US citizenship and green card plans paused by Prince Harry

Comments by Sanwar Ali

Probably Prince Harry will receive some degree of preferential treatment in the US.  Even if he enters in the US as a B1 B2 visitor and chooses to do so on a long term basis, he is unlikely to be turned away by US Customs and Border Protection at the Airport.  The media tends to confuse lawful permanent residence (popularly known as Green Cards) with US citizenship.  You need a “Green Card” first and may then eventually gain US citizenship. 

If Prince Harry obtains a Green Card will there be tax implications!  Many wealthy people do not want an US Green Card or US citizenship as you need to pay tax on “Worldwide income”.  Perhaps that is why British Prime Minister Boris Johnson renounced his US citizenship.   Many dual nationals have done so. 

Prince Harry has paused plans to pursue a US green card and perhaps eventual citizenship amid the coronavirus pandemic. Harry and wife, Meghan Markle, currently reside in Los Angeles following the couple’s decision to give up their royal status at the beginning of 2020.  

A number of sources monitoring Harry and Meghan’s life in US claim that Harry’s decision to pause plans to secure a US green card and citizenship go beyond the coronavirus pandemic. Plans have seemingly stalled due to a number of factors. 

Harry and Meghan didn’t receive the warmest welcome when arriving in the US from Canada, with Donald Trump refusing to pay for the couple’s security when in America. Harry and Meghan rebuffed the US President’s comments saying that they ‘didn’t need Trump’s protection.’ 

There has been an ongoing spat between the trio ever since. In March, Harry accused Trump of having ‘blood on his hands.’  

No current plans to eventually gain dual citizenship 

The couple’s plans to ‘launch themselves in the US’ now appear to be on ice amid claims that COVID-19 has thrown their lives into disarray. Meanwhile, a number of hurdles have curtailed Harry’s US citizenship plans.  Firstly he needs a “Green Card”. 

A royal source told The Times that Harry has made no application for US citizenship, while it’s ‘unlikely that he will apply for a green card in the foreseeable future.’ 

Green Card and Taxation issues 

Should Harry file an application for a US citizenship (after a “Green Card”), it’s likely that he will have to officially renounce his Duke of Sussex title, although he has already been asked to drop ‘His Royal Highness’. Meanwhile, he would be drawn into a number of taxation issues. 

Harry’s immigration status in the US is still unclear. There’s speculation that he was issued with a special diplomatic visa, but this has neither been confirmed or denied. It’s possible that he could be in the country under the US visa waiver scheme for Britons, which allows him to remain in America for 90 days, visa-free. 

Back in March, Workpermit.com reported that immigration law researcher in the US, Matteo Carrera, ‘expected Prince Harry to be given diplomatic status’, which would make getting his US green card easier. 

Carrera said: “With an A1 visa, Prince Harry would be able to enter the US and then adjust his status to a green card. Settling Prince Harry’s US visa situation will not be difficult. He’ll be eligible for a fast-track US green card in three years, should he remain in America.” 

Prince Harry no longer a senior royal 

As of 31 March 2020, Harry was no longer considered a senior member of the royal family. Prior to their move to Los Angeles, Harry and Meghan moved to Canada, just prior to Canadian President Justin Trudeau closing the border due to COVID-19. 

Despite plans to set up a permanent base in Los Angeles, Meghan Markle is reportedly feeling ‘extremely low’ since moving back to California amid ongoing struggles with the Royal Family back in the UK

A relative of Markle, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Sunday Times: “Meghan’s been a lot more distant and introverted over the last few weeks – her family is worried. And Harry must be tormented by his fractured family ties. He was particularly down on William’s birthday on June 21.” 

“She has gone very quiet. I think she is likely to be feeling extremely low and probably struggling. The legal battle and the increased tension it’s created with the royals due to the information that’s coming out has to be putting a lot of strain on them both,” the relative added. 

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