Prince Harry could be barred from the US and has put visa ‘at risk’ after admitting about his illicit drug usage, immigration experts have warned.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, confessed to doing cocaine, smoking cannabis and taking hallucinogenic mushrooms in his upcoming memoir.
Typical applicants would be denied a visa over their history with illegal substances, but US authorities note entry into the country is granted on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.
It is unclear if Harry, who moved to California with his wife Meghan Markle in 2020, detailed his drug use on his visa application. Immigration experts warn that if he ‘lied’ about his past, the Duke could have his visa revoked.
Prince Harry could be barred from the US and has put visa ‘at risk’ after admitting about his illicit drug usage, immigration experts have warned. The Duke of Sussex is pictured drinking in Belize in March 2012
Harry (pictured with his wife) moved to California with Meghan Markle in 2020. Most applicants with a history of drug use would be denied American visas, however immigration decisions are made on a ‘case-by-case’ basis
In his new autobiography ‘Spare’, Harry revealed that he first took cocaine on a shooting weekend at age 17. He did a ‘few more lines’ on other occasions.
The one hard-partier also admitted to hallucinating during a celebrity-filled event in California and smoking cannabis after his first date with Meghan.
Most applicants with a history of drug use would be denied American visas, however immigration decisions are made on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, The Sunday Times reported.
US immigration rules state an individual’s ‘current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities . . . may make the applicant ineligible for a visa’.
It is unclear what type of US visa Harry holds, but analysts speculate he either holds a spousal visa – sponsored by his American wife – or a O-1 visa which is given to people with ‘extraordinary ability’.
If Harry holds an O-1 visa, which is often given to celebrities and athletes, it would have to be renewed after three years.
The Sussexes relocated to California in 2020, meaning his visa could be set to expire this year. His renewal application could be impacted by his newly admitted history with drugs.
It is unclear what type of US visa Harry holds, but analysts speculate he either holds a spousal visa – sponsored by his American wife – or a O-1 visa which is given to people with ‘extraordinary ability’
US State Department officials declined to answer queries about Harry’s immigration status
Immigration experts, however, note Harry should have been denied residency in the US if he failed to disclose his drug usage during the application process.
Anyone seeking temporary or permanent residency in the US must answer a series of questions about their criminal and drug history during when applying.
‘He would have been asked [about drug use]. If he was truthful in his answers, he should have been denied,’ Prof Alberto Benítez, director of George Washington University’s Immigration Clinic, told The Telegraph.
The professor argued that if Harry did not detail his drug use, he would have been ‘perjuring himself on an official US government document’.
He claimed honesty would have been in the Duke’s ‘best interest’ and noted he may have received discretion from immigration officials because of his royal status.
‘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 added.
Immigration experts claim Harry may have received discretion during his visa application process because of his royal status. He is pictured leaving Public Nightclub in London in December 2010 after partying with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice
US State Department officials declined to answer the newspaper’s query about whether or not his admission of drug use would ’cause difficulties’ with his immigration status.
‘Visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases. We cannot speculate on whether someone may or may not be eligible for a visa,’ a spokesperson told the Times.
‘Whenever an individual applies for a US visa, a consular officer reviews the facts of the case and determines whether the applicant is eligible for that visa based on US law.’
The spokesperson added: ‘All visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.’
MailOnline has approached representatives for Harry and the US State Department for comment.