Unless you’ve been living under a rock all weekend (and the past year) you would’ve heard American actress Meghan Markle has married Prince Harry, becoming the latest overnight royal.
But what does that mean for her and the whole living in the UK thing?
You’d think as she’s now married to a Prince and is officially HRH The Duchess of Sussex, that all her paperwork would just be sorted for her and she’d be an automatic citizen of the UK…
Not so much.
There will be no special treatment for Meghan, instead she will have to wait in line like everybody else trying to get UK citizenship.
For now, Meghan has been granted something called a ‘Leave to Remain’, which is an immigration status that doesn’t give a time limit on how long she is allowed to work and study (without any restrictions) in the country.
So, Meghan is allowed to live in the same country as her new husband and Prince but she’s not officially a citizen, maybe even for a few years! As apparently that is how long it can take to get citizenship.
A spokesman for Kensington Palace said Meghan will have to apply like everybody else,
"Ms. Markle has taken full legal advice on her right to remain in the UK and will be fully compliant with all requirements at all times. She will go through the normal visa process.
"Ms. Markle intends to become a British citizen going through the normal process, which will take a number of years."
According to the government's website, there are a number of criteria you must meet in order to apply to become a citizen.
- You must be over 18
- You must be of good character
- You'll have to continue living in the UK
- You'll have to prove you have a good knowledge of English
- You must have lived in the UK for five years before the Home Office gets your application.
- You can't have spent more than 450 days outside of the UK in those five years
- You must not have broken any immigration laws while you were in the UK.
We have a feeling she’ll be fine though and hopefully will breeze through the application process!