Can Prince Harry be DEPORTED from the US? Royal's drug confession may get his visa revoked
LONDON, UK: After his confession to using illegal drugs, immigration experts have warned that Prince Harry could be denied entry to the US and that his visa is now "at risk" In his new memoir, the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex admitted to using cocaine, smoking cannabis and consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms.
The use of illegal drugs has often led to visa denials for applicants in the past, but US authorities indicate that entry into the country is granted on a "case-by-case" basis. It is not known whether Harry, who is moving to California with his wife Meghan Markle in 2020, disclosed his drug use in his visa application. Immigration experts warn that the duke risks having his visa canceled if he "lies" about his past.
As reported by Daily Mail, Harry disclosed in his most recent autobiography, 'Spare,' that he first tried cocaine at the age of 17 while attending a shooting weekend. Other times, he performed "a few more lines." The lone hard-partying individual also acknowledged consuming marijuana following his first date with Meghan and having hallucinations at a celebrity-studded event in California.
The Sunday Times claimed that although most candidates with a history of drug use would be rejected for American visas, immigration decisions are made "case-by-case". A person's "current and/or prior actions, such as drug or criminal activities... may make the applicant ineligible for a visa," as per the US immigration guidelines.
Harry's visa status in the US is unknown, but analysts believe he either has an O-1 visa, which is given to those with "extraordinary ability," or a spousal visa, sponsored by his American wife. Harry would need to renew his O-1 visa after three years if he had one, which is frequently granted to athletes and entertainers. Since the Sussex family moved to California in 2020, his visa might be slated to expire this year.
His recently disclosed drug use history might have an effect on his application for renewal.
However, according to immigration specialists, Harry ought to have been denied residency in the US if he had lied about using drugs throughout the application procedure. Anyone seeking permanent or temporary residency in the US will be asked a number of questions concerning their past dealings with drugs and the law. Speaking to The Telegraph, Prof Alberto Benítez, director of George Washington University's Immigration Clinic stated, "He would have been asked [about drug use]. If he was truthful in his answers, he should have been denied."
As per reports, the professor said that Harry would have been "perjuring himself on an official US government document" if he had not disclosed his drug use. He asserted that being truthful would have been in the Duke's "best interest" and mentioned that because of his royal background, he might have received preferential treatment from immigration authorities. "If he wasn't Prince Harry, if was 'Fred Jones' and he had this kind of a background, he'd have a lot more scrutiny and I could certainly see the green card being denied," Prof Benitez further stated.