Eddy around Harry’s US visa – lawyer suspects special treatment

The decision has been made: Prince Harry’s (38) US visa file remains under lock and key. The conservative organization “Heritage Foundation” had applied in court to gain insight into it. Rationale: The Duke of Sussex has been open about his past drug use on a number of occasions in the past, including in his biography.

Prince Harry’s US visa file will not be released

However, a drug history can result in a visa application being denied – as can lying about use. The organization, which Harry and his wife Meghan (41) have been a thorn in their side for a long time, wanted to find out by examining the file whether the 38-year-old, who lives in California with his family, is legally in the country and whether he is may have received special treatment.

But nothing will come of it for now. A judge declined to order the release and the government, which subsequently made the decision, intends to keep the file under wraps. The executive director of the Department of Homeland Security, Jimmy Wolfrey, justified the rejection of the application as follows: “To the extent that records exist, this office does not believe that public interest in disclosure is sufficient to override the privacy interests of the data subject.”

If you want a green card, you have to be examined by a doctor

Is Harry now off the hook once and for all? BUNTE.de spoke to lawyer Tatiana S. Aristova, who practices in the USA and specializes in immigration law. She explains that past drug use does not automatically result in visa refusal. If the consumption is more than three years ago, it usually does not pose a problem. But even if it is not that long ago, there are exceptions.

For the green card application, for example, a medical examination is mandatory. If it turns out that the applicant has used drugs in the last three years, it is up to the doctor to assess the risk of a relapse. If the doctor decides that the applicant is clean and there is no risk of recidivism, a previous drug history does not usually prevent a visa application. The situation is different if the applicant has demonstrably lied about his drug use. This can certainly lead to the rejection of the visa application. However, in this case there are still possibilities to be allowed into the country: For example, if you (like Harry) have family in the USA, who would suffer unacceptably if the applicant is not allowed to enter the country.

“The authorities usually decide in favor of celebrities”

Whether Harry’s last drug use was more than three years ago, whether a doctor gave the go and whether he even disclosed the use during the survey, we will probably not know for the time being: the file will remain closed until further notice. No big surprise for Tatiana S. Aristova: In her experience, the authorities do not appreciate too much public attention regarding their processes and decisions. This could not only have contributed to the fact that Harry’s immigration file was not made public. Even if it had looked critical to him, it probably would have resulted in his application being granted: otherwise he could have appealed, which would have drawn even more attention. “The authorities usually decide in favor of celebrities – because their status attracts attention.” And in their experience, they don’t appreciate that.

Meanwhile, the “Heritage Foundation” announced that it would take further steps: “We will position ( of the government, editor’s note ) contest,” said a spokesman. A long fight in court was expected and they wanted to continue to work for more transparency. However, it is very unlikely that this will be crowned with success and may even lead to Prince Harry having to leave the country.

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