Do different immigration rules apply for Harry and Meghan?


Do different immigration rules apply for Harry and Meghan?

Jamaica To Canada

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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Dear Mr Brown,

I do not understand how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can just decide to live in Canada like that. Don't they have to be approved under an immigration programme like everyone else? Neither of the two is a citizen of Canada.

— AV

Dear AV:

After relinquishing their royal titles, it is reported that Prince Harry (British citizen) and Meghan Markle (American citizen) will spend time living in Canada.

Although it is unclear how long they wish to remain in Canada, they could:
• Live in Canada six months at a time without formal paperwork;
• Apply for work visas;
• Apply for permanent residency.

There are no provisions in Canada for the royal family with regards to immigration. In order to become legal permanent residents of Canada they would need to apply using the normal immigration processes. Permanent residency could then lead to applying for citizenship.

Without having consulted with the couple personally, to get a deep understanding of their background, I can mention a few general options.

It has been reported that Markle is already a permanent resident of Canada, based on years of living in Canada as an actress. If that is true, then she would be able to sponsor Prince Harry and her dependent child under family class.

However, if Markle is not a permanent resident the easiest option available would be to live in Canada for six months at a time.

Federal skilled worker
Markle could possibly qualify under Express Entry as a federal skilled worker based on her age, education level, and her significant work experience.

Markle could also apply for the self-employment category, based on her work in the arts or sports, as this category is not tied to an employer.

There is also an option of applying through a business immigration programme. The Canadian Government offers a start-up visa programme for applicants whose business ideas have been backed by a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.

Humanitarian or compassionate grounds
They could request permanent residency based on humanitarian or compassionate grounds, although this is probably not the best strategy, as it is normally rare and exceptional cases that are successful.

Please visit for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, the Study & Work programme, visas or appeals, etc.
Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration and education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to

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