Prince Harry is facing the possibility of deportation from the US amid renewed scrutiny over his visa application.
Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation confirmed to News Corp Australia that it had launched a legal dispute with US officials over the State Department’s refusal to release details of Harry’s visa application following his drug use revelations.
According to the Daily Mail, The Heritage Foundation is also demanding the release of private emails and text messages as part of its request, which authorities are refusing to grant, citing Harry’s “privacy”.
It has never been revealed which immigration visa the Duke of Sussex was granted to live in the home country of his wife Meghan Markle, but questions have been raised following his admissions about drug use within his memoir, Spare, and during his subsequent promotional appearances.
Harry spoke openly about what he’d taken in the past, which included cocaine, magic mushrooms and marijuana.
Director of the Foundation’s Oversight Project Mike Howell told News Corp that Harry either omitted those details on his visa application or that he received preferential treatment as a royal or celebrity, which is illegal.
In a statement to the Daily Mail, Mr Howell also reiterated that the situation was in the “public interest”.
“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,” Mr Howell told the Daily Mail.
“It is unclear at this juncture whether DHS [US Department of Homeland Security] complied with the law if, in admitting Prince Harry, did so without a waiver or any interview with CBP [Customs and Border Protection] to assess whether, given his history, he was admissible to the United States.”
It comes after Harry revealed in Spare that he’d tried cocaine on a hunting weekend when he was 17 years old, following it up with “a few more lines” at other times, and revealed that he’d also tried magic mushrooms and cannabis.
Harry even admitted that he went to a friend’s place and got high after his first date with Meghan in London in 2016.
Earlier this month, he again opened up about his marijuana use in an online therapy session with Dr Gabor Maté, which was livestreamed around the world.
“Marijuana is different [to cocaine]. It did really help me,” he told the physician.
Harry and Meghan moved to the former actress’ native California after quitting royal duties in 2020, with Harry most likely obtaining a spousal visa to live and work in the US or an O-1 visa which is given to people with “extraordinary ability”, the UK Times reported in January.
If it is the latter, it would need to be renewed every three years.
The Times also reported that US officials grant entry on a “case-by-case” basis, but that the rules dictate that an applicant’s “current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities … may make the applicant ineligible for a visa”.
Potentially further complicating the latest development in the matter is the prospect of Harry’s attendance at his father’s coronation in the UK in May.
While he and Meghan are yet to confirm their RSVP, if he were to leave the country, his visa would likely be under scrutiny upon re-entry to the US.
Originally published at www.news.com.au