Could Prince Harry’s U.S. Visa Be Revoked? What We Know Amid Drug Debate

Prince Harry “would likely have been denied” a visa if he told immigration officials about “using cocaine, mushrooms, or other drugs recreationally” but the Department of Homeland Security is now unlikely to act, a lawyer told Newsweek.

The Duke of Sussex described taking an array of illegal drugs in his book Spare and said: “Psychedelics did me some good.”

Now Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation is lobbying officials in D.C. to publish Harry’s visa application.

Prince Harry and Magic Mushrooms
Prince Harry speaks onstage during Global Citizen VAX LIVE at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, broadcast on May 8, 2021. He described taking magic mushrooms in his book ‘Spare.’
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE

Mike Howell, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, told the Daily Mail: “This request is in the public interest in light of the potential revocation of Prince Harry‘s visa for illicit substance use and further questions regarding the Prince’s drug use and whether he was properly vetted before entering the United States.”

However, lawyers have suggested the prince is unlikely to get a knock at the door from Homeland Security anytime soon since they do not “aggressively” revoke visas without an arrest or conviction.

Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told Newsweek: “Prince Harry’s Visa application would likely have been denied had he admitted using cocaine, mushrooms, or other drugs recreationally because drug use is a grounds for inadmissibility. There is no requirement that the person actually be convicted of a drug offense.

“But absent an arrest or conviction, Department of Homeland Security doesn’t aggressively enforce this provision and revoke Visas for people already in the United States.

“It is impossible to know if the department will act on the Heritage Foundation’s request because immigration files are confidential and not public.

“But if they do act, Prince Harry may be able to get a waiver by arguing his drug use is in remission. Someone is considered in remission after a year of sobriety. A waiver request requires a doctor to submit medical documentation.”

“This isn’t to say that drug use could not be a problem in the immigration process, but in this circumstance, it is unlikely that this would present an issue.

And Sam Adair, an executive partner at Graham Adair, told Page Six: “It isn’t clear to me what the duke’s visa status is in the US, but breaking the law could be an issue in getting a visa renewed or for readmission to the US.

“But recreational drug use that has not been the subject of criminal scrutiny is unlikely to present an issue for someone’s visa status.”

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent at Newsweek based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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