Meghan Markle flew into Chicago this week to finalize her visa application

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement at the Kensington Palace

I have no idea how the visa and citizenship process works in other countries, honestly. I guess I thought that because Meghan Markle is marrying a British prince, there wouldn’t be a need for a lot of traveling back and forth from America to Britain, and I guess I thought the visa process would be streamlined for her? I’m sure there was probably a way to streamline it or give Meghan some kind of special treatment, but she didn’t take it. According to TMZ, Meghan turned up in Chicago yesterday to finalize her UK visa application.

Meghan Markle was back in the States this week to take a major step in becoming a permanent UK citizen ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry. Eyewitnesses tell us Meghan attempted to be as incognito as possible — with 4 bodyguards in tow — when she entered the VFS Global UK Visa Application Centre Thursday in Chicago. We’re told she was there to finalize her application for a UK visa.

The whole thing only took about 10 minutes, and the entire office was cleared for her. We’re told she was friendly with the staff. As for her disguise — shades and a White Sox cap to blend in with locals. The Chicago Tribune got a glimpse of her at O’Hare Airport. Meghan forked over about $1,500, maybe a little more, for premium processing — so she should get her visa within a few days … according to our sources.

Based on the visa application criteria, she most likely submitted for a family visa, and applied as a partner or spouse. That visa requires her to confirm all previous marriages, and her plans to marry or become a civil partner within 6 months of arriving in the UK.

We can hear her now … “Maybe you’ve heard of my fiance.” After 6 months, Meghan can go for permanent citizenship, which Kensington Palace has said she’ll do. No fast track, though … that process can take up to 3 years.

[From TMZ]

I wonder if there was a way to do this without flying back to America? Surely the American embassy in Britain has some kind of VIP-visa system that she could have gone through without flying to Chicago? As I said, I have no idea how this works in other countries. It was probably just as important to Meghan and Harry that they not look like they’re gaming the system in any way, that they’re following all of the proper procedures and protocols.

Meanwhile, here’s something to look forward to next week: Meghan will be attending two high-profile functions within the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London. She’ll attend the Commonwealth Youth Forum on Wednesday, and on Thursday, she’ll attend the Women’s Empowerment reception. It’s a sign that Meghan’s entrance into the royal fold has been fast-tracked to a crazy level: it breaks a lot of prissy royal rules for a prince’s fiancee to attend these kinds of events. Also: Harry has been named the president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit the Eikon Centre in Lisburn

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the UK team trials in Bath

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, WENN and Pacific Coast News.

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112 Responses to “Meghan Markle flew into Chicago this week to finalize her visa application”

  1. Missy says:

    Ha if she wanted to blend in with the locals, she should have worn a Cubs hat. That’s all you see on the north side.

  2. Kimble says:

    We had to fly back to the American Embassy in London to secure our Green Card. We could have done it here, but it would have taken several years.

  3. profd'anglais says:

    I’m glad to see that the palace is keeping their word that she’ll be going through the immigration process the same as any other American marrying a British person. While most people can’t afford the premium processing, and the VFS Global centre shouldn’t have let her come deal with it in person–no one else gets to–she seems to be following the process. Although as usual, the press has the terminology all wrong. She won’t “go for citizenship” after 6 months, she’ll just convert her fiancé visa to a Further Leave to Remain visa, which is good for 2.5 years. After that, she’ll have to get another FLR for another 2.5 years, and after THAT she can get Indefinite Leave to Remain, at which point she’ll be eligible for British citizenship.

    There’s no way for her to apply for the fiancé visa from inside the UK–that is expressly not allowed.

    • CMiddy says:

      She is clearly going to get approved in any event. Why perpetuate a charade of “due process” – couldn’t that time be better spent processing applications of “normal people” (writing as someone who has gone through the whole ILTR / citizenship procedure).

      • Masamf says:

        @CMiddy, processing Meghan’s application would not take away from processing anyone else’s, they process countless applications every single day. In this day and era of modern technology, are you saying that the British Embassy in the US is still processing applications by hand? If they still do, I am shocked!

      • Milla says:

        Masamf

        You wouldn’t believe the process… it is a nightmare. Not only it is long but you need so many papers, and if you are marrying a citizen it does not mean you will actually get approved. It is a process. It takes years.

      • Clare says:

        @milla yep, the amount of paperwork, and the cost, are almost surreal. I recently applied for ILR as spouse of a British Citizen and it was such a f*cking pain in the ass. We literally have half a dozen box files full of council tax bills, bank statements, phone bills etc going back to 2007.

        And to echo – there is no legal way to bypass the immigration process. I think there would be enormous pushback if she were given special treatment while desperately needed staff like medical doctors and university professors are either being rejected for random reasons like a missing bank statement.

      • Masamf says:

        @Milla a UK visa application takes years? Wow, I’m a very shocked. My daughter applied for her then fiancé to come to Canada in 2009 and within 18 months, his permanent resident visa was issued. That was almost 10 years ago! Then a person that I know who was a student here in Canada fell in love with and got engaged to a Canadian. She needed to go back to her home country to get a visa to come back, (they had a wedding here) for the wedding etc, but the visa in her country was issued within just 14 days and she was here for her wedding, it didn’t take years! Im shocked that the UK takes this long!!

        @Clare, the good thing is there won’t be no pushback, Meghan is going through the regular channels and therefore that eliminates any ammo against her ….I guess that’s the end of that.

      • CMiddy says:

        Masamf – clearly you have not been through the process. It is absolutely done by hand. And it is extremely lengthy (several stages) and involves a test, which is difficult. To give you the flavour, at the point of applying for citizenship, there is a (very slight) short cut you can achieve by paying money to get a local council to check the application. I did this, and after having a lengthy friendly conversation in English with the relevant council staffer (English is my first and only language and I come from an English speaking Commonwealth country – New Zealand) he asked me for proof that I can speak English. I honestly thing that if I couldn’t have pointed my degree from an NZ university the application would have been dismissed (and clearly lots of people applying wouldn’t have that). I also had to hand in my NZ passport for an unspecified period of time (you can apply for an “update” after something like three months) – not a comfortable position to be passport-less for that period of time when I travel extensively for work and (more importantly) have aging parents 12,0000 miles away. So yeah, I do object to immigration staffers’ time being taken up on an application that is clearly not going to fail.

      • Bridget says:

        There’s a difference between Citizenship and long term Visas though. Meghan will clearly apply for Citizenship, but this is for her Visa.

        Citizenship standards are different. It’s a bigger burden of proof and a more extensive application process. Suggesting that Markle doesn’t apply for her Visa because Citizenship is a long process doesn’t make any sense. Not to mention, if done in person you’re not without your passport for long.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        @Bridget

        To be honest the citizenship process is quite fast and trouble free if compared to PR card application (nearly a trailer is needed to ferry all the paperwork).

      • Tina says:

        @Bridget, you can’t go straight from a fiancé/spouse visa to applying for UK citizenship. You have to jump through the hoops that prof d’anglais mentioned. And @masamf, the difference is that Canada’s government does not have a policy of actively deterring immigration by making it as difficult as possible for people to enter. The British government does have such a policy, begun by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary and continued to this day. You won’t find it written down anywhere public, but it 100% exists. I have friends who came in as spouses/fiancés under the Blair government policies and it was much easier.

      • PrincessK says:

        CMiddy…you have a point, but just imagine the uproar.

      • Masamf says:

        @CMiddy, I understand (and thanks everyone else for your input), but my point was that whether Meghan applies for the visa or not, her’s being processed doesn’t mean everyone else’s is gonna be put on ice in order to process Meghan’s (which you seems to imply in your first post).
        @Tina, that explains it, thank you so much. I know 3 people (married to British Citizens) that applied for and got their IL within 3 years (that was before or during Blunkett tenure), so I guess back then it was easier? Im not sure.

      • Tina says:

        @masamf, applying for indefinite leave to remain was much easier under the Labour government. The rules changed, first under the coalition government and then under the Conservatives.

      • Masamf says:

        I think people are confusing a visa application with IL/PR or citizenship. The article specifically states that Meghan is applying for a visa, (family or otherwise), she is not applying for permanent residence or citizenship, she is just applying for a visa (possible temporary fiancé visa). Visa processing ranges from a couple of hours to 6 weeks depending on the type of visa and the embassy.
        The UK gov. website states that:UK Fiancé(e) Visa

        Fiancé(e)’s or proposed civil partners of British citizens and settled persons can apply to visit the UK temporarily with application form VAF4. You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK to be eligible. Once you are married or have become civil partners, you may apply for British settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and eventually citizenship.

      • Masamf says:

        Oh okay now I get it. Thanks so very much @Tina.

    • Horsforth says:

      Haha! I’m planning on returning to the UK with Mr Pretty Flowers this year. To get a visa for him, I either have to get a job in the UK (and try getting a job offer when you live on the other side of the Atlantic) or we have to have about $90,000US in an instant access bank account for at least 6 months (note that you can’t take out a loan for this, or use equity from your house for it).

      Also, unlike Megan, my husband can’t stay indefinitely in the UK like Megan has been doing, and when the application is processing he won’t be able to leave the country at all until the application is completed.

      This also should not be an application for indefinite leave to remain, as you have to have lived in the UK for 5 years before you can do that. While I think it’s great that she actually has to apply for a visa, she’s clearly not subject to the same conditions of ordinary folk.

      As a UK citizen, I’m very angry that I cannot bring my spouse who I have been in a relationship with for the past 10 years to live with me in my home country. Especially as my Dad is now 85, and I’d like the opportunity to spend as much time with him as possible.

      • Tina says:

        @Horsforth, I sympathise. The laws are draconian. But Meghan hasn’t been staying indefinitely in the UK, she will have been coming in on a visitor/tourist 180 day basis. And Harry meets the requirements, he will have the available cash in a bank account. And it seems like it the availability of the fast fiancé visa depends on which country you’re applying from and whether there is a premium service available in that country. So if you’re American and can afford the premium service, you can get your fiancé visa in a few days, as Meghan is doing (she’s not applying for ILR; as you say, she can’t do so yet). If the non-UK partner is coming from another country that doesn’t have the premium service, they would have to wait.

      • Masamf says:

        I think these cases vary from one case to another. One of my Uganda/Canadian friends married a Ugandan/British guy. The guy came and lived and worked here in Alberta for a couple of years and they both decided to move back to the UK. Hubby went back first, got his job back then wifey followed. The wife has been living in the UK now for 2 years and had only been back twice. Both times she came back because she wants o retain her licence here (I guess just in case) so she comes back and world’s few required shifts to retain her CARNA license. But she don’t need to reapply for a visa every 180 days. I guess it varies from one case to the next.

      • Tina says:

        @masamf, citizens of Can/US/UK/AUS/NZ generally don’t have to worry. Immigration officials will generally accept that they are visiting for a limited time and purpose. There is no special visa requirement. But if you want to settle permanently in the UK, as Meghan presumably does, you have to jump through all the hoops.

  4. Snowflake says:

    Awesome! Love this couple!

  5. BearcatLawyer says:

    A visa allows a person to apply for entry under specific conditions for a particular purpose (tourism, work, school, etc.). Most visas can only be issued by consulates/embassies overseas since the whole point is for a person to subsequently use it to enter the issuing country. Typically visa applicants are required to return to their native countries (in some cases, countries of last habitual residence) to apply.

  6. klutzy_girl says:

    Kensington Palace also announced this morning that the photographer who took their engagement photos will also take the wedding photos!

    https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/984748172827389952

    I’m so glad we’re inching even more closer to the wedding. Excited for the events she’ll attend next week.

  7. Citresse says:

    Prince Philip’s full immigrant visa was fast tracked at lightening speed during the 40s but in today’s world a different story. But keep in mind Philip was marrying a future Monarch. The question is: can Harry as a spare, hold dual; British and US citizenship? I’m guessing yes, why not?

    • Masamf says:

      @Citressse, I don’t think this has anything to do with Harry being a spare vs. DoE marrying a future monarch. I think:
      1) Back in the day, the monarchy held more power than they do today, and it was easier to do backhanded stuff and get away with it than it is now.
      2) Theres increased scrutiny and criticism of the BRF now than it was back in the 40s. Even if it had been William that had married a non British, the spouse would have gone through the same process just so not to appear that the RF are being treated differently than the taxpayer who supports them.

    • notasugarhere says:

      For some countries it hasn’t changed that much when it comes to royals. Both Mary and Maxima were handed citizenship immediately, noting both came from countries outside the EU. Maxima still has Argentinian citizenship because you cannot legally renounce it. Stephanie of Lux was handed Lux citizenship, which riled up a fair number of locals (5-7 year process and residency waived for her). She had Belgian citizenship; it wasn’t like she needed the new citizenship to stay in the EU.

    • Amelie says:

      Harry probably could apply for US citizenship if he really wanted but there’s no reason for him to do it. He and Meghan will now live in England until they presumably die (unless they divorce, in which case maybe Meghan might move back to the US).

      Meghan should be able to keep her US citizenship and she should hold on to it. She has no idea what might happen in the future and might want to move back to the US in the case they divorce. If they have kids though (and they most likely will), she’d probably stay in England even if they did divorce. But she’ll probably visit the US on occasion to see her mom and what not. While the US does not formally recognize dual citizenship, there is no law expressly forbidding it.

      Though I have dual citizenship with France and I always show my US passport when I travel there now when entering France. I once made the mistake of showing my French passport when entering France and then showed my US passport at immigration when I left at the airport in Paris. I got lectured by the customs agent because since I had showed my French passport upon entering, my US passport didn’t show the stamp indicating my date of entry. Apparently you can’t use different passports when entering/leaving France anymore though I used to do it with no problem. I dunno, I was confused and was threatened with a fine so I just use my US passport from now on. Travel rules are just so confusing nowadays.

    • LAK says:

      Philip’s immigration status and processing to British citizenship was BS and enacted for PR reasons.

      Philip is a descendant of Sophia, the Electress of Palantine who gave us the house of Hanover. Under the Sophie Naturalization act 1705, all her protestant descendants are *automatically naturalised citizens of Britain. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_Naturalization_Act_1705

      *In 1947, Prince Frederick of Prussie claimed his British Citizenship based on his descent from Sophie, Electress of Palantine.

      Later, in 1957, Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover also claimed his British citizenship based upon his descent from Sophie, Electress of Palantine.

      Ditto, Alexander Crown Prince of Yugoslavia was able to claim British citizenship for same reason.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander,_Crown_Prince_of_Yugoslavia

      Secondly, Philip came here as an 8yr old child. He lived in the country for the rest of his life. Another strong case for his naturalisation regardless of his future life as a British Consort.

      Finally, because Britain was going through a particularly virulent period of xenophobia after WW2, the last thing anyone needed was for our beloved princess to marry a foreigner even if he was royal and related to her.

      Uncle dickie, who was determined to make the match work, spent two years prior to the announcement of the engagement erasing everything foreign about Philip. He was encouraged to make these unnecessary public gestures including changing his name to the anglicised version, drop his Greek and Danish titles, change his religion, undertake the unnecessary British citizenship, so that he could be presented as British as possible. The less foreign he looked the better.

    • Domino says:

      Why would Harry ever hold a US passport when he is a prince, and part of the point of citizenship is announcing for which country you would fight?

      England and the US might never go to war, but we could be on opposite sides in an armed conflict and can you imagine if Harry, as Prince of England, was flirting taking the side of the US against England?

      Citizenship isn’t just declaring which countries you spend your time in, and worrying about whose tax laws you need to follow – it has very real military/state ramifications, sometimes of life or death.

      For example, holding an Israeli passport technically means you need to serve in the military there for two years, no matter what.

    • Whatever says:

      Why would Harry even need US Citizenship? He has more perks than 99% of British Citizens. Its not like he is missing out on anything by not having a US passport/citizenship.

    • Tina says:

      Don’t you have to have lived in the US to be eligible to apply for US citizenship?

    • LizB says:

      No way in hell would Harry want to be a US citizen. Think of the taxes!

    • Grumpy says:

      It would be pretty unfair if any person who was good enough to fight and potentially die for Britain during WW2 wasn’t good enough for citizenship. He was pretty brave whilst in the navy.

      • LAK says:

        Philip was already a naturalised citizen by descent and by residency.

        However, as he still carried the accroutrements of his foreign birth, and it was unthinkable for Princess Eluzabeth to marry someone perceived to be a foreigner, a very public pantomime was enacted to reframe him as British as possible and thus make him palatable to the British public.

        The unfortunate effect is that his citizenship process looks / looked both rushed and favours used to rush it through.

        At the end of the day, as for every naturalised citizen, it was a case of rubberstamping it. No hoops to jump through.

    • Veronica T says:

      Harry won’t become a US citizen. Meghan is the one who gives everything up: her career, her country, her religion, her home, her family, her agent, most friends it seems, and her dogs.
      So much for women’s empowerment.

  8. Astrobiologiste says:

    I am not familiar with the process involved for UK visas, but when I was an international student in the US I had to come back to the US Consulate in Mexico to renew my visa.
    Also, since some visa processes require you to hand over your passport for a few days, it might be safer to do it in the country of your citizenship.

    • Aurelia says:

      Have they changed the rules or something. I got a marriage visa when I lived in London and married my fellow kiwi husband who held a UK passport. We both lived there. I never had to leave the UK and apply from my home country of NZ to seek my new status of – “indefinate leave to remain” after my marriage visa cut out after the 6 or 12 months. I didn’t even pay an emmigration lawyer. Just went to this crappo processing place called Immigration House in Croydon, south london at 4 am in the morning to line up. I don’t mean meghan has to traipse down there. Surely her lawyer would just submit her passport and forms? Then presto get everything back the next week.

      • Tina says:

        The rules did change in 2012, but presumably you already had some kind of permission to live in the UK, a working visa or similar? Meghan doesn’t have that, she’s in the UK as a tourist/visitor. People in that position have to apply for a fiancé visa from outside the UK.

  9. Masamf says:

    1) Prince Harry and Meghan are doing their darnedest to make sure they don’t get accused of using their status to abuse the UK immigration system.
    2) I’ve read quite a few posts that state Harry and Meghan will not be allowed to outwork the Cambridges etc etc…Im saying: just watch, the honchos in the BRF (mainly HM and PoW) are not as stupid as some take them to be. The days of protecting the Cambridges at the expense of the entire monarchy are numbered.
    3) I can’t wait for May 19, can’t happen soon enough, y’all.

    • Citresse says:

      Masamf I think MM will wear a light blush gown with a bolero top. But then I thought baby Cambridge 3 would arrive by 11 April.
      I would like to view the wedding live but I have a feeling I’ll have to view it later in time via YouTube.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I never believed the assertion that they will be held back from working. It makes no sense.
      The BRF is an institution, and it is not based on one couple even if one of them is the heir. I think it is way overstating the status of one heir in relation to the entirety of the monarchy and all that comes with it.
      It is better for them to have as many people seen as productive and popular as possible. This is a ruthless business that leaves no room for sentimentality.

    • Masamf says:

      @Magnoliarose, ITA. And I believe for those that are banking on H&M being shoved in the shadows because of the Cambs are in for a very rude awakening, my opinion of course.
      @Citresse, Im working the night of the 19 but I don’t care. I’ll wake up early and watch it live. Omigoodness, I just am so excited for them and I can’t wait. Can someone please remind me, was the info about W&K wedding released in bit and pieces too? Like this wedding is not getting out that much info, I guess just to get me to continue being interested etc, Im dying!! :)

    • Veronica T says:

      I am one of those who firmly believe there is no way that Harry and MM will be allowed to outwork Wills and Kate. You may not like them, but they are the heirs, Harry is way down the line now, he and Meghan will be given the dusty, dull jobs and the Queen and Charles will protect Will’s reputation, even if they have to throw Harry under the bus. Of course MM and Harry will be in the shadows. Do you think they will get the big gigs and Will be sent out to the countryside? LOL!!
      I lived through Diana and Fergie, and Fergie was very popular at first. That had to stop, so the beatings by the media began.
      But I guess we will see.

      • Masamf says:

        @Veronica, I’d be very surprised if the ptb choose to overindulge the Cambridges at whatever cost but I guess we’ll.wait and see. As it is right now, it doesn’t seem to be the case.

      • S says:

        Lol. Masamf, they have been doing that for years… I don’t see how that will change.

      • PrincessK says:

        I agree Harry and Meghan will never be allowed to out work the Cambridges but that does not mean that they will not be more popular or in the shadows, they both have very engaging personalities and their presence will add more pizazz to any event.

      • Natalie S says:

        They won’t be able to officially outwork them but I don’t know if they will be prevented from doing things privately.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Natalie S
        I don’t even believe that. I just don’t think that many people pay much attention to the numbers like in depth watchers. My UK relatives do not check their work numbers and don’t care. Their perceptions are made by their own experiences and the media. One of the older traditional relatives has a great sense of humor and has hilarious nicknames for them that only a Brit would have. Beyond that none of them think about them though they are supportive of a republic. Some are centrist conservatives in the British vein not American, and some are liberal.

        It is fun for gossip and watching though.
        However, unofficial I don’t think Harry and Meghan have any intention being idle and will do things on their own no matter what the “official” numbers show. They should. Charitable endeavors should be about helping people and using privilege for the greater good.

  10. Rhys says:

    British citizenship takes a while to obtain. Hypothetically, what if she decides this kind of life isn’t for her or Harry is not her Prince Charming, she can just forget about it and come back home :)
    I’m curious about the whole tax situation because Uncle Sam won’t let her off the hook for sure. I’d like to read more on that.

    • notasugarhere says:

      She’ll have to file taxes for anything she earns in residuals, and the two countries get to duke out who gets what under and over a certain amount. Also interest earned on her savings, investments, how that money gets moved from country to country, etc.

      The DM/tumblr idea that she has to file claiming the monetary value of ‘the royal perks’ is ridiculous.

      • windyriver says:

        I’m not sure it’s ridiculous. This is an article in today’s WSJ – I was able to read the full article a couple of hours ago but now it looks like there’s a paywall.

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/look-out-meghan-markle-the-irs-is-watching-1523611800

        As I recall (wasn’t quite awake) it did discuss for example at least notifying the IRS about loan of jewelry in excess of $100,000, among more major and complicated tax considerations. Maybe someone who has WSJ access, or others who have dealt with similar situations, can comment further.

        It was very interesting; IIRC commenters in the past have discussed the issue of what the IRS requires regarding disclosure for citizens overseas vs. the privacy of the BRF regarding their finances.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I’ll say fussy and feathers, given she’ll be a government representative, member of the BRF, and nobody is going to shake that boat in the midst of Brexit and the US implosion. Whatever legal issues would need to be handled, would be handled quietly and privately.

        Don’t recall them going after the Monaco royals (dual US-Monaco citizens) for their jewelry loans, designer loans, royal housing, and royal finances (Albert personally being a billionaire). Don’t recall them going after the Miller sister either, after they married royals, started sporting historic tiaras, and before they renounced their US citizenship. I cannot see them going after Markle, when the precedent has been set re. US citizenship and marrying royalty.

      • windyriver says:

        I agree that almost certainly none of this will affect Meghan. I’m sure the BRF would never permit the invasion into their finances described in the article.

        But it was eye-opening to read what the IRS potentially has the power to do re: citizens overseas. It’s not something I’m familiar with.

        Your remark about the DM/Tumblr people (sometime look at DM articles but never go near Tumblr) and the reporting of royal perks struck me because I’d just read the article about having to report the jewelry. Not necessarily that someone would be taxed; but loans with value above a certain threshold apparently have to be reported.

        Maybe so the IRS can quiz you later to make sure you’ve given that tiara back!

      • notasugarhere says:

        With the Miller Sisters, it gets weirder. Marie-Chantal renounced her US citizenship years ago (as did her parents and at least one sister). But she and her post-royal husband are back living in NYC with their kids iirc.

        They might have thought it was a better option than staying in London with Brexit, but I don’t know if she’ll reapply for US citizenship. Or what that does with their money situation and inheritance taxes when her wealthy father (who also renounced US citizenship) passes away.

        There’s also Kendra Spears (US citizen), Princess Salwa Aga Khan, who lives in Europe with her royal husband. No idea if she’s applying for French citizenship, etc. They’re another one of the mysterious royal families rumored to be worth nearly a billion. Unless her citizenship has changed, it is likely their two little kids have US citizenship along with at least one other.

        As I wrote below, there’s also Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s kids. Chris O’Neill has dual US-UK citizenship, plus one of the kids was born in the US.

        I wonder how many of these tax rules were in place when the couple hundred wealthy American brides were married off to the British aristocracy 100 years ago? And how many of those (esp first generation descendants) were dual citizens?

      • LAK says:

        Windyriver: speaking of Tiaras and the IRS…..what’s the value of priceless tiaras and jewellery? Do they go by insurance evaluations? Jewellery expert evaluation? Do you allow for provenance which would inflate the value by the millions? 🤔

      • windyriver says:

        LAK – Ah yes, the old jewels, always some issue; if it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Seriously, good questions. Probably there are specific guidelines, there always are. Now I’m curious…

        The WSJ article was a bit tongue in cheek…and cynical me always assumes past a certain level of status and money individuals (likely including some WSJ readers) find ways to “manage” these problems.

        For the hoi polloi though, no running from the IRS, even overseas. For all I know, requirements about the loan of jewelry also apply within the US; let’s just say it’s not something I need to worry about.

        In the 1990’s I thought seriously about moving to England to marry my boyfriend at the time, so this immigration discussion is especially interesting. He was a Dutch national, transferred from the US to England for his job. My nieces and nephews were babies and toddlers at the time, and we’re a close family, so I realized fairly early I’d regret moving so far away.

        Now I’m curious what I knew about the immigration/citizenship requirements in effect at that time. Will have to do some research. I’m sure I never thought about taxes.

        Nota – I just finished binge watching Downton Abbey, so yes, what rules applied to Cora and her money?

        Thank you both BTW for the information you provide on these threads. Always look forward to reading what you have to say.

      • Veronica T says:

        If Meghan is a US citizen still, why should she get special treatment as an ex-pat?? The same exact rules should apply to her. I am so sick of the wealthy and powerful not paying their share, getting exception after exception, and we middle class and poor get picked dry.

        Here is what the WSJ said about if she does renounce her citizenship:
        If you have more than $2 million dollars in assets, and I assume as married, she will count half of Harry’s assets, you owe an “exit tax” on her net capital gains in assets such as a house, or stocks, even if they don’t sell the assets. Her name would be published on a list of renouncers. Once you have given up U.S. citizenship, it’s hard to get it again.

        If she doesn’t renounce, any loans of jewels must be reported. Yes, loans. Her stay at the “cottage,” must be reported. All sorts of the luxuries the royal family takes for granted must be reported. It sounds like a nightmare.

        It doesn’t sound like the IRS likes when you go overseas and hide assets, so I’m sure the same rules will apply to MM as to the rest of us. At least I hope so.

      • Pimo says:

        I find this fascinating. American friends who live in Canada have a lot of restrictions and complain about them. I also know how IRS really goes after Americans living abroad and makes their finances complicated to the point that some foreign banks reject working with American citizens.

        But this list is insane!

        Any tiara or diamond bracelet Queen Elizabeth gives—or even just loans—her.
        The value of her half of the free rent of the cottage she shares with Prince Harry at Kensington Palace.

        Any debit or credit card she has linked to Prince Harry’s bank account with more than $10,000 in it.

        A vacation at one of the Queen’s castles (yes, really).

        https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a19810419/meghan-markle-taxes-usa-expat/

      • Maddy says:

        Pimo said: I also know how IRS really goes after Americans living abroad and makes their finances complicated to the point that some foreign banks reject working with American citizens

        Husband recently renounce his US citizenship because of the changes that came in. It was that or change everything from our day to day accounts, mortgage and superannuation etc because a lot of banks wanted nothing to so with it. When he phone the consulate to start the process they asked if it was tied to the changes because they’d been innudated with renunciation requests.

        To be clear, husband does not own a business, does not earn any money within the US and hasn’t been back for over 15 years.

    • Bethany F says:

      yep it takes a long time! i remember accompanying my friend to chicago to process her visa 14 years ago. only in the last couple years did she get indefinite leave to remain in the U.K., and she has been in the U.K. for all of those years, never once even returned to the US for a visit. lots and lots of hoops to jump through and paperwork.

  11. Beluga says:

    I love that she’s getting stuck in with serious events so early. The Queen knows when she’s got an asset in her hands!

  12. Bridget says:

    She’s known for a little while that she was getting married. Why wait so long to apply if it means that you have to spend $1,500?

  13. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    I am a Chicagoan born and raised on the South Side (but currently residing on the North Side). Love that she wore a Sox cap!

  14. Citresse says:

    I recall walking into Mexico at Nogales back in year 2005…..then walked back and at US Border crossing, one of the young officers told me he had never seen a woman (me) with a Canadian passport with a Green Card. It was fun times! BTW, one of the first things you see ( at that time ) at you walk back into USA was a Blockbuster video store!!!

  15. HeyThere! says:

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS SHE WORE THE WRONG HAT!!!!!!!! Cubs for life!!!!!

  16. Bonsai Mountain says:

    I see Meghan’s being trotted out as part of the strategy to woo the Commonwealth. Wish you all the best Meghan, but can’t wait for my country to get rid of the Queen. As Trevor Noah put it, the wealth ain’t that common when it comes to the former colonies!

    • S says:

      This is my take on it too, but I’m not sure if other people on here would agree. The BRF is now diverse because of Meghan. I’m sure they will be using that to their advantage from now on.

    • Addie says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. I long for the day when we rid ourselves of the whole nonsense of hereditary monarchy. Yes, Harry and Meghan will be sent to softly, softly influence/sway younger generations especially to the idea that our country is best served in being represented by a foreigner with no loyalty to us. Lots of gushing flummery and PR turned up to fever pitch. Nothing like the status quo! This is what is in store for us when HM arrive on our shores, suck up a few or our millions in security, travel etc. This, despite having any number of our own able countrymen/women of the utmost integrity, quality and intelligence to take on HoS duties. This, despite ‘royals’ being below average in almost every endeavour they undertake. It would be a tragedy for Commonwealth countries to let the chance to move to republic status slip through their fingers because of dazzling and self-serving ‘royal’ PR. The Queen’s appointment of Harry in these made-up Commonwealth roles is evidence of her nepotism and resistance to merit-based appointments. I wish the couple well and a lifetime of happiness together, but simply don’t believe they have anything of substance of offer us. They should stay in the UK.

  17. Peg says:

    Yvonne checked her mail, and there no wedding invitation, she is having a melt down on Twitter.
    “The whole Markle family should be invited, they’re inviting strangers and not us.”
    She is also saying Priddy, should be invited also, I wonder if Priddy’s mother loved Meghan more than her daughter, every event in Meghan’s life, she can produce a video for.
    I think this lady is unstable, may have more than problems than MS.

  18. AG-UK says:

    As she isnt married yet def have to apply in the US. The rules have changed since I did mine but
    She’d need some of Visa to stay longer than 90 days.

    • bettyrose says:

      But … she’s getting married a in few weeks. Why is she applying for a Visa before marriage? Surely foreign nationals regularly marry British citizens and don’t have to return to their home countries (especially refugees) to apply for a visa?

      I get that 1. there’s an image issue here and 2. why not visit some friends in Chicago? But surely the average bride isn’t sent packing overseas weeks before a British wedding?

      • Tina says:

        If the foreign national already has permission to live in the UK (refugee status, a Tier 2 visa or something like that) then you can apply for a fiancé visa from within the UK. But otherwise you have to apply from outside. Meghan is just here as a tourist/visitor, so she has to apply from outside the UK.

  19. Natalie S says:

    Harry always looks cuter to me when he’s photographed with Meghan.

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