Meghan misses chance to become a Brit – will have to return to get citizenship

Meghan Markle may have permanently missed her chance to become a UK citizen.

Official word from Kensington Palace immediately after Meghan married Prince Harry in May 2018 was that the Los Angeles-born former actress intended to apply for British citizenship.

But the couple’s “Megxit” decision in January 2020 derailed that process.

Meghan did qualify for “permanent resident status” in the UK before her wedding.

But as part of her application for a British passport the Duchess of Sussex needed to limit the number of days she spent outside the UK. The British Nationality Act 1981 states that an applicant for citizenship can spend no more then 270 days outside the UK over the three-year application period.

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The Sussex's departure to Canada in January 2020, followed by their move to California in March, has put paid to her hopes of becoming a British citizen.

Prince Harry's communications secretary, Jason Knauf, told the BBC at the end of last year that Meghan would be “compliant with immigration requirements at all times” and stressed that she would be going through normal channels and not asking for any special favours from the Home Office.

"I can also say she intends to become a UK citizen and will go through the process of that, which some of you may know takes a number of years," he told the Daily Mail.

In order to pursue her plan of becoming a True Brit, though, Meghan would have to return to the UK and restart her application. Something that, with the current state of play and especially with the coronavirus pandemic running rampant and limiting international travel, seems quite unlikely for now.

A representative for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has been contacted for comment.

What do you think? Should Meghan and Harry return to the UK or are they better off where they are? Let other Daily Star readers know in the comments below.

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