REJECTED X Factor hopeful Gamu Nhengu must leave the UK voluntarily, the UK Border Agency has said.
The 18-year-old singer, togeher with his two brothers, were allowed to stay in the country as dependents while their mother, Nokuthula Ngazana, 38, studied nursing at university.
But the visa has now run out and the family's application to remain in the UK has been rejected as they did not meet all the criteria set down by the Home Office.
They must now leave the UK voluntarily or face deportation to Zimbabwe.
A spokesman for the Home Office said the decision to axe the student from X Factor was the "business" of the television show. He could not say whether the omission by judge Cheryl Cole had been decided after talks between immigration officials and the programme's bosses.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "The applications made by Ms Ngazana and her family were considered in line with the published immigration rules.
"Ms Ngazana's application was refused as it did not meet all of the conditions for approval. Her family, who had applied as her dependants, were therefore also refused."
The order was the result of an investigation into £16,000 in benefits wrongly claimed by her mother, Nokuthula, The Sun reported. Nokuthula, 38, received benefits and tax credits for her children -- but her visa rules strictly forbid her from any state payouts.
The family arrived from Zimbabwe eight years ago seeking a better life in the UK and Nokuthula qualified as a nurse after setting up home in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, with Gamu and her brothers Milton, 12, and Marty, ten.
Gamu's passport has been withheld for weeks since officials started their visa probe.
The news is a major blow for the early favourite to win the ITV1 talent show who was already reeling from the disappointment of being kicked out by judge Cheryl Cole.
SBy Wednesday morning, more than 210,000 fans have signed up to a Facebook page called 'Gamu Should Have Got Through', protesting against the decision by Cheryl on Sunday to leave Gamu out of the final 12.
Four of the 20 contestants rejected last weekend will be given a lifeline on Saturday's programme as judges' wild cards, it has been revealed.
Show bosses have denied reports that Cheryl was influenced by fears that Gamu's visa was due to run out. A spokeswoman for the ITV1 talent show said: "Gamu's visa being processed was not the reason that she didn't make the final 12."