Prince Harry ‘to avoid hassle of representing Queen’ in US through diplomatic visa
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Harry and Meghan Markle have recently indicated that they are settling into California for the long-haul, having just bought their first house together in Santa Barbara. The couple’s decision to move across the Atlantic after leaving the Royal Family has left royal watchers wondering how Harry will juggle US residence with his ties to the line of succession. He is sixth-in-line to the throne while his son Archie is seventh, which suggests he is unlikely to renounce his British citizenship completely.
While he is no longer a working royal, some have suggested that he could go to the US on a diplomatic A1 visa.
Some have claimed that the Duke of Sussex would probably be classified as a British diplomat.
He would then be able to adjust his status to a green card, meaning he could become a permanent resident and work.
Yet, sources have recently said Harry will not be seeking a green card or US citizenship any time soon.
Tax and immigration advisor David Lesperance told Express.co.uk that it was unlikely Harry would use a diplomatic visa either.
He explained: “Diplomatic appointments are governed by the Vienna Convention.
“In order to do that, he would have to have the UK appoint him in the US to the US Government.
“The other thing that has to happen is that the US has to accept the diplomat.
“Normally anyone who is proposed is accepted.”
Royals have been known to take on roles of soft diplomacy and revive international relations through their overseas tours undertaken at the request of the Foreign Office.
However, the official royal website also states that this role shows they are representatives of the Queen, too.
It reads: “Members of the Royal Family support The Queen’s role as Head of State and regularly undertake overseas visits at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on behalf of the Queen.”
Mr Lesperance then explained the major drawback of living on a diplomatic visa.
He said: “What that does is gives [Harry] the right to live in the US up until that is withdrawn.
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“Diplomatic appointments are made by the Government of the day not by the Queen.
“So Boris Johnson may be quite happy to do that, but a future Labour Government may not.
“So why would you go through all that hassle if you can simply hire a decent immigration lawyer?”
Harry has had to forfeit his use of the word royal in his work, as he is no longer on the Firm’s frontline.
There was speculation that the Duke of Sussex would assume a role within the Commonwealth, such as Governor-General of Canada, which would see him as a proxy for the Queen.
However, now he has put roots down in the US, this outcome seems increasingly unlikely.
Harry and Meghan have also shown an increased interest in discussing sensitive political issues such Megxit, while being Governor-General has the trappings of a constitutional — and thus apolitical — monarch.
Mr Lesperance added that Harry would be able to achieve a visa for extraordinary individuals instead, using his work with the Invictus Games to qualify rather than relying on the Government’s approval.
According to The Telegraph back in March, this would “require letters of recommendation from people who have worked with him, potentially including Barack and Michelle Obama”.
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