Comments by Sanwar Ali:
Prince Harry may be worried about US tax. Green Card holders and US citizens are taxed on “worldwide income”. Boris Johnson the British Prime Minister is actually a former US citizen himself and as reported in January 2015 was very unhappy about an US tax bill.
The US O1 visa option is for people with extraordinary ability and is a temporary work visa. Temporary visa holders have less to worry about when it comes to US tax compared to US citizens and Green Card holders. Prince Harry will surely be able to find important people who can vouch for him to show that he is of extraordinary ability. If Prince Harry decides to apply for an O1 visa, we suspect that the USCIS and the US Government will be reluctant to refuse such an application. In reality the US employer or agent, not Prince Harry, needs to "petition" for an O1 visa initially.
One thing that is somewhat misleading in the media, is the way in which US lawful permanent residence (popularly known as a Green Card) is being confused with US citizenship. You usually need to have a “Green Card" for five years before you can apply for US citizenship, or three years if married to an US citizen.
With Prince Harry rumoured not to be interested in US citizenship or applying for a green card in the foreseeable future, he could apply for a US O1 visa. The O1 visa is typically reserved for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. However, with Prince Harry reportedly not interested in a Green Card in the US, an O1 visa might be an option.
Harry, along with wife Meghan Markle and son Archie, relocated to California recently. Despite Harry choosing to remove himself from royal duties, he remains sixth-in-line to the British throne, with Archie seventh-in-line. However, Harry’s move to Los Angeles has been hit by several challenges.
Should Harry eventually become a US citizen he would be forced to renounce his royal titles, with the US constitution rejecting recognition of inherited titles, while royalty is not acknowledged at all.
Permanent residency for Prince Harry in US
Living in the US means that Harry will have to pay taxes on his earnings, but as the spouse of a US citizen, he can apply for permanent residency. However, a source close to the Prince told The Times back in April that permanent residency ‘was not a viable option.’
The source said: “The Duke has not made an application for dual citizenship and I don’t think he will apply for a green card at any point.”
According to a white paper by Lesperance and Associates focusing on Harry and Meghan’s new status and international tax requirements: “Harry has neither a US resident alien (aka ‘Green Card’) status nor spends enough time in the US to trigger the substantial presence test.”
“Therefore, unless he has US source income or American situs property, he has no US tax or account reporting liability. Meghan could sponsor Harry for US status, but has obviously been advised not to do so,” the white paper says.
A report published by The Times said that Harry’s immigration status in the US is unknown. “It is not known whether he entered America under the 90-day visa waiver programme available to most Britons or whether he has a diplomatic or other special visa status. Tourist visas forbid visitors from working,” the report states.
US O1 extraordinary ability visa
However, several immigration professionals claim that Harry could be eligible for a visa that’s typically reserved for people with an ‘extraordinary ability or achievement.’
Prince Harry is rumoured to be worth an estimated £30 million, which could make him eligible for an O1 visa.
However, Harry would have to find a sponsor organisation within a field that he wants to work in and the O1 visa has to be renewed regularly.
According to a report published by The Express, Harry and Meghan have signed up to a high-profile speaking agency that is also used by former US President Barack Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Harry and Meghan are also looking to kickstart their new charitable organisation, Archewell, overseas after their Sussex Royal Foundation was dissolved.
Harry and Meghan can no longer use the title royal
Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down from monarchy duties means that the pair can no longer use the term ‘royal’. Meanwhile, the Prince’s sustainable travel initiative, Travalyst, although registered as a limited company in April, has still not been registered with the Charity Commission.
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