Prince Harry may never be granted US citizenship over drug use, lawyer warns
Prince Harry may never be granted US citizenship after admitting to using a variety of drugs in his memoir, a lawyer has warned.
In his book Spare, the Duke of Sussex – who now lives in California with his wife Meghan – admitted that he had tried cocaine, marijuana, magic mushrooms and ayahuasca when he was young – all strictly controlled or banned substances in the US.
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Immigration attorney Kaitlin Davies recently told The Sun that most US visa applicants are questioned about their history of narcotics.
“Barring extraordinary circumstances, Harry would probably never have a green card or become a US citizen if he officially admitted to using cocaine,” Davies said.
The drug use admissions made in Spare are not considered “formal” because they were not made “under oath”.
If he makes the admissions during the official interrogation, that could be a very different matter, the lawyer said.
“If the prince admitted to an immigration officer that he had previously used illegal drugs, he would be considered ineligible for a visa,” Davies explained.
And Harry’s celebrity status wouldn’t necessarily protect him.
In 2014, famed TV chef Nigella Lawson was banned from flying from London to Los Angeles after she admitted to experimenting with drugs.
Singer Amy Winehouse was also banned from entering the United States to attend the Grammy Awards because of her drug use.
Prince Harry said in his memoirs that he smoked cannabis regularly during his teenage years.
He revealed that he first tried cocaine when he was 17 and had used the drug on several subsequent occasions.
When promoting the book in a television interview and asking about his drug use, Harry also revealed that he had experimented with ayahuasca to help cope with the trauma of his mother’s death.
Ayahuasca is a brewed beverage made from psychoactive ingredients that can induce altered consciousness.
He also wrote about the effects of taking magic mushrooms, revealing that he started talking to a trash can after taking it.
To apply for a temporary nonimmigrant visa called a 0-1 — the type of visa Harry likely currently holds — applicants must provide any criminal record, including use of illegal substances.
It is not known how Harry answered questions related to a history of “substance abuse” or violating “controlled substance laws.”
As for why Harry would have been given a 0-1 even if he had admitted past drug use, Davies said there were “no exceptions for high-profile cases, but authorities have discretion to favor celebrities and ‘fast-track’. Decisions.”
“Where the average person might have to wait months for a waiver, Harry could potentially speed it up informally through contracts,” she said.
“We recently had an example of two green card holders: one a celebrity, the other an average person, both trying to re-enter the country after a long absence, which is not allowed.
“The average person arguably had a much stronger case but was rejected while the celebrity sailed through.”
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