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Russell Brand now in New Zealand visa doubt

by Dominic 14/09/2012 11:31:00

Comedian Russell Brand
could be prevented from
entering New Zealand.

Comedian Russell Brand has become the latest celebrity to face uncertainty over whether he will be granted a New Zealand visa due to past criminal convictions.

Brand is supposed to be performing a one off show at Auckland's Vector Arena in November but due to past drug convictions, doubts have been raised as to whether he will receive a New Zealand visa.

The controversial comedian had a much publicised battle with drug addiction in his early rise to fame but has since advocated the use of abstinence-led drug rehabilitation program as a combatant to drug and alcohol dependencies.

Brand has appeared on several TV and radio programs detailing his struggle with substance abuse and even addressed Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee on the topic earlier this year.

However, during his own time as a self confessed addict, Brand was arrested several times and it is these convictions that have hindered his travel arrangements in the past.

Brand was deported from Japan last year for the same reason when he tried to visit his then-wife Katy Perry during her international tour.

And while British citizens typically do not require a visa to enter New Zealand, Brand's history could jeopardise his performance.

"Russell Brand will have to apply for a visa to enter New Zealand and make full disclosure of his previous convictions," said an Immigration New Zealand (INZ) spokesperson.

"There is never a guarantee that any visa application will be approved."

Brand follows hot on the heels of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson who also faces the prospect of cancelling an already scheduled performance in New Zealand. Tyson's 1991 conviction for rape has threatened the former prize-fighter’s trip.

A decision on both cases is still to be made.

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