Why Prince Harry’s visa application is causing tension between the British Press and the Biden administration

Tensions are starting to emerge as the Biden administration are accused of “stonewalling” over Prince Harry’s US visa

Prince Harry's visa applications have caused something of a furore
(Image credit: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Prince Harry’s visa application is at the center of a brewing storm, as a Washington-based think-tank have hit out at the “outrageous” decision to keep the application out of public records considering Harry’s self-confessed drug use admissions could have barred entry into the United States.

An unlikely furore is emerging as a right-wing think-tank is accusing President Biden’s administration of a legal “stonewalling” following a failed bid to make Prince Harry’s visa application public.

Under the Freedom of Information laws, think-tank The Heritage Group, had previously requested a fast-tracked application to uncover the details of Harry’s visa application.

Under Freedom of Information laws, applications can be fast-tracked if there is “widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government’s integrity which affect public confidence”.

While many could reasonably argue that Prince Harry’s 2020 move to California matches these conditions, a court has denied the application, citing that the interest around Harry’s move was not significant enough to the United States to warrant it.

Harry has been living in America since 2020

(Image credit: Icon Sportswire)

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, has said in a statement, “The Biden administration is clearly stonewalling here and they are trying to avoid releasing any documents.”

“They are trying to do so by undermining the credibility of the British Press, which is outrageous, and by concentrating their fire on the British Press even though we have submitted articles in the US press about the same subject.”

The reason the British Press has been roped in is because in its written opposition to the fast-track request, the Department of Homeland Security described freedom of information requests from British publications as “niche” and also said it was not persuaded that there were exceptional circumstances that made an urgent response necessary.

Prince Harry detailed past drug use in his memoir, Spare

(Image credit: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

The think-tank will now apply for a hearing in front of a judge at the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Heritage Foundation is insistent on the the immediate release of the Duke of Sussex’s visa records after he admitted to drug-taking in his memoir, Spare.

It argued that the Duke of Sussex’s records should be made public because admissions of drug use are grounds for inadmissibility in visa applications. As part of his bombshell memoir, he confessed to taking cocaine and mushrooms, saying drugs let him see “the truth.”

Harry will likely be under further scrutiny at some point this year as he’ll probably be refiling for a new visa application.

When people move to the United States, they are typically given three-year visas. Since Harry moved to California with Meghan Markle in 2020, he’ll likely need to renew soon.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.