How Moving to Africa Could Delay Meghan Markle’s Application for British Citizenship
Rumor has it, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are considering a move to Africa. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were allegedly offered a three-year assignment that, according to reports, would elevate their work for the Commonwealth. And, although it sounds like a great opportunity for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — and they wouldn’t make any big moves until at least 2020 — the move could interfere with Meghan Markle’s application for British citizenship.
Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moving to Africa?
According to the Sunday Times, Prince William and Prince Harry’s advisor, David Manning proposed a plan for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to “build on their work for the Commonwealth” in Africa. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are President and Vice President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and will carry out their responsibilities in a Commonwealth country in Africa.
Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s alleged move to Africa — but they haven’t denied them either. “Any future plans for The Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage. No decisions have been taken about future roles,” the palace said in a statement.
How long will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live in Africa?
If the reports are true, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could move to Africa for up to a few years. But, while the Sunday Times reports a two to three year stay, others believe it could be closer to a few months. Either way, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aren’t expected to make a decision until 2020, so they have some time to sort out the details of their stay.
Either way, any time spent in Africa could impact Meghan Markle’s immigration to the United Kingdom
How will it impact Meghan Markle’s immigration to the United Kingdom?
Although she is a member of the royal family and married to a British prince, Meghan Markle is not a citizen — yet. The Duchess of Sussex is currently in the United Kingdom on a family visa, which needs to be renewed every two and a half years. And, even with a family visa, she will have to wait five years before she is eligible for permanent citizenship. But, that’s not the complicated part.
It might take longer than five years for Meghan Markle to be granted citizenship (especially if she moves to Africa for two to three years). According to the BBC, the Duchess of Sussex can only apply for citizenship if she has spent less than 270 days outside of the United Kingdom in the last three years. Considering she only just made the move to the United Kingdom in fall 2017 (and spent some time overseas in Australia and New Zealand), she doesn’t qualify for citizenship just yet. And, if she moves to Africa in 2020, it could really set her back.
However, so long as she continues to renew her family visa every two and a half years, Meghan Markle can continue to live and work in the United Kingdom without permanent citizenship.
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