American celebrity reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter has been denied a visa to travel to the United Kingdom because of his criminal record. Dog’s criminal record stems from a manslaughter conviction from the late 1970s in the United States, where he was sitting in a car as a friend was attempting to buy drugs inside of a house. The friend shot the drug dealer, and 1970s Texas laws meant that just being present at the scene of the murder made Dog just as guilty as his friend in the death.
Dog the Bounty Hunter served 18 months of his five year sentence in prison.
“I shouldn’t have went and I shouldn’t have been the person I was back then,” Dog told the Associated Press. After finding out he was denied a visa, he said, “It feels terrible. I’m dumbfounded. I can’t believe it, after all these years, especially when we’ve been on television for the past nine years.”
Dog is appealing his visa denial. According to the United Kingdom Border Agency, Dog was denied a visa to the UK because of his criminal conviction and because the didn’t provide enough information about why he was traveling to the UK.
Dog has since provided a statement from the responding officer in his initial murder case that told the UK government his role in the crime was very small and that he was a model prisoner in hopes it will sway the government.
While this story is about the UK, you can just as easily be denied entry to Canada or the United States due to a criminal record – even if it is decades old and you’ve taken the same precautions as Dog. If you’re worried about being denied entry to Canada or the United States, contact a licensed immigration lawyer as soon as possible before you travel.
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