Meghan Markle’s British citizenship could be jeopardized by Megxit
She may be the Duchess of Sussex, but Meghan Markle has yet to be accepted for British citizenship — and Megxit may stop her from ever obtaining it, according to a report Thursday.
The “Suits” star started the process toward getting a British passport soon after her May 2018 royal wedding to Prince Harry, the sixth in line to the throne, according to The Times of London.
She was bestowed her Duchess of Sussex title, and a year later gave birth to a royal baby, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor — but still could not skip the normal process for citizenship, the report said.
Most crucially, her application relies on her spending most of her time in the UK — completely at odds with her widely reported plans to mostly skip Britain and instead settle in Canada and then eventually Los Angeles.
“She may quickly run into trouble when calculating her permissible absences from the UK,” said an article in Free Movement, a website set up by immigration lawyer Colin Yeo.
Buckingham Palace has always stressed she would not get preferential treatment in the process, which requires her to have lived in the UK for five years before lodging an official application, the UK Times said.
Once she applies, the rules state she must not have been out of the country for more than 270 days in the past three years, or 90 days in the previous month.
“She is going to be at the top end of that,” immigration lawyer Philip Trott told the paper. “There is no harm in being out, as long as you spend most of your time here.”
“The advice we normally give to clients is that most of your time means six months and one day every year,” he said — far more than reports suggest the Duchess wants to spend in Blighty.
One solution would be if Harry landed a diplomatic role overseas — such as governor general of Canada — which would make all their time abroad count the same as being home in Britain. That is unlikely to fit with their stated goals for more independence, however.
Either way, the duchess’ spokeswoman insisted to the paper, “There is no change in the fact that she is pursuing the path to British citizenship.”