04 November 2008

Snoop Dogg knew he would get a visa for Australia despite past criminal convictions

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Earlier this year, American rapper Snoop Dogg applied for an Australian visa to perform his "Smoked Out" tour around Australia. After months of deliberation, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) finally granted Snoop Dogg's Australian visa, and the artist said it was all expected.

DIAC defended their rigorous assessment of Snoop's visa application, saying that it is government policy to take into account an applicant's past criminal history, character and previous conduct in the country before granting a visa for Australia

"In making this decision, the department weighed his criminal convictions against his previous behaviour while in Australia, recent conduct – including charity work – and any likely risk to the Australian community," a departmental spokesperson said.

Promoter Andrew McManus, actor Russell Crowe and Australian TV presenter Eddie McGuire provided support for the rapper's Australian visa application. 

Snoop Dogg told reporters he has proven to Australian immigration officials that he has not breached the conditions of his visa, including mandatory youth charity work. 

"I am happy to be here.  I didn't worry because I have never done anything wrong over here, except rock the mic," he says.

"I knew I would come back to Australia.  Some people just had a misunderstanding.  They were just trippin' on my past as opposed to my future."

Snoop Dogg has entered Australia three times previously to tour the country on an Australia visa and has always abided by the conditions of his visa.  This year, he has been granted the Entertainment Visa (subclass 420), which allows overseas entertainers to work in film, television or live productions in direct or behind-the-scenes roles. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian visa application.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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