Can Prince Harry Become a U.S. Citizen?

Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are residing in L.A., and have officially stepped down as senior members of the royal family (Instagram and all!), what does that mean for Harry’s immigration status? He is, in case you’d forgotten, a British Prince. Well, there are a couple theories.

The Telegraph spoke with Cardozo Law School researcher Matteo Carrera, who speculated that the Duke of Sussex may have entered the U.S. using an A1 Visa. To qualify for said visa,  the U.S. Department of State says you must be “a diplomat or government official who is physically present in the United States on assignment,” and “traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.”

“With [an A1 visa, Harry] would have been able to enter the US and then adjust his status to a green card,” Carrera told the outlet. After three years with a green card, Harry could then apply for U.S. citizenship.

Another route to citizenship is of course Harry’s American wife, Markle. “She could sponsor him as a spouse,” immigration attorney Karin Wolman told The Guardian in January. “But it’s not instantaneous, there’s no such thing as automatic, and citizenship happens later.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - Commonwealth Day Service 2020

And while you may assume that Harry’s royal title is the immigration equivalent of slipping a waiter a $50 bill, the U.S. constitution actually has a very specific clause (Article I, section 9, clause 8) that speaks to this: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

For now, Harry’s immigration status, and even desire to become a U.S. citizen, remains unknown. Next up for the royal? His son’s first birthday party — er, parties.

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