Mike Tyson gets a special direction for his Auckland trip
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson may be coming to Auckland now that Immigration New Zealand has granted him a special direction, allowing him to apply for a visitor’s visa.
The special direction visa allows an exception to a person not otherwise eligible for a visa, and may allow Tyson to give his motivational talk as planned at the November ‘Day of Champions’ in Auckland city. It was feared he would not be allowed to enter the country due to him having served three years of a five-year sentence for rape in 1992.
However, the boxing champion isn’t out of the woods yet, as the special direction only allows him to apply for a visa without guaranteeing one will be granted. According to an INZ spokesperson, all visa applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, with a major requirement that the applicant be of good character.
It’s known that, since his conviction and prison sentence, Tyson has turned his life around and become a highly successful motivational speaker, aiming his talks at the disadvantaged youth sector. His proposed appearance at the Day of Champions, which is advertised as a full day of motivation, inspiration and education, has already caused controversy amongst women's groups working with rape victims.
Last month, Tyson spoke about his proposed visit saying that he’d never visited the country but would like to. However, he said that he wasn’t going to beg for his visa, and that it would be unfortunate if he wasn’t allowed to come.
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