No decision has been made as to whether controversial boxer Mike Tyson will be granted a visa to enter New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand today confirmed it has not received a visa application from the former champion boxer.
It comes after his promoters yesterday announced he had been granted a visa to allow him to visit the country to participate in an event in Auckland in November.
It was thought Tyson, 46, would not be able to qualify for a visa under immigration rules which ban entry to visitors who have been sentenced to more than five years in prison. The former heavyweight champion was sentenced to six years in prison in 1992 for the rape of an 18 year old girl. He was released from prison after three years for good behavior.
However, each case is looked at individually by Immigration NZ and exceptions can be made. It looked like that had been the case when promoters for the Mike Tyson's Day of the Champions event announced yesterday that Tyson had been granted a visa.
However, today Immigration NZ said this is not the case.
A spokesman said the special permit referred to in the Herald story, was an "approval to apply" for a visa, but said it has not yet received a visa application from Tyson.
"Immigration New Zealand wishes to clarify that no visa application has yet been lodged for Mike Tyson, so no decision has yet been made," Michael Carley, operations support manager said in a statement.
Immigration New Zealand told ONE News that Tyson has been granted permission to apply for a visa, and once received his application will be assessed, and a decision made on whether he will be allowed to enter the country.
Tyson, the youngest ever world heavyweight boxing champion and star of The Hangover movies, is due to speak at Mike Tyson's Day of the Champions on November 15 at the Vector Arena, Auckland.
The even is billed as "inspirational, motivational and educational".