Tyson's second New Zealand visa application denied

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 12 October 2012

The former heavy weight champion was supposed to visit New Zealand and Australia as part of his Day of the Champions motivational talks. Tyson, 46, was originally granted a New Zealand visa but it was revoked after the sponsoring charity, the Life Education Trust, retracted its support.

Tyson required special dispensation to visit New Zealand due to the country's immigration policies which stipulate anyone who has been imprisoned for five years or more is ineligible for a visa; Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison for rape in 1992.

After the Life Education Trust withdrew its support and the first visa application was revoked, several charities came out in support of Tyson's visit. The Manukau Urban Maori Authority offered to support the application if Tyson spoke to disenfranchised youths in South Auckland, to which he agreed.

While the debate of Tyson's visit raged on, the former champion's visit to Australia was also thrown into doubt although this was eventually settled and Tyson was granted permission to visit Australia.

In the wake of being granted an Australia visa, Tyson's sponsors hoped the momentum would continue and the second New Zealand visa application would also be granted but this wasn't to be.

"The original decision in respect of Mr Tyson was a finely balanced call based on the letter of support from a board member of the Life Education Trust," said Ms Wilkinson.

"When the Trust withdrew its support I received another application from Mr. Tyson's representatives with the support of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority.

"This new application was not enough to get the application over the line and as such, I have declined to grant Mr. Tyson a new visa under the Immigration Act 2009."

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.