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.

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

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.

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Today is #earthday – an opportunity to learn about, celebrate and continue to safeguard our planet, our home. The above, Their Royal Highnesses in Rotorua, New Zealand. Of the 170 different species originally planted in the early 1900’s, only a handful of species, including these majestic Redwoods, remain today. Next, we invite you to scroll through a series of 8 photos taken by The Duke of Sussex©️DOS sharing his environmental POV including: Africa’s Unicorn, the rhino. These magnificent animals have survived ice ages and giant crocodiles, amongst other things! They have adapted to earth’s changing climate continually for over 30 million years. Yet here we are in 2019 where their biggest threat is us. A critical ecosystem, Botswana’s Okavango Delta sustains millions of people and an abundance of wildlife. Huge bush fires, predominantly started by humans, are altering the entire river system; the ash kills the fish as the flood comes in and the trees that don’t burn become next year’s kindling. Desert lions are critically endangered due partly to human wildlife conflict, habitat encroachment and climate change. 96% of mammals on our are either livestock or humans, meaning only 4% remaining are wild animals. Orca and Humpback whale populations are recovering in Norway thanks to the protection of their fisheries. Proof that fishing sustainably can benefit us all. Roughly 3/4 of Guyana is forested, its forests are highly diverse with 1,263 known species of wildlife and 6,409 species of plants. Many countries continue to try and deforest there for the global demand for timber. We all now know the damage plastics are causing to our oceans. Micro plastics are also ending up in our food source, creating not just environmental problems for our planet but medical problems for ourselves too. When a fenced area passes its carrying capacity for elephants, they start to encroach into farmland causing havoc for communities. Here @AfricanParksNetwork relocated 500 Elephants to another park within Malawi to reduce the pressure on human wildlife conflict and create more dispersed tourism. Every one of us can make a difference, not just today but every day. #earthday

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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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