Home Office requirements state that foreign nationals may apply for a British passport after living in the UK for three years. The Duchess of Sussex could have applied for her citizenship last November, but Megxit meant she spent a long time outside of the country.
UK rules state that if the applicant spends more than 270 days outside the UK within the 3 year-peril prior to submitting the application, the document becomes invalid.
Meghan and Prince Harry’s decision to quit royal life and move to the US meant the Duchess spent more than 270 days in North America, nullifying her chances of becoming a British national.
In their requirements booklet, the Home Office states: “You must have been physically present in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands on the day 3 years before the application is received by the Home Office.
“You must not have had more than 270 days outside the UK in the 3-year period before making the application.
“You must not have had more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12-month period before making the application.”
During her early days in the Royal Family, the Palace announced Meghan intended to obtain her British passport.
In 2017, it was confirmed the Duchess would not be fast tracked because of her status as a royal.
At the time, Prince Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf told the BBC that Meghan would take the steps any other person would in order to apply for the citizenship.
“Despite everything that has been going on this year, they don’t regret their move to the US. They love that they are able to focus on projects and causes that are important to them.
“It was always their dream to be financially independent and pay their own way. Harry was finally doing what he’d wanted to do for years, and to have Meghan and Archie with him was all he could have asked for.”
The couple are expected to return to the UK to hash out a more permanent deal to continue their financially independent life in the US.
The current Megxit agreement was reached at January’s Sandringham meeting, is due to expire on March 31.