by the changes, and while I respect the country and its laws, this is what I have been working towards for more than 10 years.
"I want to be able to stay and work on my skills and give something back."
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton did not respond to questions.