Prince Harry visa row: Judge deciding request may want to avoid dangerous ‘precedent’ | Royal | News

Prince Harry’s visa application has been the centre of scrutiny in recent months and an immigration lawyer has weighed in on the type he could be using.

New York-based lawyer Gita Gorji explains how the Duke of Sussex “would have applied for a non-immigrant or immigrant visa.”

She believes the former is more likely and says Harry could be on an A-1 diplomatic visa available to members of a royal family.

These have a “lower security threshold”, she points out as conservative activists in the US seek to reveal the specific terms of his arrangement.

Think tank The Heritage Foundation initiated legal proceedings seeking disclosure of his visa records after Harry described using drugs in his best-selling autobiography Spare.

READ MORE: Prince Harry warned becoming a US citizen will be a ‘long, gruelling process’

In certain circumstances, drug use can be a reason for inadmissibility during visa processing. The Heritage Foundation wants to know what Harry answered to this question.

Gorji told Daily Express US “immigration law is extremely discretionary”.

She explained: “The A-1 visa has a lower security and background check threshold, so although he may have answered, ‘Yes’, the visa officer would only deny the visa if issues of national security and/or terrorism arose.”

Judge Carl Nichols is overseeing Heritage Foundation et al. vs US Homeland Security and has made the decision to review the contents of Harry’s application in chambers.

Gorji points out why Judge Nichols may not want to set a dangerous precedence: “I suspect that the judge will weigh the reasons and benefits that the Heritage Foundation argued for making the information public, versus the right to Prince Harry’s privacy and DHS’s interest in keeping the information of private individuals and its matters private.”

She provides an assessment: “If a judge grants this FOIA request, it could open up DHS to many future such requests in the future for less public figures.

“The judge may not want to set that precedence.”


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In addition to Harry’s visa application being up for debate, he recently listed the US as his permanent residence in official paperwork.

Four years after Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left Frogmore Cottage, Travalyst Ltd filed paperwork this week informing British authorities that he has moved and is now “usually resident” in the US.

The documentation was received Monday by Companies House, the government agency that oversees the incorporation of U.K. companies.

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