Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry in May 2018. She has given birth to the seventh in line to the British thr
Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry in May 2018. She has given birth to the seventh in line to the British throne, and cites ‘Princess of the United kingdom’ as her job description. But despite all of this, she is still not British.
Meghan, 38, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
She moved to the UK when she and Harry got engaged in November 2017.
Since then, she’s thrown herself into British life, with some even claiming to hear her American accent slipping a bit at public events.
However, Meghan isn’t yet a citizen of the UK, and won’t be for years to come.
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Before they married, Prince Harry’s communication’s secretary, Jason Knauf, said Meghan would be “compliant with immigration requirements at all times”.
He added: “I can also say she intends to become a UK citizen and will go through the process of that, which some of you may know takes a number of years.”
Meghan is in the UK on a family visa, and needs to live here for at least five years before she can apply for citizenship.
Initially, Prince Harry had to prove he earns at least £18,600 a year to get Meghan into the UK on a family visa (this isn’t likely to be a problem for royalty).
A family visa application costs £1,583 for a premium service, and is valid for up to two and a half years.
Then the couple will have to head down to the Home Office headquarters of the UK Visa and Immigration service in Croydon for an interview to renew the family visa.
Couples are sometimes asked to provide proof of their relationship, which can include records of emails and texts, holiday photos, or mortgage documents.
It’s unclear if the authorities will expect this from such a public couple.
Once Meghan has lived here for five years, she can finally apply for permanent residency, also known as “indefinite leave to remain”.
Only then can they apply for citizenship, provided they have spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in the past three years.
At this point, Meghan will have to take a test with questions on life in the UK, costing £50.
This might be an easy one for Meghan – questions are known to include the likes of “Who is married to the Queen of England?” and “What is the relationship between the monarch and the Government?”
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While Meghan isn’t yet British, her son is. As Archie Harrison was born in the UK, he’s automatically a British citizen.
According to the US Department of State, a baby born outside the United States to one American parent can acquire US citizenship if the American parent has been present in the country prior to the birth for at least five years.
Two of these years have to have been spent in the country before they turned 14.
As Markle was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California, she satisfies that quota, meaning the parents are able to apply for dual citizenship for their son.
However, should Markle choose to renounce her citizenship, this would become less likely.