I think this “story” might have originated in some Keen Defender’s quarantine fever dream, but it’s worth discussing because I actually love talking about individual stories of green cards, work visas and immigration. The original version of this – the keen version, if you will – is that Harry probably wouldn’t even be able to STAY in America for any length of time because he’s a British citizen, duh, and something something Harry will be legally required to abandon Meghan and Archie because of America’s f–ked up immigration system. While it’s true that our immigration system is f–ked, here are some other things which are also true: Harry is already married to an American citizen, which gives him a massive “leg up” when it comes to applying for a work visa or green card; Harry is white, Christian and British, all of which give him another leg up, as opposed to a bachelor named Mohammed from Syria trying to immigrate. But still, the Keens need something to cling to, so they’re clinging to the idea that Harry will… have to do paperwork! And he might have to *clutch pearls* hire an immigration lawyer?
Meghan Markle may have to sponsor Prince Harry so he can live and work in the US permanently, a top immigration attorney told Page Six. As of Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer working royals and are officially embarking on their new “financially independent” life in Los Angeles. While the Queen’s grandson, 35, would have been able to work while the couple was living in Canada for the past few months as it’s part of the Commonwealth, the rules are completely different in the States, a top New York immigration attorney said.
Harry has three options to get a green card — he can either sponsor himself in the extraordinary ability category — or Markle, 38, can sponsor him as a U.S. citizen or a U.S. entity can sponsor him. He would get a temporary work and travel permit after an initial approval like any regular applicant, the process to get a green card can currently take more than a year. After three years on a green card, Harry would be eligible to become a U.S. citizen. However, this means he would have to renounce his royal title as sixth in line to the throne, so that would be highly unlikely, the attorney said.
After their move to LA late last month, Harry could either be on a B1/B2 visa, which is a regular tourist visa, or possibly an A1 diplomatic visa, which are for government officials and diplomats. He can’t work on either of these visas, other than in a government or diplomatic capacity on an A1 visa. However, following President Trump’s sour tweet this weekend where he declared he would refuse to pay for their multi-million security bill, an A1 may not last too long. Harry could also be on or apply for an O-1 visa should he have potential contracts here or as someone with extraordinary ability.
The attorney said: “I would probably have Harry and Meghan’s nonprofit org sponsor him based on his history of high profile philanthropy and public works and activism. If the org is not established in the US they would need a US entity of the org as well. The org could also sponsor him for permanent residence under the EB1A extraordinary ability category as well, but currently things are faster and easier through spousal sponsorship.”
From what I understand – I’m no lawyer, obviously – but there are exceptions to the whole “he must renounce his title if he wants to become an American citizen” thing. People like Emily Blunt make it sound like no one ever gets dual citizenship and one must denounce the Queen, but it seems pretty clear that Harry could be eligible for dual citizenship WITH his title intact. And even if he didn’t want to seek American citizenship and he simply wants to live and work in America for a time, again, he’s legally married to an American citizen. It will be quite easy for him to get visas. This immigration lawyer that Page Six is quoting from seems completely flummoxed at the idea of a high-profile, wealthy, white foreigner getting designated an alien of extraordinary ability (so-called genius visas).
All of which brings me to this: Archie Mountbatten Windsor is Harry’s anchor baby. I’m not using that as a pejorative, because I had a realization when I was well into my 30s that I was an anchor baby too. My dad was not a citizen when I was born, and it was easier for my dad to become a citizen because he was married to an American and had an American baby. Archie is American simply because he was born of an American mother, and I’d be willing to bet that Meghan already has Archie’s American citizenship and Social Security number and all of that handled. So Harry has an American wife and an American anchor baby. I love it.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, IG.