Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.
Ahmed, I do not think you realize that possession of that "souvenir" is really a criminal offense for possession of drug paraphernalia and could have resulted in a criminal charge and permanent bar from the US. It is even more serious than possession of marijuana under 30 grams!
So there is really no excuse in the law for you to possess drug paraphernalia and your innocent mistake is not an exception to the law. Mere possession is grounds for inadmissibility regardless of your explanation and protests of lack of intent. Intent is not required, only that the item was in your possession. That is US law. It may be different in UAE but since you were applying to be admitted to the US, US law controls.
Consequently your difficulties with obtaining a visa to enter the US and visit, the requirement of the consul to have you examined by the panel physician to determine if you are addicted to drugs which is a ground for inadmissibility.
Since your case is now under administrative processing, you may want to retain a US immigration lawyer to fight for you and to present your case for favorable discretion being exercised by the consul. Obtaining a visa to come to the US is not a right but a privilege and a lawyer can perhaps have influence by obtaining on your behalf Affidavits of Character from members of your community in UAE to your being an upstanding citizen who has contributed to the good of the society there and that subsequently you are not a threat to the law and good order of the US.
It is apparent that you have been cleared by the panel physician but that the consul is still not willing to take a risk on you based on the exam alone and that further evidence of your contributions as a upstanding member of society is needed to tip the scales in your favor. This can best be accomplished by a good lawyer who specializes in consular processing issues.
Avi Friedman is a very well respected attorney in CA who handles many many such cases and often immigration lawyers refer their clients to him because of his expertise. You may want to do a google search of him and send him an email regarding representing you in this matter. We are not allowed by the website to make recommendations of individual lawyers but you can find him through an internet search.
Again, you are not "permitted" to enter the US. The 5 year bar meant you could not apply for a visa within that time period but that after the 5 years you could apply but it was discretionary whether the consul issues you the visa. It does not mean that after 5 years you have a right to be issued a visa.
I think that is where you have some confusion about the law.
I hope this helps you and that you are able to over come the negative flag on your record as a result of this possession of drug paraphernalia. There is no distinction under the law what the drug paraphernalia was, it could be a pipe, a needle and syringe with drug residue, etc. It all falls under the same classification.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. Kindly give me a positive rating when you are done. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.