20 January 2009

Snoop Dogg begs A-list celebs for help with UK visa

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American rap artist Snoop Dogg has pleaded with celebrity friends for help with his UK visa application, reports AHN news.

The rapper has been denied entry to the UK after being arrested in Heathrow airport in April 2006.  According to the news source, his entourage vandalized a whiskey store and attacked seven officers after they were denied entry to the first class lounge. 

In order to secure a visa for UK, Snoop Dogg has enlisted the help of Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, and David Beckham to write to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  It is hoped their pressure would convince the PM to waiver the character regulations stopping the artist from getting a UK visa grant.

"I love London and I'm desperate to come back.  I've called David Beckham, Sir Paul McCartney - hell, I want to get the whole of the Beatles to help me get back in," Snoop Dogg said in an interview.

"I'm trying to get through to Madonna as well.  I'd love them all to write to the Prime Minister to change his mind."

Last year, the rapper struggled to get an Australian visa to perform his "Smoked Out" tour around Australia.  After months of deliberation, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) finally granted his Australian visa, after celebrities appealed against his initial rejection.

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 has entered Australia three times previously to tour the country on an Australia visa and has always abided by the conditions of his visa.  Last year, he was 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 UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.

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