Lord Black's claim for a Canada visa is unlikely given his murky past.
01 May 2012
Disgraced Lord Black's doomed Canada visa attempt
Imprisoned Lord Conrad Black's attempt to gain a Canada visa in order to eventually regain the citizenship status he gave up in 2001 is extremely unlikely, immigration experts say.
Lord Conrad Moffat Black is a Canadian-born member of the British House of Lords and former newspaper magnate. After a successful business career he accepted a position in the House of Lords; however, doing so meant he had to renounce his Canadian citizenship.
Lord Black continued to try and regain his Canadian citizenship but was imprisoned in the US in 2007 for criminal fraud and conviction after he was accused of defrauding his company, Hollinger International of $60 million (£37 million).
Lord Black will be released from custody this week and has announced his intention to secure a Canada visa first before pursuing his citizenship; understandably, his case has attracted widespread attention. Despite being a member of the British House of Lords who was imprisoned for fraud, Lord Black's case is also almost unique purely from an immigration standpoint.
"I've been doing this for a lot of years now and I've never, ever met anybody who has renounced their citizenship and is trying to re-enter Canada," said Joel Sandaluk of a Toronto based immigration firm.
"The reality is this whole case, from an immigration and citizenship perspective, is operating in kind of a netherworld; I don't think anyone knows exactly what to expect.
Lord Black was born in Toronto and held dual British and Canadian citizenship yet, when then-Prime Minister Tony Blair offered the peerage, then-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien argued that a foreign national should not receive a titular honour and the matter became a dispute. Lord Black accepted the peerage by renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
As his citizenship was renounced before he was imprisoned, Mr Sandaluk believes Lord Black's case should be treated as any other, securing consideration for citizenship after living in the country for a year.
However, Lord Black's recent imprisonment is likely to adversely affect his visa application and make him criminally inadmissible for residency in Canada.
The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent Canadian immigration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.