While many British citizens are looking to Citizenship by Investment programmes due to the uncertainty of Covid-19 and Brexit, citizenship experts, CS Global Partners, take a look at the processes and legal implications of one very famous couple who recently made a move abroad.
It has been nearly a year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they would be leaving royal duties and basing themselves in Canada with their infant son. A move which shocked many for a multitude of reasons. However, what about the actual implications of Prince Harry living and working in a country that is not his own? Are both Harry and Meghan legally allowed to hold dual-citizenship? And, what does this mean for their son Archie?
Micha Emmett and Paul Singh, CEO and Director of legal advisory firm CS Global Partners take a deeper look.
1. Are Harry and Meghan allowed to work in Canada?
As a US citizen it seems likely that Meghan hasn’t had any problems with being able to work in the country, given that she filmed the US series Suits on location there for many years. However, if Meghan did not obtain permanent residence status in Canada, Meghan would need to reapply for her right to reside in the Canada
For Harry, he would have had to go through the normal processes; applying for an ETA to enter Canada, as well as a work permit for their charity Archewell, where he would have to pay tax. There has also been talks of an upcoming deal with Netflix for which a work permit would be needed.
2. Can Archie have dual citizenship?
Second citizenship comes with a series of responsibilities, but it is much more advantageous than having single citizenship and so Archie can count himself lucky. Many countries do not allow dual citizenship, but in Archie’s case both the UK and US permit it. So, legally, Archie should already have dual UK-US citizenship based on citizenship of his parents through citizenship-by-descent.
3. How are royal citizenship rights different to ordinary people’s rights?
Prince Harry’s status as heir to the throne remains irremovable except in the unlikely event that the British Parliament vote to do so. As a UK citizen, he abides by the same laws as ordinary British citizens and is allowed to hold a second citizenship and passport if desired.
Meghan has the same legal rights and obligations as any other US citizen, despite the royal status. In legal and constitutional terms, she is a US citizen by birth. As such, she is subject to US tax obligations regardless of her country of residence. It would appear that, from a tax law perspective, whether a royal citizen or not, Meghan would be treated the same as any citizen.
4. Does Meghan have British citizenship?
It is unknown as to whether Meghan has obtained British citizenship yet but, given the fact that she has married into the royal family, it is likely. If Meghan intended on becoming a British citizen, which was previously reported, she would have been subject to the same immigration law as any other foreign national. Under UK law, a foreign national can apply for British citizenship through marriage, as long as the individual has resided in the UK for a period of at least three years since marriage.
“The rules aren’t different for the royals. Dual citizenship is available to all those in the UK as long as the correct procedures and legalities are followed. How you obtain that citizenship is the only differentiating factor. If not by birth or marriage rights, then Citizenship by Investment programmes offer individuals the opportunity to give themselves and their families the right to live and work abroad,” concludes Emmett and Singh.