Is Meghan Markle Canadian? Or American? What You Need to Know

Even though she married Prince Harry, Meghan Markle won’t become a British citizen for at least a few years. She has plenty of time to learn all the answers to the immigration test that she’ll eventually need to pass. But in the meantime, what citizenship does the new Duchess of Sussex have? Is Meghan Markle Canadian, or is she American? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Meghan Markle Canadian? Or American?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in a horse-drawn carriage

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex return in a horse-drawn carriage after attending the Queen’s Birthday Parade, ‘Trooping the Colour’ on June 9, 2018.| Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP/ Getty Images

Many people wonder whether Meghan Markle is Canadian. But she’s actually American. She was born in Los Angeles, California, according to Biography. However, many people think she’s Canadian for a good reason. Her highest-profile acting role was on Suits. And the show filmed in Toronto, the capital of the Canadian province of Ontario.

As early as 2011, rumors circulated that cast members including Gabriel Macht would have preferred to shoot the show in New York, where it’s set, over Toronto. But as The Hollywood Reporter explained at the time, production remained in Canada “given generous tax credits on offer here.” You can’t really argue with that.

Did Meghan Markle own a home in Toronto?

While filming Suits, Meghan Markle lived in Toronto. The Cut reports that Markle rented a home in Toronto instead of purchasing one. And when she moved to the U.K., the owner of the house put it up for sale. The Cut reported that the home is “private and close to a dog park, what more can you ask?”

According to The Star, the home sold for $1.6 million. (Above its $1.39 million asking price.) Markle lived in the home for at least two years before getting engaged to Prince Harry and moving to the United Kingdom. She rented the two-story home from former Flare magazine fashion director Elizabeth Cabral and her husband, Kevin O’Neill.

How did Meghan Markle spend her time in Toronto?

Meghan Markle and Gabriel Macht

Meghan Markle and Gabriel Macht | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The BBC reports that Markle lived a very under-the-radar life in Toronto. (At least until she was publicly linked to Prince Harry.) She once said that when she first moved to the city, Suits hadn’t even begun airing in Canada yet. So she spent her first two years in Toronto going to yoga studio “Moksha downtown and trolling for girlfriends.” She now knows several families characterized as “Canadian royalty,” including the Mulroneys and the Trudeaus.

According to the BBC, when she lived in Toronto “The American actress would spend time at Trinity Bellwoods Park in the trendy West Queen West neighborhood, dine at restaurants near her home in the Annex, grab groceries at specialty shops in Kensington Market, and have drinks at the private Soho House club downtown.”

Where did Meghan Markle and Prince Harry meet?

The Star reports that many people erroneously believe that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry met at the 2016 Invictus Games. The Duchess of Sussex herself debunked that rumor. Meghan Markle told Vanity Fair in 2017 that the couple met in London through friends in July 2016. The BBC reports that Markus Anderson, the Toronto-based global membership director of Soho House, reportedly introduced Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

By November 2016, Prince Harry had confirmed their relationship in a statement requesting that photographers and reporters stop harassing Markle. Markle reportedly had to have extra security personnel with her on the set of Suits. But she continued to live in her Toronto home. And Harry occasionally visited. The two made their official debut as a couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017. And they announced their engagement in November 2017.

What is her immigration status?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive to meet Ireland's President

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Clodagh Kilcoyne/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images

Meghan Markle isn’t a British citizen yet, Money reports. She’ll have to follow the same immigration process that people who haven’t married a prince go through. That means that she’ll need to pass the “Life in the U.K” citizenship test. The test has 24 questions about British traditions and customs. In fact, it’s based on an official handbook called Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide For New Residents.

She will also need to live in the U.K. for three years before submitting her application, Money explains. In the meantime, she’ll have to obtain “indefinite leave to stay” in the U.K. or get a permanent residence card. USA Today notes that it’s unclear whether Markle will give up her American passport or renounce her U.S. citizenship. But she has already been granted “leave to remain” in the U.K. However, USA Today reports that Markle will have to spend five years in the U.K. before she can apply for “indefinite leave to remain,” and then apply for citizenship.

Read more: Can the Royal Family Text? How Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Other Royals Keep in Touch With the Queen

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