The British press has speculated in a flurry of news articles that Prince Harry’s admitted drug use in his new memoir could threaten his American residency.
“Harry could be barred from the U.S. ... after his admission he has taken drugs,” speculated The Daily Mail last week.
Harry could “lose his visa after admitting taking cocaine and magic mushrooms,” the Mirror reported.
The Duke of Sussex — who currently resides with wife Meghan Markle and his two children in Montecito, California — revealed in his new book, “Spare,” that he has enjoyed cannibis, magic mushrooms and cocaine, and that the psychedelic ’shrooms helped him perceive “the truth.”
United States immigration rules warn that an applicant’s “current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities ... may make [an] applicant ineligible for a visa,” the Sunday Times noted.
A U.S. State Department representative told the newspaper that visa records are confidential, adding simply that decisions on applications are made on a “case by case” basis.
It’s not clear what kind of visa Harry has. He could have a spousal visa since his wife is a U.S. citizen. It’s also possible he was granted a special O-1 visa for people with “extraordinary abilities,” such as athletes or actors.
One expert told The Telegraph that Harry “would have been asked” about drug use as part of the visa application process.
If he was “truthful in his answers, he should have been denied,” insisted Professor Alberto Benítez, director of George Washington University’s Immigration Clinic. If he lied, his visa could now be revoked, Benítez told The Telegraph.
Benítez speculated, however, that officials may have cut Harry some slack because of his status as a member of the royal family.
“If it was ‘Fred Jones’ and he had this kind of a [drug] background ... he’d have a lot more scrutiny, and I could certainly see the green card being denied,” Benítez said.
But immigration lawyer Chrissie Fernandez told the newspaper that without any kind of drug conviction, Harry’s past drug use is “unlikely to cause a real problem for him” regarding his visa.