No change in U.S. laws for qat-chewing resident visa applicants [Archives:2008/1160/Local News]

May 2 2008

By: Sarah Wolff
SANA'A, May 31) There are no changes in the laws passed for qat-chewers who are applying for residential visas to the United States, despite rumors of Yemeni governmental intervention, according to embassy spokespersons.

The U.S. embassy in Yemen demands that applicants be qat-free for three years before moving permanently to the U.S., and Yemenis who want this type of visa must undergo a medical examination at embassy-approved facilities.

Qat is considered an illegal substance in the U.S. because it contains a Schedule I narcotic known as cathinone, a highly addictive substance which has no known medical uses. The Immigration and Nationality Act expressly forbids drug addicts from taking up permanent residence in the U.S., labeling it a “Class A”” medical ineligibility. Once qat users have been clean for three years