26 September 2008

Busta Rhymes released from UK border detention

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Hip-hop star Busta Rhymes has been released after being detained at the UK border control yesterday. The touring artist was not allowed through immigration at the London City Airport on account of unresolved convictions in America.

Rhymes was detained for 12 hours before a High Court judge ordered his release, reports the Guardian, in time to perform a free charity gig for RockCorps in London.

RockCorps produces concerts for which the only way in is to volunteer four hours at a project organised by themselves with non-profit partners. Tickets to the high-profile concert cannot be bought or won, but earned through charity and volunteering.

Immigration officials in London say his “unresolved convictions” in America meant they could not allow him to enter England.  However, organisers of the event said the artist has his necessary UK work permit and has already entered the country twice already this year. 

In related news, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship have now granted American rapper Snoop Dogg an Australian visa after months of deliberation, who will also be partaking in youth charity work while on tour.

The Department said the artist’s criminal history, character, and previous conduct in the country were all taken into account and given full assessment before a decision was reached.

"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.

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 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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